Apparent Gripe Web site Isn’t “False Personation” – #historical past #conspiracy
After a lawyer and two former purchasers had a dispute regarding the nonpayment of lawyer charges, the purchasers allegedly created an internet site that included disparaging statements in regards to the lawyer. The lawyer and his legislation agency sued each purchasers for defamation, interference with potential enterprise benefit, false personation, and declaratory aid.
The courtroom allowed a part of the defamation and declaratory aid claims to go ahead, however not the interference declare (which I will not focus on right here additional) or the false personation declare:
Plaintiffs’ third reason behind motion is for false personation in violation of Penal Code part 528.5. That provision authorizes a civil motion in opposition to “any one who knowingly and with out consent credibly impersonates one other precise particular person by or on an Web Web page or by different digital means for functions of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding one other particular person ….” It provides that “an impersonation is credible if one other particular person would fairly imagine, or did fairly imagine, that the defendant was or is the one that was impersonated.” Thus, to prevail on their third reason behind motion, Plaintiffs needed to make a prima facie exhibiting that Dr. Nabili credibly impersonated Plummer by markplummerattorney.com for the needs of harming him, and that one other particular person would fairly imagine, or did imagine, that Plummer created the web site.
Plaintiffs have made no such exhibiting. On the contrary, the content material of the web site excerpts helps the conclusion that Plaintiffs wouldn’t have created or endorsed the positioning. The excerpts declare “Plummer Commonly Sues His Personal Shoppers” and “loses” instances. The knowledge on the positioning appears to be virtually completely destructive relating to Plaintiffs. Furthermore, the web site by no means references Plummer or his associates within the first particular person.
Plummer however claims different attorneys believed he created the web site, averring in his declaration that he has had “to clarify to different attorneys, each antagonistic and non-adverse, that markplummerattorney.com is just not [his] web site.” He offers no particulars relating to these communications, nonetheless, and the choose e-mails hooked up as reveals to Plummer’s declaration bely that declare. For instance, the e-mail hooked up as exhibit 1 to his declaration is an e-mail from Plummer’s opposing counsel to his cocounsel that states: “Talking of [Plummer], we got here throughout this web site right this moment by likelihood: https://ww.markplummerattorney.com/. We don’t know who created the positioning, however it does give a revealing glimpse of who you’ve got paired up with on this dispute.” (Italics added.)
Plummer’s declaration claims that his opposing counsel in one other case thought the statements on the web site had been true and believed markplummerattorney.com was Plummer’s web site; Plummer supported that declare by attaching the e-mail from counsel as exhibit 16. In reviewing exhibit 16, nonetheless, counsel’s e-mail doesn’t reference markplummerattorney.com, a lot much less counsel he believed Plummer created that web site.
We conclude no affordable particular person would imagine Plummer created an internet site describing himself as vexatious, incompetent, or dishonest. Plaintiffs failed to ascertain that some other particular person truly believed Plummer created that web site. Accordingly, the reason for motion for false personation have to be stricken as to Dr. Nabili.