Defamation, First Amendment & Cyberbullying
Lubin Austermuehle represents business and individual plaintiffs and defendant in libel, slander and defamation cases involving important First Amendment issues. We prosecute and defend slander and cyberbullying. Our attorneys have decades of experience navigating this complex and evolving area of the law. We have won cases at arbitration or through settlement for Defendants and Plaintiffs. We have defended clients who have exercised their free speech rights. On behalf of individuals and business clients, we have pursued persons who have smeared our clients through slander in newspapers and print media or on the internet in false reviews on Yelp or Google or on social media sites. We also have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies to ensure that our clients who have been wrongfully accused of slander obtain a defense pursuant to homeowners or business insurance policies.
Ofer Mizrahi Diamonds Inc. and Ofer Mizrahi Ltd. v. David Cohen, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. Judge Kendall. 2018. Represented Plaintiffs. Our clients some of the largest diamond wholesalers in the world sued another diamond wholesaler for over $16,000,000 for allegedly bringing a false lawsuit against them accusing them of fraud and then publishing the false lawsuit on the internet and issuing a press release. The case was settled for undisclosed financial terms as well as with Defendant providing a full written retraction and apology for making the false claims. Opposing Counsel: Mark Hammervold.
Ardor Fiduciary Services Ltd et al v. Mona, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division. Judge Mitchell. Represented Defendant. Defendant posted his negative opinion on the Rip-Off Report regarding a Chicago area expert witness he had retained. The expert sued him for defamation claiming that he also made false factual statements. The case was dismissed due to lack of personal jurisdiction as Defendant did not direct his post at Illinois residents and was not an Illinois resident. Opposing Counsel: Thomas F. Burke.
Wuttke v. Fitzsimmons, Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division. Judge McNamara. We represented a real-estate attorney in a defamation action against a Chicago Police Captain, for sending false and malicious to President of the University of Illinois and the Dean of its law school. We alleged that this was part of a pattern by Defendant of libeling and attempting to harm and intimidate attorneys who crossed him. We achieved a default judgment on liability in favor of our client due to discovery violations. The case settled in plaintiff's favor. Defense Counsel: Vincent J. O'Brien.
Chicago Motor Car Corp., et al. v. David Bates, Federal Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Lee. 2012-2013. We defended our client in a lawsuit claiming libel, false light, tortious interference with contract, false advertising, and cybersquatting. The car dealer plaintiff sued our client because of a large number of internet postings and 120 YouTube videos he posted severely criticizing the car dealer. We achieved a settlement whereby our client withdrew his motion for Rule 11 sanctions and the car dealer dropped all of its claims with prejudice. Plaintiff's Counsel: Serena Pollack (Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP)
John Doe v. Jane Doe. Pending. Jane Doe allegedly posted false and misleading information on the internet. We represented John Doe in suing Jane Doe for defamation per se, cyberbullying, and invasion of privacy. Our client sought money damages for harm to his reputation and an injunction order requiring Jane Doe to remove the demonstrably untrue statements from the internet.
Williams v. Marder, et al., United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Magistrate-Judge Guzman. 2012. We represented the Defendant. Plaintiff sued our client for defamation, tortious interference with inheritance expectancy and employment and for malicious prosecution. Our client was sued because of his alleged efforts to try to protect his father who suffered from dementia and Alzheimer's Disease from the Plaintiff, his father's nurse who had tried to insert herself in the will to get a $3 million inheritance.
Mercado v. Levy, et al., American Arbitration Association. Arbitrator James S. Montana Jr. 2012. Represented a Montessori school and the owners of the school in a defamation lawsuit that ensued after a partner left the school. We worked with our investigator to develop videotaped witness statements of a number of witnesses proving that our clients had never defamed the Plaintiff and that all of their representations regarding Plaintiff's handling of students and staff were truthful were backed up by eyewitness testimony. Case settled.
Burmeister v. Gentile, Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division. Judge Henry. Represented the Defendant one of Loyola University's largest contributors to the sports program. Loyola's head basketball coach sued Defendant for defamation and tortious interference with contract when he was fired. Case dismissed with prejudice based on the motion to dismiss we filed.
Nebel v. Modory, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. Judge Coleman. 2016. Represented Defendant. Defendant posted a flyer regarding a problem employee class in his office with a photoshopped photograph of Plaintiff appended to it. All claims against our client were dismissed under the innocent construction rule. Opposing Counsel: Jessica Fayerman.