Opinion: Online Reviews Can Lead to Lawsuits

Libel cases over online comments are on the rise, as judges struggle with balancing freedom of speech with the devastating professional consequences of reckless or unsubstantiated reviews. In an opinion piece for TriCities, president and executive director of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University Ken Paulson says that courts have largely found that the First Amendment protects comments that are strictly opinion or hyperbole. Reckless or unsupported statements of fact, such as stating a lawyer is unlicensed or negligent, can lead to liability however.