Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted Sep 10, 2013 07:20 pm CDT
A San Diego bankruptcy law firm accused of using employees to post fake reviews on Yelp.com is being sued by the review site, which claims the alleged actions violated its terms of service contract.
The San Diego Superior Court action charges breach of contract, intentional interference with contractual relations, unfair competition and false advertising, Techdirt reports, rather than Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violations.
According to Yelp, over a few months, McMillan Law Group employees created accounts on the site, and immediately posted positive reviews of the firm. Some presented untrue statements, the article states, like saying they were clients of the firm when they weren’t. Yelp knows that, according to the article, because it checked bankruptcy filings for the individuals’ names.
Also, according to Techdirt many of the reviews were created from McMillan’s IP address. Some of the reviews in question use the exact same phrasing, including typos.
This is not the first time Yelp and the McMillan Group have faced off in court. In May, the law firm successfully sued Yelp in San Diego County’s small claims court, alleging that businesses are threatened with lower site visibility if they don’t buy site advertising.
Yelp was ordered to pay the firm $2,700. That order was later overturned, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
Updated Sept. 11 to note additional information from Bloomberg Businessweek.