Lubin Austermuehle Prevails on Behalf of Client in Defamation, Libel and Cyber Squatting Case Involving Creation of Web Pages, YouTube Videos and Facebook Page Devoted to Criticizing a Chicago Area Used Car Dealer

Our client David Bates created various web pages, YouTube videos and a Facebook page devoted to criticizing a local used car dealer that advertises extensively on the internet. The dealer sued Mr. Bates. Before our firm formally appeared, the dealership obtained a temporary restraining order restraining Mr. Bates from accusing the dealer of engaging in false advertising. Shortly after we appeared, we filed briefs arguing that Mr. Bates had a First Amendment right to criticize the dealer. We then obtained discovery proving that the dealer had filed a false affidavit to obtain the temporary restraining order because it had in fact engaged in false advertising in the past. We sought sanctions and the Federal Court entered a rule to show cause as to why the dealer shouldn’t be sanctioned for filing a false affidavit. A copy of that rule to show cause order can be seen by clicking here. A copy of our brief opposing entry of a prior restraint on Mr. Bate’s speech which we asserted would violate his First Amendment rights can be seen here. A copy of our sanctions brief can be seen here.

Following entry of the rule to show cause order, the case settled with the dealer providing Mr. Bates with a full release. The parties then headed to binding arbitration to decide if any of Mr. Bates’s videos were defamatory and thus should be removed from YouTube.

The Arbitrator ruled that none of the videos need to be removed as removing them would violate Mr. Bate’s First Amendment Rights. A copy of the brief we filed on behalf of Mr. Bates in the Arbitration can be viewed here. A copy of the Arbitrator’s decision ruling that none of of Mr. Bates’s videos were defamatory can be seen here.

With this decision, Mr. Bates has obtained a full release of all charges leveled against him and none of his material on the internet was censored. The Arbitrator ruled that minor errors in Mr. Bates’s videos do not make them defamatory because they are otherwise substantially accurate. The Arbitrator also ruled that the dealer failed to prove that its reputation had been harmed by Mr. Bates’s videos.

Our Chicago defamation, libel, cyberbullying and First Amendment attorneys concentrate in this area of the law. We have defended or prosecuted a number of defamation and libel cases, including cases representing a consumer sued by a large luxury used car dealer in federal court for hundreds of negative internet reviews and videos which resulted in substantial media coverage of the suit; one of Loyola University’s largest contributors when the head basketball coach sued him for libel after he was fired; and a lawyer who was falsely accused of committing fraud with the false allegation published to the Dean of the University of Illinois School of Law, where the lawyer attended law school and the President of the University of Illinois. One of our partners also participated in representing a high profile athlete against a well-known radio shock jock.

Our Chicago defamation lawyers defend individuals’ First Amendment and free speech rights to post on Facebook, Yelp and other websites information that criticizes businesses and addresses matters of public concern. Our Chicago Cybersquatting attorneys also represent and prosecute claims on behalf of businesses throughout the Chicago area including in Lake Forest and Vernon Hills, who have been unfairly and falsely criticized by consumers and competitors in defamatory publications in the online and off line media. We have successfully represented businesses who have been the victim of competitors setting up false rating sites and pretend consumer rating sites that are simply forums to falsely bash or business clients. We have also represented and defended consumers First Amendment and free speech rights to criticize businesses who are guilty of consumer fraud and false advertising.

Super Lawyers named Chicago and Oak Brook business trial attorneys Peter Lubin a Super Lawyer in the Categories of Class Action, Business Litigation and Consumer Rights Litigation. Lubin Austermuehle’s Oak Brook and Chicago business trial lawyers have over a quarter of century of experience in litigating complex class action, consumer rights and business and commercial litigation disputes. We handle emergency business law suits involving injunctions, and TROS, defamation, libel and covenant not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination and trade secret lawsuits and many different kinds of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee breaches of fiduciary duty. We also assist businesses and business owners who are victims of fraud or defamatory attacks on their business and reputations.

Lubin Austermuehle’s Wheaton, and Waukegan litigation attorneys have more than two and half decades of experience helping business clients unravel the complexities of Illinois and out-of-state business laws. Our Chicago business, commercial, class-action and consumer litigation lawyers represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners and shareholders as well as lawsuits between businesses and and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and successfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investments and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Aurora and Naperville, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

If you are the victim of a defamatory attack on your business or a consumer who has been sued to stop you from posting criticism of a business on line at Yelp or anywhere else, contact one of our Oak Brook and Chicago defamation lawyers for a free consultation at 630-333-0333 or online by filling out our contact us form.

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