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Battling Corporate Internet Trolls: Going After Impostors and Competitors That Break the Law

Filing Defamation Claims and Pseudonymous Lawsuits

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide general counsel and in-house attorneys with strategies for addressing internet defamation and online reputation attacks against their clients. The panel will examine the various factors counsel must consider when responding to online attacks; effective tactics to identify anonymous posters and file pseudonymous lawsuits; strategies for stopping attacks and/or removing damaging content; addressing impostor competitors; and other legal and business considerations, including unique methods for proving damages for defamation.


When trolls attack the integrity of a business, potentially destroying the company's reputation, companies and counsel need to weigh the cost of proceeding with a potential defamation or libel action against a troll with the likelihood of success. This requires a business and legal approach to issues that distinguish trolls from dissatisfied customers. Due to the ubiquity of anonymous posters, corporate counsel must be prepared and experienced in filing pseudonymous lawsuits.

While mimicry may be the sincerest form of flattery, in the online world, the concern of imposter and copycat postings for companies increases. It can be difficult to determine the province of these competitors, and the legal claims of proceeding against them for infringement take skill in both discovery and filing the proper lawsuit.

Listen as our expert panel of attorneys and consultants provides advice on how to navigate the social media platforms to protect the client's company and how and when to make the decision to go on the offensive against individuals seeking to destroy a company's reputation and economic livelihood.



  1. Review of social media policies
  2. Trolls vs. dissatisfied customers
  3. Defamation and libel
    1. Filing pseudonymous lawsuits
    2. State options for online claims
  4. Imposter competitors
  5. Best business practices for protecting online reputations


The panel will review these and other issues:

  • How to distinguish a troll from a dissatisfied customer
  • What are the elements necessary for a libel or defamation claim?
  • How does a company determine a defamation claim is warranted balancing cost/likelihood of success?
  • How does a company file a pseudonymous lawsuit against an anonymous poster?
  • What unique concerns are posed by anti-SLAPP law?
  • How does a company file a pseudonymous lawsuit against an anonymous poster?
  • What steps should a company take when an online imposter is discovered?


Agnes, Melissa
Melissa Agnes

Founder & CEO
Crisis Ready Institute

Ms. Agnes developed an international reputation for crisis management, planning and training by helping large global...  |  Read More

Baughman, Krista
Krista L. Baughman

Dhillon Law Group

Ms. Baughman litigates the First Amendment, defamation, and anti-SLAPP issues in California and around the country. She...  |  Read More

Syverson, Erik
Erik S. Syverson

Founding Partner
The Syverson Law Firm

Mr. Syverson is a leading IP litigation and defamation lawyer specializing in Internet and data breach issues. He...  |  Read More

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