In recognition of Judge Troy Nunley’s yesterday’s ruling, Prehired, LLC v. Provins (E.D. Cal.):
Plaintiff’s business involves mentoring employees and training them on how to get better jobs at higher wages. Plaintiff market its services on the internet and through social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Plaintiff charges fees for services, however clients are not charged before they get a job or finish the program.
Plaintiff and Defendant had signed a membership contract on or about October 14, 2020. Defendant completed the membership program without any incident or complaint. Plaintiff and Defendant then entered into negotiations to help Plaintiff market its business and train its clients. [A deal was made but was later terminated. -EV]
According to Plaintiff, after the parties ended the MTT Partner Service Agreement, Defendant initiated a “campaign to damage the … business and to benefit his own business.” [Details below. -EV] … Plaintiff alleges that in the short period following Defendant’s statements, multiple clients and potential clients have cancelled sales calls and meetings, cancelled executed contracts, and decided to not complete pending contracts with Plaintiff. Plaintiff asserts that potential clients as well as clients of Defendant have specifically cited Plaintiff’s statements in order to cancel their business.
As a result of Defendant’s statements Plaintiff alleges it has lost a contract worth $20,000 and contractual partners whose work resulted in substantial revenue—including a partner who was expected to provide $2 million in revenue to Plaintiff.
Prehired filed a trade libel suit (as well as for intentional interference business relations, but that is aside now) and requested that “the Court enjoin Defendant” from publishing false or defamatory statements and still competing with Plaintiff. According to the court, no.
Plaintiff asks the Court to order Defendant not to make any further trade libel statements, to delete “improper posts” on social media and to cease communicating with Plaintiff’s clients. These are the classic prior restraints, which seek to restrict Defendant’s speech. Plaintiff failed to meet strict standards for such prior restraint.
Plaintiff calls Defendant’s statements “defamatory”, however Plaintiff maintains that they are not opinions and part of a scheme for unfair trade advantage. These statements Plaintiff claims constitute trade libel
- “… but [Prehired]They are often left in debt, unemployed and unable break $30,000 of debt contracts.
- Joshua Jordan, PreHired founder Actively suing 290 graduate students, many of whom are without jobs or earning a fraction what they promised. This is because their inability to or unwillingness forfeit 12.5% of their wage for a prerecorded series of video and predatory mentorship from people with very little sales experience.
- This is not just false advertising. It’s systematic abuse of new SDRs …”
- PreHired does not offer a way to be successful, it only offers a route to achieve success in spite of the obstacles. Now is the time for us to rise up. LinkedIn SaaS has been quick to defend SDRs that are being mistreated, abused and manipulated. PreHired provides an example at an institutional level.
- “I will share my personal experiences in the comments about the gaslighting and false advertising, as well as the ethical questions I observed.
- “Their six-week bootcamp took me 78 business days to complete. I was then able to move on to my career search, which proved to be an absolute joke.”
- The students were then required to submit more than 20 applications per week, and sent emails that were ineffective.
- PreHired Management was notified that I had interviewed almost three months, and experienced an extraordinary amount of ableism. When I told them that I’d just talked to a Director for Sales, they suggested that you don’t tell the VP about your disability. All they could say was “bad luck and keep interviewing.”
- They are trying to destroy nearly 300 lives through their greed, and Prehired staff has the power stop them.”
- PreHired fights back to help victims of fraud
These posts do not appear. Completely opinion. This mix of subjective opinions can lead to false and unprovable assertions of facts. If a statement or opinion suggests knowledge that could lead to defamatory conclusions, then the facts implied must be true.
Online posts that contain “exaggerated language and generalities” will be removed [and still shows]All indicias of opinion” Defendant does not have to prove Each The truth is in the mouth.
According to Defendant, he believes he is able prove facts as they were based on personal knowledge. A declaration is submitted by defendant to the Court affirming that several factual statements posted to social networks sites are true. Plaintiff submits—assumedly to disprove the truth of the statements—a declaration and screenshots with statements made by Defendant on LinkedIn, none of which appear to disprove the statements outlined above. (Check out ECF No. 23-1, 13). (For instance: My current recommendation is that you transfer payments to an account you do not use to avoid them charging you. Don’t communicate with PreHired; “My goal to get as close that 290 mark in contract releases”: “I’ve read Forbes and international reviews. We’re going to destroy them.” “We have official backing by a legit bootcamp. “Enough bad press and they will lose all their hiring partners. More staff will quit and there won’t be any way for them to return.” The Plaintiff submits a tweet from Defendant stating that he was promoted and could not have gotten to this point without it. [Plaintiff].” Again, the statement above does not prove false. Likewise, Defendant’s job offer from July 20-21 does not prove that any statements are false.
A temporary restraining Order is an exceptional remedy. Plaintiff must prove the suitability of the remedy. According to the Court, it is difficult for Plaintiff to show that the defendant’s statements are false. Plaintiff has not carried this burden and simply saying they are false is insufficient to warrant this extraordinary remedy….
In a trade libel case, California [also]Plaintiff has to prove actual malice. Plaintiff must do so with clear and convincing evidence. “Actual malice has consistently been considered subjective in nature. It can be proven only by proof that defendant realized that his statements were false, or subjectively held serious doubts about their truth.
Plaintiff argues that Plaintiff can’t prove actual malice by Defendant. Plaintiff claims that Defendant knew Plaintiff made the false statements and used them to try to end Plaintiff’s business. The Court cannot be convinced that Defendant made false statements or knew that they might have been false by Plaintiff’s conclusory claims.
In sum, Plaintiff has not shown it is likely to succeed on the merits of its trade libel claim….
A lot of evidence supports the notion that pretrial restraints against libelous speech in a pre-trial setting are unconstitutional. Even if it believes the plaintiff’s statements are false or defamatory, there is ample authority. The court emphasized the inconsistency about the likelihood that plaintiff will succeed on the merits. This is another route to reach the same outcome.