Pompano Beach, FL asked in Business Law and Contracts for Florida

Q: Can a business put on the fine print of their contract that clients can never post negative reviews online?

And if they do post a negative review can the business sue that client?

Related Topics:
3 Lawyer Answers
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
Answered
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You can put just about anything you want in a contract that is not illegal activity, though there are some clauses that a court may deem to be unenforceable in court for various reasons. The clause you mention is probably enforceable, at least for a reasonable period of time. (A court might not enforce the word "never".) When you sign any contract, you are responsible for reading and understanding everything in it, including all fine print. Many parties to contracts make the mistake of not bothering to read everything, leading to legal problems and disputes. Some types of contract, by law, must have certain text of a certain sized (for example, certain loan agreements), but there probably isn't a statute requiring the clause you mention to be larger than fine print. If it is enforceable, then yes, the business can sue a breaching party. How much money the business would be able to seek in damages is a whole other story; that would partially depend on whether the contract includes a "liquidated damages" clause.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Linda Liang
Linda Liang
Answered

A: If you sue, it'd be defamation.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Ellen Pilelsky
Ellen Pilelsky
Answered
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: While a business may place its policy in fine print, the question is if that policy is enforceable. One must review the entire contract, and make sure that (s)he acknowledges and accepts its content. On a practical level, it would not make sense for a business to contemplate suing a client for a negative review--the reputational damage may far exceed the client's review.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.