By:  Dorrian Horsey, Attorney

Are you the subject of a less-than-flattering or damaging news article? If your reputation is suffering because of negative news articles and media coverage, there are things you can do. At Minc Law, we have successfully negotiated with many online publications to get hundreds of news articles removed or de-indexed from the internet.

When clients come to us for a news article removal consultation, costs are often a concern. While every news article removal matter is unique and costs can vary, there are ways to understand potential costs and what kind of budget will be required.

Several factors which may impact the costs of a news article removal include:

  • The complexity of the news article;
  • The number of negative news articles that need to be removed;
  • The rules of the platforms where the article(s) is posted; and
  • The type of attorney fee structure.

In this post, we will discuss how much it costs to remove a negative news article without litigation, factors that influence costs, and how much we charge at Minc Law.

Factors Unique to Removing News Articles & Their Impact on Costs

Every news article removal case is different, so there are never one-size-fits-all answers when it comes to legal representation and removing negative news articles. As we will discuss, many variables can influence the total costs of news article removals.

Three of the primary factors that influence the cost of news article removal are:

  • the complexity of the article,
  • the number of articles that will need to be removed, and
  • the number of platforms featuring the articles.

The Complexity of the Article

Different online platforms publish articles with various levels of complexity. Some news articles are just a short blurb while others are longer pieces that require journalistic investigation. In general, short news blurbs or police blotter pieces take less time for an attorney to evaluate the negative content and determine a strategy for removal. That, in turn, translates to savings on legal fees.

On the other hand, lengthy news articles often require coordination with third parties and the compiling of substantial documentation to rebut or challenge the publication. Naturally, this will require a more complicated removal strategy and more work. It may also take longer to unpublish the article. As you might imagine, this could lead to higher costs when it comes to removal.

Number of Articles on the Internet

The number of articles can have a huge impact on the cost of a news article removal matter. This is especially true when the articles appear on multiple online platforms. Sometimes, a platform will publish several articles related to the same subject. For example, a platform may cover an investigation naming a suspect, their subsequent arrest, and information about the related court records and proceedings in a series of articles.

Occasionally, clients need more than one unrelated story removed from a single publication. For instance, a person may want a negative online newspaper article removed concerning a domestic dispute they were involved in and another about an unrelated investigation at their place of work.

While the client may be able to save money based on the fact that only one publication needs to be contacted, it will take more time and resources to remove the additional negative article because the issues involved are different.

The more articles that need removal, the more time, work, and money that will need to go into the case. At the same time, if only one article needs to be removed, you could save considerable legal fees.

Number of Platforms Where Articles Are Posted

Another huge contributor to costs is the number (and type) of platforms that will need to be contacted regarding removal. When stories go viral, some platforms copy content from other news sources into a news feed, and others report on different aspects of the same news story. If you are the subject of a news story that has gone viral on multiple platforms, the time and cost of addressing each article and platform will increase.

Also, platforms have different removal policies that can impact the cost. Some requests are reviewed within days and others may take months to get a response after numerous attempts to follow up. Often an editor may respond to the initial removal request to confirm receipt and then repeatedly tell us that the request is still under review. This delay could be for many reasons ranging from lack of time to review the removal request to internal content removal policies.

For example, some requests are circulated through several departments of a news organization or reviewed by a designated committee or the platform’s attorneys. All these internal practices may result in greater scrutiny and more requests for information.

One of the most important aspects of removing a news article is understanding who will review the request. This requires researching the news site or publication and the decision-makers to determine the best way to approach them. Some publications and news organizations make this process easy by designating the appropriate points of contact on their websites, but most require some research.

Unfortunately, there are countless reasons why the news media does not remove online articles. Due to the subjective nature of news article removals, our goal is to be respectfully persistent in seeking removal – never demanding. It is important to keep in mind that in most situations we are asking the publication to remove news articles when they are not obligated to do so. A friendly and respectful approach can be very effective to build rapport with a skeptical editor.

If the publication decides against removal, sometimes these same editors will be more receptive to requests for de-indexing or removing names or images from the article as a measure of alternative relief.

If you have found a negative or damaging news article online and you want it removed, we recommend checking out our article detailing how you can improve your chances of removing negative news articles.

Lawyer Fee Structures & Impact on Costs

Attorney fees can vary based on the type of fee structure utilized. There are three primary types of fee structures attorneys work on:

  • Retainer fee,
  • Contingency fee, and
  • Flat fee.

Retainer fees

Retainer fees are one of the most common attorney fee structures. A retainer is a deposit provided before work begins and hourly fees are taken from that retainer on a monthly basis.

Clients are provided a billing statement to keep track of costs but will not have to pay additional fees until the retainer is depleted. Retainer fees are the most common fee structure for news article removals and the structure we use at Minc Law.

For a more detailed explanation of the different fee structures, check out our article “Retainer vs. Flat Fee vs. Contingency – What Does it All Mean?”.

Retainer Fee Fact: Each attorney fee structure has its pros and cons. Some pros of a retainer are (1) the fee is placed in a special trust account to ensure the payment is used appropriately; (2) it gives clients a clear idea of where their money is going; (3) it is refundable; (4) it can create an ongoing attorney-client relationship.

Contingency fees

Contingency fees are popular in some legal fields (like personal injury) because there are often large payouts at the end of a successful case. With contingency fees, you do not have to pay “unless you win” so there are usually no up-front costs.

Contingency fee structures are rare for news article removal because the remedy sought is usually not financial.

