Defamation and Trade Libel


In nearly an instant, a defamatory post to the internet, review websites, or social media can create significant and lasting harm to the reputation or brand of companies or individuals.  Defamatory statements in key locations, like Yelp, Google Reviews, Glassdoor, Facebook, or Twitter can appear in search engine results, and coordinated campaigns can flood the internet with false statements about you or your business.

The internet litigators at Lesowitz Gebelin LLP have spent years representing individuals and companies in internet defamation related disputes and we can use this experience for your benefit. Our experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants gives us a broader strategic perspective we use to your advantage.

Call Lesowitz Gebelin LLP at 310-341-3072 or send us an email to schedule an initial consultation about your defamation case.

It is critical that a litigator handling a defamation suit understand legal issues relating to free speech, defamatory falsehoods,

We represent people in Los Angeles and throughout California who have had their businesses, careers, or reputations ruined because of things that have been written or spoken about them.

Protected Speech or Unlawful Defamation?

Defamation law protects against false statements of fact. Pure opinions, even if they are negative and unfair, cannot form the basis of a defamation lawsuit.

However, when an opinion implicitly asserts a false statement of fact a defamation claim can be made. The distinction between a pure opinion and implied assertion of fact can be a difficult determination requiring experience and legal training.

The Lesowitz Gebelin LLP attorneys know and understand the difference between protected speech and defamation, and how to solve problems when defamation unfairly harms your positive reputation.

Because every defamation claim involves speech, there may be constitutional or statutory legal protections for the statements at issue in a defamation case. The levels of protection can vary depending on the situation, subject matter, and target of the speech.

In California and other states, defamation claims are often subject to anti-SLAPP motions and scrutiny based on the protection afforded to the speech at issue. At Lesowitz Gebelin LLP, our successes in bringing and defending against these motions with   and how to steer clear of ANTI-SLAPP laws that might hinder your case.

Legal Terminology

Defamation is the legal term for false statements of fact that harm your reputation. When those are written down, such as in online attacks, it can also be called libel. False statements harmful to your reputation that have been made orally are called slander. Trade libel or business disparagement is similar to defamation, but occurs only where a statement falsely maligns the quality of a business’ products or services and then causes specific lost sales. These distinctions may impact your defamation case so contact Lesowitz Gebelin LLP today.

Our Approach to Combatting Online Defamation

Whether defamatory statements appear on specialized “gripe sites”, review platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews, or Glassdoor, social media like Twitter or Facebook, or even non-internet communication methods like print or texting, we use our extensive experience in defamation law to get online reputation management results for our clients. 

We are experienced in utilizing a variety of federal and state laws to defend the rights of individuals and businesses that are the victims of online defamation and other online attacks. We frequently handle matters where the perpetrator of the defamation is an irritated customer, a disgruntled or former employee, or even an unscrupulous competitor.  No matter the source, we act forcefully and swiftly to uncover them and to stop their defamation.

Sometimes, a strongly worded letter will convince the owner of a website or the creator of the defamatory content to remove it voluntarily. However, in other circumstances legal action such as a lawsuit may be needed to identify your online attacker, obtain monetary damages, and judicial orders requiring the removal of defamatory content from the internet.

We have fought on behalf of dozens of professionals and businesses to remove defamatory reviews appearing on a number of review-based websites, message boards and special purpose websites. Our clients include executives, entertainers, real estate businesses, financial service businesses, doctors and medical practices, consumer products companies, lawyers, accountants, and many other professionals.

If a victim of online defamation wins a lawsuit, the judge may order that the defendant who posted the content remove it from the internet. If the defendant refuses to comply, the defendant could be held in contempt of court and face significant penalties. If the defendant does not remove the content, the website or service who hosts the online content is not required to remove the content. However, many (but not all) websites and internet service providers will voluntarily remove content that a judge or jury has found to be defamatory. We have experience working with such websites and providers and have successfully had websites remove defamatory content.

Contact Us to Fight Online Defamation and Manage Your Online Reputation

Our firm is located in Los Angeles, California. We represent clients throughout Southern California, including Orange County, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Century City, Hollywood, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, Sherman Oaks, and Long Beach.

We would be happy to bring our formidable experience to bear on your legal matter. If you would like to discuss what Lesowitz Gebelin LLP can do for you, please submit your matter using our online case submission form or call us at 310-341-3072.

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