B.C. lawyer awarded $1 in suit against client who called her the 'worstest
lawyer' in an online review
'it's incredibly disappointing and I don't think that's the
direction that defamation law should go in this country'
June 16, 2018
"I spent nearly $2,000 for kyla lee to lose a case for me that
they seemed they didn't put any effort into. Anywhere else would be moore
helpful. worstest lawyer. would not recommend," the one-star review says.
VANCOUVER — A British Columbia lawyer has been awarded $1 in
damages after suing a former client for posting a negative review online,
raising questions about the balance between free expression and defamation.
Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee and her firm, Acumen Law Corp., claimed
at trial that a Google Plus review calling her the “worstest lawyer” led to a
decline in client calls.
“I spent nearly $2,000 for kyla lee to lose a case for me that
they seemed they didn’t put any effort into. Anywhere else would be moore
helpful. worstest lawyer. would not recommend,” the one-star review says.
The reviewer, Hoan Nguyen, did not respond to the civil claim nor
did he appear at the B.C. Supreme Court trial, which meant the plaintiffs would
be awarded damages by default.
Justice Catherine Murray says in her decision released online
this week that businesses with Google Plus profiles and the like are inviting
comments from customers and that “surely” no one can expect to receive all
" Essentially this judgment empowers people, any person who has
any grievance for whatever reason, to say whatever they want online about
The judge says she’s not satisfied that a reasonably thoughtful,
well-informed person would accept the post as being accurate, since it was
written in poor English by a disgruntled client in the heat of the moment.
“When choosing a lawyer or other professional or service
provider, prospective customers reading such reviews would be naive to think
that anyone or any business would receive all positive reports. As the adage
goes, you can’t please everyone all the time,” the decision says.
Lee and Acumen did not offer evidence to demonstrate the extent
of the decline in business or explain how the estimated lost revenue was
calculated, she said.
Although Lee and Acumen filed for $15,000 in damages for lost
opportunity, Murray awarded them only $1 in damages to “demonstrate disapproval
of the plaintiffs’ actions.”
“In my view, this action should never have been bought,” the
judge says in the ruling.
leave the door wide open for those types of abuses, it's incredibly
disappointing and I don't think that's the direction that defamation law should
go in this country"
In an interview Friday, Lee said she still considers the review
to be defamatory, because it suggests she would just take money without
assisting clients in their cases.
She agrees with the premise that nobody can expect clients to be
happy with everything all the time, but said this review crossed that line.
“Essentially this judgment empowers people, any person who has
any grievance for whatever reason, to say whatever they want online about
Lee also disputed the judge’s assumption that the post was made
in the heat of the moment, saying the client made several “angry” attempts to
compel and threaten her to reimburse him for the work she did, before posting
the review about four weeks after he lost his case.
Nguyen couldn’t be reached for comment.
Since the story has been published, Lee said she has received
violent online backlash, including derogatory name calling and scathing reviews
from people who have never been clients.
spent nearly $2,000 for kyla lee to lose a case for me that they seemed they
didn't put any effort into. Anywhere else would be moore helpful. worstest
lawyer. would not recommend"
She said hers is among many stories about restaurants,
health-care workers and others who have suffered because of unfair online
“To leave the door wide open for those types of abuses, it’s
incredibly disappointing and I don’t think that’s the direction that defamation
law should go in this country,” she said.
Steven Kates, associate professor of marketing at Simon Fraser
University’s Beedie School of Business, says online reviews can have a
significant impact on consumer decisions.
“They’re a form of word-of-mouth communications. And
word-of-mouth in general, whether its online or face-to-face or by phone or
whatever, is viewed as more trustworthy than advertising,” he said.
In some ways, it’s irrational to put so much trust in one
person’s opinion. But when there are hundreds or thousands of reviews, it can
give a consumer an idea of how much they might enjoy a service, assuming their
taste align with the majority, he said.
One bad review can have a disproportionate effect on consumers’
opinions, he said.
“People have what we call high attention to negative information.
And that one instance of negative information over a website, if it’s viewed as
trustworthy, could be enough to keep people away, even if the other 35 or 36
could be glowing,” he said.
Senior digital marketing strategist Wahiba Chair, who is also an
instructor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business,
said this isn’t the first time an online review has led to a court case.
In March, the B.C. Supreme Court ordered a bride to pay more than
$100,000 to a wedding photographer for unleashing an online torrent of
defamatory comments that eventually destroyed the business.
“Consumers definitely know they have a bit of freedom in that
space and if they’re not happy with the service they know they have an outlet,
but there’s definitely a delicate balance,” she said.
She recommended consumers take a moment to cool down before
posting negative reviews, and if they do so, to focus on the facts.
Chair said businesses are wise to address negative reviews
immediately and bring the dispute off line, before it escalates.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Well you have got to give it to the writer for suggesting that
people "cool down" before writing negative reviews and to focus on well, "the
The facts are.... how often have we read that?
Well the facts are Canada is a corrupt country devoid of
the rule of law if you are a male.
Its also next to devoid of the rule of law if you are "self
Canada's courts treat fathers as sub-human devoid of legal
Its riddled with judges who are appointed because they are
sycophants willing to do what ever extreme feminists demand.
In Criminal law, a she said will get your convicted and in jail
in a flash.
For example a she said might include "maybe he did it" and in
that's good enough for a criminal conviction, 18 months in jail
and 3 years probation
all without any proof as any reasonable person would deem it.
Why has our system become so corrupt?
We can thank our politicians who appoint, their sycophantic
judicial selectors who select, the sycophants of the legal
Worst of all, they generally, but not always, select, the least
who are the most notorious of the legal profession for
obstructing justice and most importantly, a demonstrated hatred
Its that later quality that you will find in recent appointed
Tracey Engleking a former lawyer for Ottawa's largest criminal
the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa who has a long history of
personally fabricate evidence, demonstrate a pathological hatred
which, gets them rewarded
with a Judicial appointment.
by lawyers who have the general societal bias against fathers and
then Judges who
generally don't get to be judges unless they have a demonstrated
track record of
hatred towards men and or an ability to fabricate evidence
If you are
self rep male litigant, get ready for the lawyer on the other side to pit their
credibility against yours, and you will loose most of the time.
Get ready for the lawyer
and the judge to jointly fabricate evidence in such a way that
their vision of reality
has no connection with the facts which are all generally a
forgone conclusion based
Oh Canada, what a corrupt country.