Our client David Bates was sued by Chicago Motor Cars for criticizing the used car dealership online. We represented him in federal court and arbitration where he prevailed. He continues to exercise his First Amendment rights to criticize the dealership and is seeking to expose what he believes are unethical business practices and to support his position with evidence and judgments from court cases against the dealership. There are a number of court judgments finding that the dealer engaged in consumer fraud as to customers other then David Bates which we uncovered in our investigation.
In the federal court case the dealer filed a false affidavit claiming that it had never even been sued for fraud even though, in truth, these fraud judgments had entered against it relating to customers other than David Bates. The federal judge hearing the case entered a rule to show cause against the dealer requiring it to demonstrate why it should not be sanctioned for filing an allegedly false affidavit. The Court indicated that it might consider entering the sanction of dismissing the case along with sanctions against the dealer.
At that point, the dealer facing the impossible task of explaining why it had filed a false affidavit. Chicago Motor Cars decided to drop the case. It settled the federal court case by releasing all of its money damages claims against David Bates and his girl friend.
We then headed to arbitration where the Arbitrator, a retired judge, ruled that Bates’s videos,which were the subject of the arbitration, did not defame Chicago Motor Cars and were essentially true with any minor inaccuracies being irrelevant. Given Chicago Motor Cars’s documented history of fraud judgments entered against it and Chicago Motor Cars’s admissions in deposition and arbitration testimony regarding those judgments for fraud, the Arbitrator ruled against Chicago Motor Cars. He held that all of Bates’s many videos, which were the subject of the arbitration hearing, could remain posted on the internet. Mr. Bates’s First Amendment right to speak his mind and voice his opinions, even using harsh language, was vindicated. Consumers have a right to know that the business they are dealing with has a history of fraud judgments and to take that information into account in making a major purchase decision for a luxury, high priced car. Chicago Motor Cars’s owners admitted when we cross examined them that Bates had a First Amendment right to publish on the internet facts about the fraud judgments entered against Chicago Motor Cars.
Our Chicago defamation, slander, 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 attorney 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 a century of experience in litigating complex class action, consumer rights, and business and commercial litigation disputes. We handle emergency business lawsuits 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 Geneva 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 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.