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Why Are They Suing Me Over My Blog?


All clients involved in a lawsuit ask me about their odds of winning. This is a very difficult question to answer, especially in an information technology or intellectual property context. My typical answer is “Based upon my experience, if no new facts emerge, I would estimate our odds at __%” I then tell them that new facts will emerge and that the percentage I gave them will change with the facts. The more important question, one that clients never ask, is “Why are they suing me.”

That is the question I ask the clients. I try to find out the cause of the lawsuit. I need to know what caused the plaintiff to spend money on a lawsuit they likely will not win, not the claimed legal underpinnings. Having a better case, in an of itself, will not generate a settlement. You have to determine the motivation for the suit and drive negotiations around that motivation.

I always dig deeper to determine the motivation. Are they mad about what you posted? Is the copyright lawsuit actually about you pointing out a mistake they made? Are they mad because they think your post is vindictive? Are they mad at you over how your use of their trademark ranks you in Google? Or are they made about what someone else wrote in your blog?

Once you determine the motivation, you are on your way to resolving the issue. As much as you want to win a lawsuit (and as much as I may need a new Jet-Ski), you do not want to win a lawsuit. You want to get out of a lawsuit as unscathed as possible. A Blawgsuit will definitely increase your Google ranking and page hits, but at a cost of $100,000 or more, there are cheaper ways to increase your exposure.

When it comes to Blawgsuits, the only way to win is not to play . . . unless of course you are a lawyer ;)

Brett Trout

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