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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44957
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have someone accusing me of being a scam on their face

Customer Question

I have someone accusing me of being a scam on their face book site. This is a negative effect on my business. The comments are not true and I have documentation to that effect. The person actually says on the FB page that I am correct and contradicts her self. Can I send a solicitor letter to ask them to stop and retract?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Do you know this person personally or are they a client/customer of your business?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The person did a workshop for me to my clients. It was a one off transaction.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
My company runs acting workshops. Wendy Faraone from Los Angeles was booked to do workshops this summer. After the workshop she put on her face Book site that my company and I are a scam (see screen shots). her basis for this was that we had run auditions for a short film (she attached screen shots) and that she was not aware of them. In her view this was a scam as the film would not go ahead. She tells people not to have any business with us. Her actions have resulted in a senior casting director pulling out of our next workshop. We had advertised the casting director so now we have a major business issue.She has blocked me from her site but i was able to see the content with another FB account.I emailed her and pointed out that she had agreed to the short film and the auditions. She didn't answer my email but took to FB to say that yes she had agreed to the projects but that she is honest! (see her comments on screen shot)The reason for all of this is that we had originally agreed to hold four workshops but the workshops didn't sell so we reduced the number. She was not happy with this but agreed to go ahead. She received her payment so doesn't have any monetary issues. After the event she then resorted to damaging our reputation on FB.We also have copies of a number of threatening posts from her business manager telling us she will seek us out and take care of us. Again on FB and messenger.Her comments are not true we would like them removed.I have her email address and her home address but she is in the UK at the moment so email would be best.I need to take urgent action as she is communicating with my clients. I am unable to send my version as I am blocked from her FB page.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Please can you also tell me whether you are based in the UK?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I am in London the workshop took place in London she is from America but in London at present
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Can you give me a time span for your reply as I would like to get a letter out to her to stop her making any more posts
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Thank you. This will potentially amount to defamation or malicious falsehood – both are quite similar.

Whilst this may appear to be a potential case of defamation (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form), such claims are extremely difficult to pursue. Many people are intent on suing for defamation without having any appreciation of the law behind them, so I will try and clear things up for you now.

First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:

1. The statement has to be untrue.

2. It must directly identify the complainant.

3. It must have been published, usually communicated to at least another person.

4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.

5. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant.

Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has occurred, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is extremely complex and expensive. As this goes through the High Court, you would need the professional help of specialist defamation solicitors and the costs are undoubtedly going to run into the thousands right at the outset. Also there is no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally. So when you hear about defamation claims being made, these are usually pursued by big corporations or celebrities who have a public image to protect.

You must also consider whether the party alleged of making the defamatory statement can defend the claim. Even if you satisfy the criteria to prove the statement was defamatory it could be defended on a number of grounds, including by providing evidence that the statement was substantially true or an honest opinion.

There is of course nothing stopping you from contacting the other party and threatening them that what they have done amounts to defamation and that you will consider pursuing the matter further if they do not retract their statement. This could prompt them to reconsider their position, but I would not recommend that you actually proceed with a claim for defamation due to the issues highlighted above.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
that makes sense and I really wanted to send a letter to shock them into taking action. I think that would be enough of an action to get her to take it sown. Can you recommend how can get a solicitor letter. Is that something that you can do?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
all of the comments are met
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

We cannot send letters unfortunately we can only assist online on here. You do not need a solicitors letter to start with - send a letter yourself and see if that works. If not then you can consider engaging a solicitor - you can just speak to any local solicitor to you, someone that deals with defamation or civil litigation - most High Str solicitors will be able to do this

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
can you assist with the format and wording for a letter that I can send?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Drafting letters is a premium service so will be charged extra. I can send a quote if needed?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

How would you like to proceed please - if you do not wish to take on the premium service then if your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

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