Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Can you substantiate everything you have said? Is anything untrue?
The facts I quoted in my letter were all true. I made a few deductions from them e.g. they had said that the new company was going to put mine out of business, and as I run a membership organisation with annual paid ( in advance) subs, if their mission was to put me out of business then clearly they did not care about my tradesmen's investment and I said so.
but the facts they are wanting me to deny are all true.
1. Yes if its true its wrong to get you to sign this docunebt
* document *
2. Yes you can publish anything unless they have an injunction to stop you
ok but they have told me essentially that if I don't sign they are taking me to court - which they know I can't afford.
I will have to defend myself
Yes unless you can afford a lawyer.
money is no object to them
The cost would be about £15,000 in costs I would think
Can I clarify anything else about your question today please?
so it appears the only option I have is to let them publish that I lied and pay the 7K?
as if i loose I will have their legals and whatever the judge orders
Yes you would have to pay their legals, but any costs order would be subject to assessment - they must be reasonable and proportionate
reasonable and proportioate to what though?
The Court would decide whether the time spent on the case, prep etc was reasonable
I sent this letter t osme 800 members - a lot of whome subsequentl;y joined them anyway (and stayd with me) so I can't see how I have damagd them..
ok you are not talking about their claim
they are saying that they are going for 100k in damages
The Judge would have to assess that. But they can ONLY claim that if what you have said is untrue and they have suffered serious harm
is that serious financial harm? as that would be very hard to prove
Indeed it would. The law changed to make it harder
so do they have to prove financial loss in a case of defamation?
They have to show they have suffered serious harm and as a result they suffered a loss. Ie customers leaving because of what was said
But that assumes what was said is not true
they are arguing that cusomers are not joining them fast enough
'growth is a lot slower than expected'
it is a new regional office expansion
That does not mean anything. We have been in a recession
so you think that they might not be able to prove a loss even if they can establish that the letter was defamatory
That is correct
and if that can't prove a loss they would win and I would just pay leagals?
No. If they can't prove it was false OR loss then you would win and you would not have to pay anything
They would have to pay your legals, if any
Does that help?
ok Alex, it's the commentry I put around the facts that is the issue. Each of the facts is true, but the document when viewed as a whole, demines them (they argue). I would guess it's 60:40 to them on that one.It is probably worth representing myself it if they can't prove a loss
Yes if they can't prove loss you can represent yourself, but if it goes to trial I would encourage legal representation
Is it possible to self represent? - If I lost that would make the cost £30k + court fees and they will bring in barrasters
Yes it is possible to self represent.
ok alex - thank you very much.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
just one thing, how long will it take them to get this to court?
It can take around 6 months or so
ok thx bye:)