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Law firm files lawsuit over anonymous online trashing

By Kathryn Higgins

17 May 2016 at 09:30 BST

A California trial attorney and his law firm have filed a defamation lawsuit against 25 'John Doe' commenters who gave the firm scathing reviews online, including one commenter who likened working at the firm to 'psychological torture.'


Trial attorney Phillip Layfield and his firm Layfield & Barrett have filed a defamation claim against 25 anonymous commenters who vented their spleen against the employer on online job and recruitment portal Glassdoor.com. Among the stream of vitriolic comments about Mr Layfield, his current firm and former practice Layfield & Wallace – all of which ostensibly come from present or former Layfield employees – is one that describes working for Mr Layfield as ‘pure misery’ and ‘unreasonably cruel’, while multiple others simply warn other job seekers to ‘beware’ or ‘stay away’.

Glassdoor.com subpoenaed

In addition to the defamation lawsuit, Mr Layfield and his firm have served a subpoena to Glassdoor.com which seeks further details about the authors behind 12 of the comments left on its website, the full list of which can be read at Above the Law. In a comment to the industry blog, Mr Layfield himself pushed back against the ‘blatantly false’ criticisms of the firm left on the Glassdoor platform: ‘When people are lazy or incompetent, they usually quit because the writing is on the wall or they are terminated. Unfortunately, most of those people are unwilling to recognize their shortcomings and turn to anonymous blogs to spit their venom,’ he said, adding that the firm would ‘obtain the identities of these cowards and bring them to justice.’ 

Source: Above the Law


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