Flat Fees

Flat fees are pre-established fees that account for all possibilities in a legal case or matter. In some situations, flat fees may save costs but can be unfairly high for those with simpler cases.

Due to the variable nature of news article removals, flat fees are often impractical.

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Other News Article Removal Factors That Influence Costs

Sometimes news article removal costs are affected by variables outside of an attorney’s control. The following factors can influence costs in nearly any type of legal matter.

Customer Service

Every client has a different communication style. Some clients respond quickly to requests for information, saving us time (and saving themselves money). Likewise, some clients call or email on a daily basis – and we are happy to respond.

Daily communication, or delays in providing the information we request, could lead to higher costs. Neither way is right or wrong and we encourage clients to communicate as much or as little as they like, but different communication styles can generate more activity on an invoice. This is one cost variable that is entirely within a client’s control.

Other Sources of Pertinent Information

The most cost-effective way for us to obtain relevant documentation for a removal request is to receive it directly from a client. But, sometimes we have to get materials from other attorneys, government agencies, or individuals providing character references. These efforts can have an impact on a news story or article removal’s cost.

One way clients can reduce costs is to provide us with any requested documentation as soon as possible. Many of our news article removal clients hire us to remove online content related to an arrest record, court record, or criminal charge.

Since news platforms almost always request documentation concerning the resolution of the case, providing it up-front can avoid the expense of tracking it down later. If the article is inaccurate, providing documentation showing which parts are inaccurate is also useful.

Online Reputation Management & Monitoring Services

Successfully removing a negative news article or damaging piece of online content does not always mean that the job is completely done. Maybe the negative article was scraped by another website and found a home on a slew of other websites, forums, and social media platforms (ex. Twitter, Facebook). Or maybe a second (or third) negative article is published on a different website and goes viral.

After removing a negative newspaper article, it is important to remain vigilant for future negative content by utilizing online reputation management and monitoring services.

Free internet reputation repair and monitoring tools, such as Google Alerts, are available for us to monitor your online reputation. However, keeping an experienced content removal attorney on standby to monitor the internet and search results is important to effectively:

  • Identify negative news articles and damaging content as it appears (or reappears); and
  • Swiftly remove negative news articles and online content.

At Minc Law, we have developed a state of the art, cost effective reputation monitoring solution to monitor the internet for damaging online content, negative information, and malicious attacks. Sign up today for a free 45 day trial and start protecting your online reputation right away.

News Article Removal Fact: Publications often weigh the harm caused to an individual by the continued appearance of an article against their desire to maintain the public record. If the newspaper publication does not think there is any harm in the story remaining published, they may decide to leave it up. Even if part of a report is defamatory, the media may argue that the defamatory section does not exceed the harm caused by the rest of the article – this is known as the incremental harm doctrine.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove a News Article at Minc Law?

We pride ourselves on transparency and understand that the cost of legal representation is at the forefront of every client’s mind. Now that we have outlined the factors that influence legal fees, we can review the typical costs for a news article removal at Minc Law.

Please keep in mind that the following price ranges represent averages and are affected by the variables we have already discussed.

The retainer for removing 1-2 articles typically ranges from $3,500$5,000. If there are multiple articles to remove and more work is anticipated, the retainer will be higher. If the work to remove the negative article is completed for less than the retainer, the balance is refunded at the completion of the representation.

Once work begins on your matter, we bill hourly against the retainer as work is performed and provide you with monthly invoices. The rates for attorneys at our firm range from $250$600 per hour depending on the attorney.

We also offer custom packages for ongoing online reputation management and monitoring, so that clients at every price point can monitor their digital footprints for future negative news articles. If you are interested in obtaining more specific information and advice about the costs related to your online reputation management issue, you will need to speak directly with a legal expert.

You can find more information about content removal costs over at our Pricing Page.

Guaranteed Removal Fact: At Minc Law, we are able to guarantee removals from some websites that we remove content from on a regular basis. This type of content removal can be performed without the need for a defamation lawsuit or heavy attorney involvement. Most of our guaranteed removals are posts made to shaming sites or cheater sites like TheDirty.comShesaHomewrecker.com, and Cheaterland.com.

Work with News Article Removal Attorneys Today

We understand that cost is a primary concern for many clients. That is why one of our top goals for every case is to figure out creative ways for clients to cut costs where possible. We also offer flexible payment arrangements to ease the burden.

★★★★★
I am a recent client who utilized the services from the Minc Law Firm. For nine years, I allowed a news story to affect my career even though the story was filled with lies and half-truths. As an educator, we can never tell our side of the story due to rules involving confidentiality so one can only hope that others are willing to accept there is always another side of the story. My situation was hopeless until I came across Dorrian Horsey and the team that supported her. Dorrian has literally changed the trajectory of my career by working hard to ensure the negative information posted about me was removed. Being from Texas, I researched and contacted those that stated they were experts in the field of online reputation, but I either encountered individuals who did not return phone calls or lied about their expertise. Everyone at Minc are experts and Dorrian is heaven sent so I wholeheartedly recommend them to assist you with any issues you have. Do not wait as long as I did!

Joe,Jul 6, 2019

Removing a negative news article is not easy, but if you have read this far, chances are you are troubled by the article’s damage to your online reputation. We are up-front about our costs because we are here to help. Together, we can preserve and restore your online reputation and livelihood.

If you would like more personalized advice, we offer a free, no-obligation, initial consultation. Contact the internet content removal attorneys of Minc Law by calling us at (216) 373-7706, or by chat, email, or contact form today.

Are you being defamed online? We will get it removed. Contact Minc Law today!

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