- Lawyer Says News Article Defamed Her by Grossly Overstating Her Ad Litem Fee in Divorce Case
Lawyer Says News Article Defamed Her by Grossly Overstating Her Ad Litem Fee in Divorce Case
Posted Aug 3, 2012 12:49 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
A Missouri lawyer filed a defamation suit (PDF posted by Courthouse News) on Thursday in state court contending that she has suffered professional harm because of a legal news article that grossly overstated the fee she charged to serve as guardian ad litem in a divorce case.
Missouri Lawyer's Weekly and Lisa E. Payne-Naeger are named as defendants in the St. Louis City Circuit Court suit, which seeks more than $500,000 in compensatory damages and additional punitive damages. The plaintiff, Benicia Baker-Livorsi, says she will never be able to live down the false claim that she charged an "absurd and obscene" $80,000 fee (her actual fee, she says, was a little over $10,000 for a matter that lasted more than a year), because the false information in the legal article was picked up by a "website devoted to bashing lawyers" and has not been removed or corrected.
Despite a correction by Missouri Lawyer's Weekly, the damage continues, Baker-Livorsi says in her suit: "Now, and forevermore, because of the marvelous invention of 'Google,' the search terms 'Benicia Baker-Livorsi' and 'guardian ad litems' and 'Missouri', will bring a viewer to see, in order, front and center, the articles about Benicia Baker-Livorsi under the titles 'Judicial Corruption' and 'What Really Motivates Lawyers in Missouri's GAL System? Money!'"
Hat tip: Courthouse News.
Last updated 2 p.m. Sunday to correct inconsistent spelling of the plaintiff's name.