Does Going to Court Hurt My Reputation?by Attorney Carlos Gamino on 04/03/14
Many professionals and members of the community worry about what others will think if they have to go to court. Attorney Carlos A. Gamiño has this to say:
“Will going to court hurt my reputation?” “I don’t want anyone to know I’m going to court over this, but what can I do to keep it private?”
I hear questions like these all the time, and the people who ask them range from mildly concerned to absolutely terrified. The good news is that in most cases, nobody will know you’re going to court for anything unless you tell them. Unless you’re part of an extremely high-profile case (one that makes the news), your private business will stay private. There’s more good news, too: generally, if you come out on top in a court case, it is highly unlikely to damage your reputation.
There are a few exceptions in some cases, though. Social media encourages things to spread like wildfire, particularly when the topic is incredibly controversial.
Look at what happened to high-schooler Caisen Green in Oklahoma. The teen shot a neighbor’s pit bull with an arrow and then bragged about it on Facebook. Animal rights groups, news outlets and dozens of others caught wind of what he’d done, and now this young adult will never live it down. In fact, a quick Internet search of his name brings up page after page of results related to what he did – and anything positive is buried several pages deep.
The main point? If you don’t want going to court to hurt your reputation, don’t tell anyone. Occasionally a case arises that spins out of control for ordinary citizens (like the Oklahoma teen we just talked about), but in most cases, going to court won’t damage your reputation at all.