Law Firm Can’t Change its “F” Grade

Kaufman, Englett & Lynd(KEL), a law firm, sued the Central Florida Better Business Bureau (BBB) for false advertising in violation of the Landham act, “disparagement of business”, and breach of contract. BBB’s business revolves around rating law firms, and allegedly gave the law firm disparaging and misleading reviews, an F rating, all the while breaching accreditation agreement with the company. After receiving the grade, many of their clients supposedly left.

Nonetheless on February 20, Judge John Antoon ruled that the misrepresentations are not ads because the BBB and KEL do not compete commercially. Furthermore, it was decided that KEL, though based in Florida, could not claim personal jurisdiction as it neither owns shares nor controls daily operations in the BBB. Nonetheless, Judge Antoon refused to provide supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims, meaning that KEL is free to try again in state court.