The California Supreme Court will consider a lawsuit that will determine whether San Francisco-based Yelp Inc. would be forced to remove negative reviews from its site, a move Yelp says could be "ripe for abuse."
The court voted unanimously Wednesday to take up an appeal by Yelp of a lower court ruling, which upheld an order requiring the company to remove negative reviews of a San Francisco law firm.
Dawn Hassell, the law firm's managing attorney, hoped to remove a Yelp review by a former client that a judge determined was defamatory.
Aaron Schur, Yelp's senior director of litigation, says the lower court's decision is "ripe for abuse, contradicts long-standing legal principles and restricts the ability of websites to provide a balanced spectrum of views online."
Monique Olivier, Hassell's attorney, said in a statement that she was not surprised the Supreme Court has taken up the case, given the amount of attention it has received.