Southern California's Premier 
Defamation Attorneys

(714) 954-0700

Defamation of Character On and Off the Internet

The Internet has afforded the world a previously unimagined source of information and freedom of expression. But with this new media came the ability for anyone to attack others with instant global distribution. Before the Internet, a person's efforts to defame another were limited to their own circle of family, friends and acquaintances. Now, at little or no cost, anyone can go onto the Internet and publish their defamatory comments (libel is the printed form of defamation, slander is spoken). Businesses, organizations and individuals suffer attacks on their reputation and good will, often from anonymous posters, or those claiming to be someone they are not.

Aaron Morris,
a partner with Morris & Stone, located in Tustin, California, is known world-wide as an expert in fighting defamation, both on and off the Internet. He is the current President of the California Defamation Lawyers Association and is the author of California SLAPP Law.  Most of his cases are in Orange County, Los Angeles County and San Diego County, but he has represented clients from such far flung locales as Guernsey, India and China. He provides exceptional legal representation to businesses and individuals on matters related to defamation (libel and slander), trade libel, and false light invasion of privacy. Similarly, when someone is falsely accused of defamation, he fights for their right of free speech.  He is often retained as an expert to offer his opinion on the reasonableness of attorney fee applications following successful anti-SLAPP motions.

Nothing is more valuable than your reputation. You should never allow a defamatory statement to go unchallenged. Silence is perceived as acceptance. If you do nothing about what is being said about you, it will be perceived as true. The goal in a defamation action can be to recover damages, but often that is not the primary goal. The priceless value of a defamation action is to gain back your reputation.

Stopping the defamation and restoring your good name takes a skilled approach. The technique utilized usually depends on what is motivating the person making the defamatory statements. If the person has no valid grudge against you, then a cease and desist letter from Morris & Stone will probably stop the behavior and get the statements removed from the Internet. On the other hand, if the person is acting out of spite toward you, it may be necessary to file and serve a civil complaint. We find that just filing and serving the complaint for defamation is often sufficient to stop the defamation. Faced with having to defend a legal action, and knowing they cannot back up the false statements they have made, the defendant will want to settle the matter. If that is still insufficient, we are ready to take the defendant to court to obtain both money damages and an order from the court to cease the defamation.

Finding Anonymous Message Posters

Often our clients will not know who is posting the anonymous messages (although most of the time they have a strong suspicion). Aaron Morris and Morris & Stone know how to find out that information. We can file the complaint even before knowing the name of the defendant, and then use the court's subpoena powers to get the information we need. The Statute of Limitation for defamation is just one year, so it is important to file the complaint before the deadline, even if the identity of the perpetrator is still unknown.

   Respected by the Legal Community

"Perhaps it is my age or 40+ years of experience in the law, but it is compelling to comment that the performances of both counsel in this case, in terms of dedication to the law, to their clients, and to their scholarship make me proud to again call myself a 'Lawyer.'"

-- Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert J. Polis (Ret.), commenting on the performance of counsel from Morris & Stone.

"Aaron Morris is one hell of a good attorney."

-- J.Catmull (Counsel for Bank of America, after losing to Aaron Morris in Los Angeles Superior Court)

Our Commitment

At Morris & Stone, we treat our clients with courtesy and integrity. We guarantee realistic, honest legal advice to allow you to decide on an informed course of action.  Our attorneys have years of experience and notable results.

Our consistent track record of uncompromising ethics instills confidence and trust.  We use cutting edge technologies to maximize your results at the highest efficiency. This allows us to respond quickly, and give you the most relevant information and perspective.