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Lawyer threatening with a lawsuit for an online review

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Hello Experts! I have an unusual situation and seeking your help.

I went to a lawyer to get some information about immigration. The lawyer was not able to answer any of my questions and was saying that he is not sure about things. Not a single question he answered with certainty. One of the questions was how long till I can apply got Niederlassungserlaubnis. He said it was 3 years. So I went to the immigration office to apply and sure enough, they said it's 5 years. So I wrote him a polite email asking if I could get my 100 EUR refund since the information he provided was incorrect or he was not sure about it and therefore he gave me no answer at all. He replied that he can't pay for my interpretation of his answers. I replied back that I would like the refund since the information was not useful to me. He replied with a rude email saying he won't give me the money. I said that I am posting a review online. His response was this email in German that if I don't remove it within 15 minutes (he gave me a deadline!) he will start a legal proceedings against me. My review is still online. It has no name calling, no insults, just says what happened and to avoid going to his office, and of course 1 star.

So, what should I do? I don't want to remove my review as I believe it is my right to do so legally. But I don't know what the legality of such review is. Can he sue me or is he only trying to scare me? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Without knowing the content of the review no one can advise you. Bad reviews are permissible but if the review is calumnious the lawyer can seek damages from you. If it is factual it should be fine.

 

Disclaimer: This isn't legal advice.

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20 minutes ago, dc2009 said:

just says what happened

That's fine.

 

20 minutes ago, dc2009 said:

and to avoid going to his office

That's not. I'm not a lawyer, but I think that part could be considered Geschäftsschädigend.

If you had said "I won't be back", that would be something else, but I believe encouraging others to avoid him is a no-no.

 

You might want to take out that part soonest.

 

Please note, however, that this does not constitute proper legal advice. It's merely my layman's opinion.

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13 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

You might want to take out that part soonest.

I removed this. You are right, this was not good. I replaced with "I won't be back there"

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5 minutes ago, Petro6golf said:

Why dont you remove the review to his liking and then post an anonymous one?

I removed it. I decided that I don't need this unnecessary stress for nothing.  Life is too short to spend it trying to prove myself to people who don't care about it anyway. But I think it would be good to continue this thread for the sake of others who have similar experiences/questions. 

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It is so easy to post a review, and feels good to vent to the world!

However, the wording has to be clearly thought out to avoid legal action! Also, proof( emails, texts etc) at hand if you are

challenged.

 

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 Why did you pay a lawyer to solve a problem that did not exist? In some cases (like mine, for instance) you can get a Niederlassungserlaubnis in 3 years. You went to the Amt and they said in your case it would be 5 years. He had told you what could have been possible. You interpreted his answer as an absolute.

Lawyers exist for a few reasons: to get you out of a criminal charge, file a criminal/civil suit or to avoid same. 

I'm not saying he was right or wrong, but he's not working for free and since you didn't have an actual problem he still billed you for his time. 

If you don't actually need a lawyer, don't hire one. They are expensive.

 

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No, he didn't tell me for sure what was possible. His answers were all like "maybe", "it could be", "not sure, but..." and so on. He was saying that he was almost sure that my case could be 3 years but he would check in the the next visit. And review I posted is not about what I found out from the Amt but how he handled the consultation.

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Yeah, I guess he could have told you right off the bat to not waste his time and take a hike over to the Amt, but then you would have paid €100 for nothing at all. Live and learn. Lawyers like to make money - who knew?

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I am in a very similar situation now, and would have liked to know how that ended. A lawyer provided me with a draft document, which my tax adviser said would lead to fines from financial office if used. I contacted the lawyer for clarification, but she never responded. She, however, filed a lawsuit right away demanding that I pay her fee of 600 EUR. I called her and emailed her many times, just saying that I will pay right away as she explains to me how much of this document is actually under her jurisdiction. But she just proceeded with a lawsuit.

 

So I left her a negative review. So now she added a defamation clause to the lawsuit and demanding 5000 EUR in damages. She also proposed a settlement, where I pay her original 600, and remove the negative review, and never ever post again about her, under my name or no name, on german of foreign website. 

 

I wonder how much of her thread is legit. She specifically seems to mention the phrase "the document she prepared could not be used legally" - particularly the word "legally", as she is a certified lawyer and therefore this is a false statement.  

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Reviews in Germany are tricky, you have to write facts.  The problem is people normally write opinions as facts.  For example you can't write:  "Their customer service is bad".   But you can write:   "I didn't feel their customer service was good enough".   If you write generic things as facts you will have to prove them.   People make the mistake of letting their feelings write for them.

 

So if you wrote something you can't back up then she has a case.

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I have no advice for the OP, but would like to recount my story about a review.

 

I posted anonymously on jameda. The receptionist of the company that I had complained about remembered the call I had made, where she was incompetent and rude. I had described the incident with a recount of the facts of what happened, in a sober and factual manner.

 

The owner of the company contacted jameda. I was shown the company's objection in writing, and asked to put my own counter-objection in writing. The company actually admitted that the receptionist "needed some more training", i.e. she is not competent.

 

Jameda then pulled the review because there was a risk of a lawsuit. If threatening with a lawsuit is all it takes to get a negative review pulled, review sites are not to be trusted.

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Hi,

well, I have learnt that people in Germany have sort of fetich for lawsuit. Also learnt that they never do it, at teast normal people, maybe in this case a lawyer has the time to go for it.

Everybody tends to be so scared about "legal letters".

Time ago I have received a letter about downloading some movie and asking me to pay 450 euro of something horrible will happen.

My friends and co workers we are advising me to get legal advise and pay for it.

I just put the letter in the bin and never paid.

Nothing happened, at all.

 

Good luck!

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