Law firm sues former client over negative online review

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Joe Browning was in the business of buying and selling cars. In 2013, when he had difficulty getting the title to a vehicle he purchased in Louisiana, Browning hired a local law firm to help. He had no idea at the time that the law firm would ultimately sue him over an online review he posted about the company.

"It was a pretty straightforward case as far as we were concerned, and so we hired Grissom and Thompson to represent us," said Browning.

After some time working on his case, Browning says he was less than satisfied with the firm.

"They just really dropped the ball," Browning added. "You guys have lost paperwork. You've missed filings. You've missed deadlines. You have cost us so much money. We're done paying you."

Browning says he felt responsible to warn other people about his poor experience with the law firm. Browning's case highlights the thin line between free speech and defamation, and his case is not the only one like it.

"I want to make sure that other people who are thinking about using that law firm specifically think really carefully about the commitment that they're making and as much as I can prevent anybody from using them I'm going to," said Browning.

In November 2013, he gave the law firm a one-star review on and posted this review. Browning's review was the first review for the company and as of Feb. 13, 2018, the only review for the company on Yelp.

"I tried to be really factual. I tried to outline, you know, this is why... these are the facts and then I was really clear to say well this is also my opinion. I don't feel that I was malicious in the way that I did it. I feel like it was fair. I feel like it was an accurate reflection of what transpired."

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