Q: Can I contact people walking into a business to inform them about the business’ practices? Protest without defaming.
I want to protest a business and just want to make sure I can inform the potential clients about the business’ practices.
I just want to make sure I don’t commit decimation or libel.
Will they be able to pursue me for either if what I am telling people is based in fact?
You need to be very careful doing this. Just because your feel the statements you are making are true does not mean you cannot get sued.
In the US we have freedom of speech. That being said, that freedom is limited to an extent. If you publish false statements damaging the business's reputation, you could be liable for defamation. But the key is that the statements need to be false.
While the duty to prove defamation would be on the business bringing the suit, you need to be able to defend your position. Regardless, you may be subjected to costly litigation and still lose your case. It comes down to what a jury or judge would believe in the situation.
I would reach out to an attorney to talk about the situation prior to arranging any protests.
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