A lawyer specializing in defamation of character offers valuable assistance to clients in gathering evidence and devising legal strategies to achieve a successful outcome in their defamation claim. In addition, an attorney can also safeguard your reputation and help you file a claim in the case of oral or written defamation.
What Does a Lawyer for Defamation of Character Do?
Experienced attorneys help their clients build a strong defamation case to establish that the statements made against them were false and demonstrate how these falsified remarks have harmed their reputation. Furthermore, skilled lawyers present evidence to the court showing how the defamation has negatively impacted their client’s employment or public perception. The assistance provided by a defamation lawyer varies depending on the client’s objectives. Some common services offered by a defamation lawyer include:
- Identifying key legal issues and developing legal strategies
- Conducting legal analysis
- Negotiating with the opposing attorney, including attempts at mediation
- Advising clients on appropriate legal actions to take in the event of defamation
- Filing lawsuits and other legal documents, such as initial objections and responses to the defendant’s filings, and representing the case in court.
On the other hand, online defamation lawyers may have additional responsibilities, such as:
- Tracking down online extortionists, defamers, harassers, and cyberstalkers
- Identifying unidentified online trolls
- Subpoenaing websites, internet service providers, or platforms
- Chronologically documenting detailed timelines of events and preserving potential ephemeral evidence
- Establishing relationships with website managers and online publishing institutions
- Identifying, reporting, and removing unwanted content from online platforms.
What Do We Mean by Defamation of Character?
Defamation of character occurs when a person’s reputation and integrity are harmed or tarnished due to the malicious intentions of others. There are two types of defamation of character: libel and slander.
Slander involves orally defaming someone’s reputation, while libel refers to written defamation. Both forms of defamation can significantly damage an individual’s reputation and entitle them to seek monetary compensation for the harm caused. However, not all statements made by individuals are protected by the “First Amendment of the United States Constitution” guaranteeing freedom of speech.
People have the right to be free from statements that attack their character. If you face any character defamation issues, you can file a lawsuit, as the First Amendment does not shield defamatory comments. However, it is important to note that the First Amendment does not protect statements related to public safety risks or plans for illegal actions.
For example, making a statement that could cause general alarm, such as falsely claiming there is a bomb on an airplane or in a theater, is not protected speech. Furthermore, the First Amendment does not protect verbal statements that incite violent acts against the government.
What to Do in Case of Defamation of Character?
The laws regarding defamation of character vary from state to state. If someone tarnishes your good name, it is essential to consult a skilled defamation of character lawyer in your area.
It is crucial to preserve any evidence of the false and defamatory statement. How you respond to such statements can influence their impact and prevalence among people. While not responding to defamatory statements may seem appropriate in some cases, in other situations where future damage is a concern, it is advisable to report the statements to the appropriate authorities.
The first step in suing someone for defamation is proving that they made false statements about you. To substantiate your claim, it is essential to have more than one piece of factual evidence supporting your position. The court will require you to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt. To win a defamation lawsuit, you must be able to establish the following:
- The identity of the individual who made the statement.
- That the damage you suffered was a result of the information.
- The statement was expressed either orally or in writing.
- The information provided was false.
- It is not a protected remark.
The next step in a defamation case is to prove that the statement was made with malicious intent, whether spoken or written. If you required medical treatment due to the defamation, the resulting damages are categorized as physical harm and should be compensated by the person who defamed you.
False and defamatory statements should be reported promptly to minimize reputational or financial harm. However, not every damaging statement about you constitutes defamation. A statement is not defamatory if it can be proven true or an expression of opinion.
- Absolute Privilege: The privilege granted to lawmakers, magistrates, and government officials to speak without the risk of being sued for defamation while performing their official duties.
- Time, Manner, and Place: Restrictions on speech that may limit what would typically be protected by the First Amendment. These restrictions do not target content-based speech, as courts must remain neutral.
- Viewpoint Bias: A law is considered to have viewpoint bias when it discriminates against a particular person’s or group’s expression instead of the medium through which that expression is conveyed. Such regulations are always unconstitutional and are an extreme form of content bias.
Defamation of character occurs when someone speaks or publishes something about you that can be considered defamatory or damaging to your reputation. Proving defamation in a legal context can be challenging, which is why it is best to rely on the expertise of our legal professionals at Garrity Traina. With our extensive knowledge of defamation law and a track record of successful claims, our defamation attorneys will significantly increase your chances of a favorable outcome.