Great Neck business litigation attorneys know that in many cases, defamation lawsuits are not always a great idea.
They can be time-consuming, difficult to prove and sometimes don't net much of a result - and that's in cases where the plaintiff is actually 100 percent in the right.
However, when Great Neck business litigation stems from defamation that clearly caused tangible and substantial financial losses, a civil lawsuit may be the best option.
That's what's happening to one New York blogger, who up until now has remained anonymous. According to Reuters and other news outlets, the blogger has been ordered by a state judge to show up in court to answer to allegations that a blog containing false reports about a Chinese company was written for the sole purpose of driving down the value of that company's stock.
The blogger, who is not identified by the media outlets except by his blog URL, was allegedly served with an electronic subpoena via e-mail. He's mandated to show up to court on May 16.
The target of the blogger's words, allegedly, was a Chinese company called Deer Consumer Products. This is a company that is known for making appliances.
According to the lawsuit, the blogger reportedly put out the (false) word that the company had been engaging in fraudulent land deals in China. This in turn caused numerous investors to back away or back out, the company says. It is seeking upwards of $100 million in compensation from the blogger as a result of lost trading profits.
What's interesting is that this is not the only case like this. In fact, a number of bloggers have been accused of writing up phony pieces aimed at Chinese companies. A number of those companies have hit back hard with legal action.
In fact, the case involving Deer is one of three against the same, anonymous blogger. Other cases were filed by Sino Clean Energy (coal fuel product) and Silvercorps. Metals Inc., a producer of Chinese silver.
Deer Products says that within little more than a week, stock in the company dropped from about $11 a share to $8. Meanwhile, short interest spiked by 500,000 shares.
Allegedly, the defamation wasn't so much about hurting the company with the defamation, as making money off the ensuing flurry of sales when the stock prices dipped.
Attorneys for the blogger say he isn't even located in New York, and therefore the case should be dismissed based on the fact the fact that this court wouldn't have jurisdiction. Further, they stand by the blogger's claims.
Of course, one of the defenses to defamation is that the claims are in fact true. Other elements of defamation include whether it is a matter of public concern and whether there has been damage to the plaintiff.
So there is a big difference between this type of case, and say, your neighbor putting fliers in your other neighbors' mailboxes alleging falsities about you. An incident such as that may fall under criminal harassment statutes, but could be a difficult sell in court.
Of course, if you are struggling with whether or not your claim rises to the level worthy of litigation, contact an experienced Great Neck business litigation lawyer, who can help you weigh your options.
The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman provides business litigation representation in Great Neck, New York City, Long Island and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.
Anonymous blogger must appear in NY court, By Karen Freifeld, Reuters