Categories: Defamation Lawyer

When you have had your reputation hurt or damaged because of the words of someone else then you may just be entitled to legal compensation. Defamation includes both libel (written) and slander (verbal). Libel includes things that have been printed on the Internet too sometimes referred to as online defamation or internet defamation. Victims of online defamation can bring a defamation lawsuit.

There are typically three different things that have to be present in order to sue someone for defamation of character in most states.
They are:

1. The printed or spoken statement must not be true.

2. The defendant must have knowledge before making the statement that it is untrue or they should have known it was false.

3. Due directly to that specific statement, the plaintiff must have experienced economic harm or loss or damage.

Does every statement that slanders the reputation of someone count as defamation? This depends on the identity and circumstances of each party. Take SNL (Saturday Night Live) for example. Every Saturday night they spoof political figures, businesses and famous names. Because these are spoofs, defamation would be difficult to prove. Whatever the case, the statement made must be provably false. If there is any truth to it, even if it is unfair or hurtful, or if it is framed in the way of an opinion then it is likely the plaintiff would lose the suit. Even if the statement was false it must still be proven that the defendant knew our should have known that it was false before making the statement.

Aside from that, the plaintiff has to be able to prove that they experienced economic harm or other damages as a result of this statement. If a co-worker makes a statement to a manager that you look bad then this cannot be used as defamation unless you can prove something like that as a direct result of that statement you were denied a bonus, raise or promotion or that it caused you enough emotional distress that you lost time at work as a result.

In general, the standards for slander and libel cases are different and they vary from state to state. If you think that you have been defamed then it is a good idea to get in contact with any of the lawyers for defamation of character in your area. If someone has committed libel against you online then you need to be in contact with an Internet defamation lawyer or seek education if you plan on representing yourself.

Proving defamation in a court of law in the US is difficult because of the fact that our first amendment protects our right to freedom of speech. Honest mistakes are not considered to be defamation. Even written statements must be outright lies with malicious intent or even an outright disregard for what is true.

What does a lawyer for defamation of character do?

To a defamation lawyer, defamation cases can be argued for either the plaintiff or the defendant. When they are obtained by the plaintiff, their job is to assist in proving that whatever statements were made damaged the reputation and livelihood of the plaintiff. On the other hand, if the lawyer is representing the defendant, they will try to prove that the statements were either honest mistakes or that the statements were true. Additionally, they will attempt to prove that the statements did not affect the ability of the plaintiff to earn a living.

Internet defamation lawyers essentially do the same thing as regular defamation lawyers; they just deal with the cases where the defamation occurred online.

How to Choose a Defamation Lawyer

If you feel that you have been a victim of defamation of character by either libel or slander then you need to be in touch with an attorney who deals with this type of case. You may or may not already have one in mind, but here is how to find one if you don’t.

No matter what area you are in, go online and look up defamation lawyers for that area. For example, if you were in Melbourne then your search term or query would look something like “defamation lawyers Melbourne”.

Although there are fees involved with finding lawyers for defamation of character and taking a lawsuit to court, it can be worth it for the potential monetary compensation as well as the emotional closure you can get. Not all lawyers will take it all the way to court though. There are times when settlements can be reached outside of court. If this is a possibility then your lawyer may advise you to just go for the settlement.

Keep in mind though that each area will have different statutes of limitations for this type of case. If you feel that you have been defamed, talk to an attorney as soon as you possibly can.

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About the Author

Lane Houk is a recognized internet marketing and reputation expert. Lane regularly speaks to business owners of all types about online reputation management and marketing and why it is imperative for professionals and companies to pro-actively manage their online reputation and take immediate steps if/when someone posts a negative review or worse, lies, about you or your company online. Online defamation can have devastating effects on your business and your professional career.

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