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Blake v. Giustibelli District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D122, 182 S0.30 881 (2016). In the Language of the Court CIKLIN, C.). (Chief Judge] …. [Ann-Marie] Giustibelli represented Copia Blake in a dissolution of marriage proceeding brought against Peter Birzon. After a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship between Glustibelli and her client Blake, and oddly, Birzon as well , took to the Internet to post defamatory reviews of Giustibelli. In response, Glustibolli brought sult (In a Florida state court against Blake and Birzon], pleading a count for libel. Blake’s and Birzon’s posted Internet reviews contained the following statements: Go to PB WE AA This lawyer represented me in my divorce. She was combative and explosive and took my divorce to a level of anger which caused major suffering of my minor children. She insisted I was an emotionally abused wife who couldn’t make rational decisions which caused my case to drag on in the system for a year and a half so her FEES would continue to multiplyll she misrepresented her fees with regards to the contract initially signed. The contract she submitted to the courts for her fees were 4 times her original quote and pages of the original had been exchanged to support her claims only the signature page was the same. Shame on me that I did not have an original copy. but like an idiot*** I trusted my lawyer. Don’t mistake sincerity for honesty because I assure you that in this attorney’s case, they are NOT the same thing. She absolutely perpetuates the horrible image of attorneys who are only out for the money and themselves. Although I know this isn’t the case and there are some very good honest lawyers out there, Mrs. Glustibelli is simply not one of the good ones.” Horrible horrible experience. Use anyone else, it would have to be a better result. No integrity. Will say one thing and do another. Her fees outweigh the truth. Altered her charges to 4 times the original quote with no explanation. Do not use her. Don’t mistake sincerity for honesty. In her case, they’re not at all the same. Will literally lie to your face if it means more money for her. Get someone else Anyone else would do a superior effort for you. … 1 accepted an initial VERY fair offer from my ex. Mrs. Giustibelli convinced me to “crush” him and that I could have permanent etc. Spent over a year (and 4 times her original estimate) to arrive at the same place we started at Caused unnecessary chaos and fear with my kids, convinced me that my ex cheated (which he didn’t), that he was hiding money (which he wasn’t), and was mad at ME when I realized her fee circus had gone on long enough and finally said “stop” Altered her fee structures, actually replaced original documents with others to support her charges and generally gave the kind of poor service you only hear about. I’m not a disgruntled ex wife. I’m just the foolish person who believes that a person’s word should be backed by integrity. Not even remotely true in this case. I’ve had 2 prior attorneys and never ever have I seen ego and monies be so blatantly out of control Go to pe Both Blake and Birzon admitted to posting the reviews on various Internet sites. The evidence showed that Blake had agreed to pay her attorney the amount reflected on the written retainer agreement-$300 an hour Blake and Birzon both admitted at trial that Giustibolli had not charged Blake four times more than what was quoted in the agreement. The court entored judgment in favor of Giustibelli and awarded punitive damages of $350,000. On appeal, Blake and Birzon argue that thelr Internet reviews constituted statements of opinion and thus were protected by the First Amendment and not actionable as dofamation. We disagree. An action for tibel will le for a false and unprivileged publication by letter, or otherwise, which exposes a person to distrust, hatred, contempt, ridicule or obloquy (censure or disgrace) or which causes such person to be avoided, or which has a tendency to injure such person in their office, occupation, business or employment. [Emphasis added.] Here, all the reviews contained allegations that Glustibelli lied to Blake regarding the attorney’s fee. Two of the reviews contained the allegation that Glustibelli falsified a contract. These are factual allegations, and the evidence showed they were false 4. Read court case 6.1 on pages 115-116 (Blake v. Giustibelli). Discuss the four elements needed to prove defamation (CH 6), and discuss why the court ruled in favor of Giustibelli and found the defendants made false statements of fact.