You’ll have to compensate your ex-lawyer for writing it on social media

She was mad at her lawyer because of how the process of declaring his mother’s heirs went. So, instead of going to report her to the Bar, she decided write it on facebook. The problem is that the angry woman and her lawyer lived in Carlos Paz, province of Córdoba, and the whole town ended up finding out instantly. Many people have even chosen to get rid of their services. The lawyer ended up not leaving her house. But he chose to go to court and ended up suing her criminally and civilly. The criminal case was dismissed. But he won the battle in the other file: his former client. should compensate her and, in addition, going back to the same social networks in which he defamed her.

The decision was made by the 9th Court of Civil and Commercial Appeal of the City of Cordoba, which in a decision warned: “Social media has become a powerful tool that can be used with very little limitation in terms of post content. and with an unimaginable exponential range of effects; We believe that this configuration, like a discussion forum, can become -without fear of exaggerating- a kind of Roman circus in which public harangue can be devastating for the accused”.

“It is a forum in which you can attack or debate, without a moderator and without the possibility of defense and less counter-proof of the facts (at least immediately), and in which any subsequent refutation would not erase the damage and the impact already generated. This should lead us to be particularly attentive and to appeal to fairness as a criterion for normalizing a situation that has become uncontrollable”, he specifies in the judgment to which he subscribes. Infobase.

The trial analyzed the request of the lawyer concerned, who confirmed a first instance decision which ordered a woman to pay 50,000 pesos in compensation (plus interest) to the lawyer who processed the declaration of his mother’s heirs, local justice spokespersons reported. The judgment also ordered the defendant delete the offensive message from the websites where it was posted. It is: in your Facebook profile and in a group of users of this social network. And, at the same time, it imposed the obligation to publish the device of the sorrow in the places where the message which caused the moral damage was shared.

But the defendant appealed: “The publication was a discharge for a situation experienced, without justification. This cannot be called insulting, since the intention was not to write but to tell a personal experience,” he argued. The woman also rejected the damages figure. “The loss of customers is not proven, following publication,” he argued. And he disqualified the psychological and moral damage that had been declared. This was defined in “an interview” which lacked scientific rigor and where “post-traumatic stress” was not confirmed.

"Many people believe that lack of presence takes responsibility for their actions and what they say.
“A lot of people think that the lack of presence takes away their responsibility for their actions and what they say”

But judges Jorge Eduardo Arrambide, Monica Puga and Veronica Martinezof the Court of Cordoba, maintained that the defendant had other ways to present their complaints against whoever his lawyer is: at the Bar or at the Ethics Court. But he never chose this path. He opted for the escrache on social networks.

As expressed by the maid Martínez (author of the first vote), in the virtualmany people believe that lack of presence “takes away responsibility for their actions and what they say”; while filing a complaint requires other requirements and an appearance at a place to make the presentation. The magistrate added that one way to avoid this type of conflict is to “plan a conscious and premeditated use of the social network, with sufficient consideration of the possible consequences that a publication may have in a situation of anger, agitation , in short, any emotion without a rational filter”.

The judgment explains that To define the non-pecuniary damage suffered by the professional, the court of first instance took into account, among other things, the number of comments on the publication on Facebook and its content. “Due to the number of wall posts and rejoinders, it appears that this mode of public protest took place – in preference to a complaint by the defendant against the plaintiff – which impacted others as a collective catharsis,” he said. explained the spokesperson. Martinez.

“It is right that the courts called upon to intervene in cases such as the present balance values ​​such as freedom of expression and the protection of honor which, in this case, given that the defendant had other means of filing a complaint, that through its ethical body – Ethics Tribunal -, it can judge these faults. And there was no reproach to be made in this regard. Therefore, in addition to being abusive, the release mechanism used was disproportionate, especially when there was an agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant, who, as a former sponsor and former client, fixed an amount of fees lower than that initially claimed for tasks in the declaration of the heirs of the defendant’s mother”.

In its judgment, the court called for “a conscious and premeditated use of the social network, with sufficient consideration of the possible consequences that a publication may have in a situation anger, agitation, in short any emotion without a rational filter”.

It is easy to let personal expressions and appreciations circulate virtually, because it is a fast and free medium – it only requires an Internet connection, which is not necessarily paying -, which can be distributed without too much effort and cost, and in which the subjects can be placed behind the screen, believing that this lack of presence disempowers them for their actions and what they say -he warned-. While filing a complaint requires other requirements and even an appearance at a place to make the presentation. But all this does not mean ignoring that the exercise of freedom of expression is not unlimited and absolute, depending on its combination with other rights such as honor. In turn, as well substantiated as it is, a complaint such as that filed on Facebook by the defendant should have assumed the consequences that this could have on the right to honor of the plaintiff; configured the damage, it will be necessary to respond, as is the case in this case”.

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