Nicole Williams Quoted in Texas Lawyer Yelp Review Case

“Pro Bono Lawyers Want Fees for Defending Bad Yelp Review Case”

Pro bono lawyers don’t normally want payment for their services. Yet the volunteer defense attorneys who recently convinced a Dallas judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by a pet-sitting company over a bad Yelp review say they deserve to be awarded $166,000 in attorney fees for their efforts, and they want to tag the plaintiff with an additional $200,000 in sanctions for good measure.

On Aug. 30, 160th District Judge Jim Jordan dismissed libel and nondisparagement clause claims filed by Prestigious Pets, a pet-sitting company that alleged it had been defamed by a one-star Yelp review posted by a Plano couple that complained the company neglected their pet fish.

Nicole Williams, a partner in Thompson & Knight, said part of the reason her firm volunteered to represent the Duchouquettes was so the couple could repay another Dallas law firm they previously hired to represent them on an hourly basis.

“They have actually incurred over $10,000 in fees out of pocket. It was important for us to get that back for them,” Williams said.