Libelled lawyer sics Carter-Ruck on site

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  • It is a shame that it is a moneymaking scheme, because a "name and shame" website would be useful for clients and especially as the SRA seems to be unwilling to do anything about the “dodgy” practices of some solicitors/law firms (particularly the large ones).

    In fact, the SRA are so bad they effectively advised me that I could flout the Data Protection Act and then hide behind privilege.

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  • This seems very disingenuous to me. Defamation is set up to protect an individual, not a corporate reputation, yet Mr Eason is clearly not acting as a business in making this defamation claim against people who may or may not be legitimate complainants and the site which published their comments.
    This may create (or extend I guess) a dangerous precedent.
    A number of very helpful review sites have grown up where people can post comments about tradesmen, but these would become completely useless if a builder or plumber sued for defamation every time someone criticised their service, with the onus on the 'victim' to prove their case. Why should lawyers be exempt from criticism? I would think it almost impossible for a 'lay' client to meet the burden of proof needed to defeat a determined defamation action.
    Personally, I can't see the courts allowing this one to run. Carter-Ruck are having a laugh. Or is that defamatory against whichever partner issued the writ???
    But seriously, if a corporate entity can't sue for libel, why should a sole practitioner/sole trader be able to? Is there any legal precedent anyone can offer?

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  • Scott Eason have made the wrong decision. I would never visit the site, but their client's comments have now been amplified and reached many more people than was necessary.
    It is also news long after it would have been forgotten by most people. A prominent North East firm attracted more than its fair share of criticism last week but trying to hammer people for their opinion would validate those views. Listening and learning is the only way to react without incurring further damage.
    As for the website developer, he is becoming the hero of this piece. He is protecting the right to give feedback.

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  • A hero? The fact that he charges to have any comments removed invalidates anything he is trying to do.
    All it takes is for one aggrieved (rightly or wrongly) client to ruin a reputation.
    Clients should have the right to reply and dodgy practices should be named and shamed. But a crass website that charges to remove entries, set up by someone with a grudge against the law profession, is not the way to do it.

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  • Good point!
    Perhaps I should get rid of the option to have comments removed altogether and just leave it as that.
    I shall have to give this some thought!

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  • I said "becoming the hero" - I agree he's not the perfect person to argue this principle but this heavy handed action is a good way to drum up support

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  • What does "Sics" mean?

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  • It is high time Rick Kordowski had his backside kicked. Yes, there are solicitors who need to be named and shamed, but his site is clear extortion and is a disgrace.
    Of course we could not expect our feckless Law Society to bring an action to protect the reputation of the profession, in the same way that it so abjectly fails to shut down those firms in the ARP who have not paid their insurance premiums.
    Good luck, Mr Eason.

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  • Restaurants and hotels get reviews, why not lawyers? As with any review some are reliable and some are not. One can normally tell which is which. It's about time that solicitors who rack up costs and who couldn't care less about their clients be held to account. I am a lawyer myself and embarassed by how appalingly some lawyers behave. Unscrupulous lawyers should be named and shamed as it not fair on those good lawyers who excel at their job.

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