Sunday, January 31, 2021

Not Leaving Well Enough Alone

Part of the problem here is that Dominion's claims against various parties is the exception that proves the rule. Dominion can show actual damages from the lies spread by the parties it has sent demand letters to; which is why so many of them retracted their statements ASAP, in hopes of appeasing Dominion (and probably will. Civil suits are expensive and collection is never guaranteed and always comes years later and what's the point of trying to collect damages for the bankruptcy trustee?). Those damages accrue from loss of sales and may even include claims of tortious interference with business (a separate tort from libel).

LP is clearly going for libel per se, here.  Allegations of a criminal act can be libelous without showing actual damages, but that doesn't mean damages are thereby set at an astronomical sum.  It just means you don't have to clear that hurdle to show your libel suit is meritorious.  This is where the court could just award $1.00 in damages, and call its job done.

So the letter here is really just a chest-pounding measure that let's the client think "My lawyer's got a bigger dick than your lawyer!"  Which is fine, I suppose; lawyers do that a lot, just to bluster on behalf of a client and make them feel better, or at least justified in their anger (so much of civil litigation is about anger, and seldom anything more).

Me, I'd have counseled LP to just leave it alone.  But LP has a reputation to defend, in a way; so a blustering letter is better than silence.  And silence is better than a blustering letter without a threat.  Now, if they follow up, it's a complete waste of time and the only winner is going to be the lawyers; on both sides.

Which is more often than not true in suits of this kind, anyway.  Nobody takes on a libel suit on a contingency basis.  

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