Christopher Dietz, because you can’t spell Dietz without ditz.

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln. If people would just listen to President Lincoln, they could avoid a lot of embarrassing situations.

Take Christopher Dietz of Dietz Development for instance, he must have been very upset about a review on Yelp so he sued the reviewer and made sure hundreds of thousands of people saw it. It’s one thing to take a licking in private, but it’s entirely another thing for your disgrace to go national news. Already picked up by CNBC, Forbes, Ars Technica, Politico, etc. Dietz has inadvertently triggered what we on the internet call “The Streisand Effect.” The Streisand Effect is named after Barbra Streisand who in the process of trying to get photos of her house off the internet (which had a total of 4 or 5 views beforehand) alerted the general public that those photos were available and suddenly they were viewed millions of times.

Now we have Dietz, who was so unhappy with a review in which Jane Perez said he put her doors on crooked and might have accessed her home inappropriately, that he had to sue her for $750,000. It’s the classic case of a censor trying to make a defendant fold with a sum so large you’d have to be crazy to litigate. What censors don’t realize is that there is another condition other than mental insanity that would make a person fight back, it’s called passion. Passion for what is right, passion for justice, passion for our Constitutional rights. When you pit a person who has served our country in the military (Jane Perez) against a bully and a censor, I know whose side I am going to choose 10 out of 10 times. w

Anyone who uses Yelp knows that you have to take individual bad reviews lightly. Business owners should know that encouraging happy clients to leave positive feedback is the best way to combat negative reviews. Once I left a scathing review of a local business and the manager contacted me personally to assure me the experience was not typical and that if I gave them a second chance I’d see that, which I did, and I promptly updated my review to express my new opinion. What Dietz has effectively done is spread the word about his bad review, not worked to deliver positive impressions to combat the negative, and told all future clients that if they aren’t happy with his work, he’ll just sue them. That is not how you repair your reputation.

Jane Perez now faces an uncertain legal and financial future because she wanted to share her opinion of a contractor on Yelp. Unyielding to the staggering sum she is being sued for, Perez has found legal assistance in the ACLU and Public Citizen with star attorney Paul Levy helping her cause. Even if and when she prevails she can be assured substantial legal costs, for that reason she has setup an Indiegogo fundraiser to help offset these burdens. I have already kicked in, I hope you will to, lets send a message to bullies that our opinions aren’t fodder for their legal escapades. Let’s remind Dietz that sometimes as Lincoln said, it’s best to just roll with the punches.

 

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4 Comments on “Christopher Dietz, because you can’t spell Dietz without ditz.”

  1. […] he is doing. If I were Dietz lawyer I would have added a zero to the end of his defamation case. $7.5 million sounds so much scarier then a mere $750k. Seriously, how many DinoCloning™ devices can you buy with less than a million dollars? 3 or 4? […]

  2. Paul Lesieur says:

    I think they are both scammin and the ACLU is jammin and I be bammin on all of them to get their stories straight.
    Chris Dietz made a big boo boo, no relation to Honey Boo Boo the American icon, Ms Perez is fabricating and her “proof” photos are not captioned and also only show minor problems which are hard to identify and are proof of nothing. The ACLU is using this case to get attention to the problem of large companies using in house legal staff to outspend their opponents.
    This whole situation doesn’t jibe.

  3. cjrec says:

    Thanks for the comment Paul. I don’t think the problem here is who is right or wrong on the quality of work done, that should have been handled in small claims court. However when you sue someone for $750,000 for a bad review on a site like Yelp, you are specifically tailoring your lawsuit to chill speech. Seeking a preliminary injunction again was an attempt to stop speech.

    Why bring national attention to a legal dispute with a client who claims you did bad work by suing them? Isn’t he tarnishing his own reputation further? No one is going to remember if he won or lost, just that he sued a customer who was adamant about the poor quality of work he did. If you Google his name or his company’s name, you will find results that are less than flattering because of this suit. I don’t think any business owner should fight a battle of attrition over one bad review, because even if he wins, he’ll still end up losing.

  4. Paul Lesieur says:

    You are correct.
    But reviews left in spite (assuming there is spite) harm everyone.
    Lets say your sister starts a cleaning service and some guy who hires her puts the moves on her, she tell him to back off and he writes an untruthful and libelous review saying she stole his Rolex and flirted with him.

    Your sister just got hosed and now needs to spend time defending herself because some slimeball wants payback for being rejected.

    I read some of your posts and your keenly observant and funny to boot. We seem to be on different sides of a thin line.

    My position is I don’t know what happened for sure but I do know Dietz was accused of theft and thats a crazy thing for someone with a business to do. But who knows. People do lie.
    I just can’t tell who.

    On the ACLU and the Slapp laws suits. I support the ACLU on fighting this but in a sense they are doing a Slapp on Dietz. I’m not liking that.


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