While Aaron Minc was working at Sennett Fisher in Cleveland, just two years after he graduated from Case Western Reserve School of Law, he came across an internet defamation case that would lead him to opening one of the only firms dedicated to defamation removal law five years later.
During his time at Sennet Fisher, he was encouraged to find his own clients. One of those was a businessman who was defamed on a website called Ripoff Reports. Only court orders can offer relief to get the review out of the search result, which Minc was successful in doing.
“It seemed like an accomplishment for being a second-year attorney,” said Minc, a Moreland Hills resident. “And when I looked at the website, I said, ‘Boy, there sure are a lot of people on Ripoff Report who probably need legal assistance and help with this.’”
He soon started writing about this area of law online, which garnered him a lot of online traffic and his telephone didn’t stop ringing. About a year later, he joined Dinn Hochman & Potter, where he only handled internet defamation cases.
As of Dec. 31, Minc opened his own practice exclusively devoted to the niche area of internet defamation. Though many law firms practice this area of law, his is the only one that focuses solely on it, he said.
“It’s a brand-new area of law and I kind of self-created my own little niche,” he said.
His office is in the office of Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis in Woodmere, where he previously worked. He will open an office in July on Pinecrest Drive in Orange.
When he is pursuing his cases or going into courts, more likely than not, there is no precedent to look to, Minc said.
“I get to figure out the way things should be pursued and how to go about it given the rules that we do have,” he said.
Because there is no precedent in many of his cases, Minc has to convince the judge to side with him.
“You deal with a lot of courts or jurisdictions and that’s where ultimately they may agree with you, but it takes a lot of convincing and they don’t make it easy,” he said. “They don’t know what the answer is either and their initial reaction is, ‘Well, that’s never been done before.’”
Occasionally, Minc finds his requests denied, but that doesn’t discourage him from pursuing the case further. He questions the courts and by doing so, can be allotted a briefing or hearing.
“Even the most conservative judges that don’t want to make new law, you get in front of them and you have a client there who has suffered a grave injustice ... you get people to change their minds pretty quickly,” he said.
It’s an exciting area to practice, Minc said, and he likes the challenges the internet brings, like finding individuals who make anonymous posts online by subpoenaing websites for information. But the satisfaction he receives after helping a client continues to drive him.
“You can really change someone’s life when you get something down because it’s something fake or false or incredibly intimate or private information posted online,” he said. “It’s almost like a heavy weight or a scarlet letter on them that they carried around with them every single day. Once you lift that, it’s a great relief to that person. They’re so thankful.”
Publisher’s note: Aaron Minc is a member of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company Board of Directors.