Need a defamation lawyer? Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, social media, “suck sites” and other online review sites, libel is on the rise. Businesses are raked over the coals by unscrupulous competitors, and individuals are denied employment because of false information on the Internet.
Your reputation is worth its weight in gold – and a ruined online rep is always one social media quip or blog post away. That’s why aggressively addressing defamatory statements — in print and on the Internet — is a must. The longer they stay up, the more time they have to spread throughout the Web, and the more damage they can do.
Slander and Libel: A Simple Breakdown
U.S. law categorizes defamation into two main categories – slander and libel. Slander is spoken defamation; libel is published or written defamation – whether in print or online. Defamation claims can be filed against a business, individual, group or government. In most cases, the statements in question must be false for a judge to grant a defamation trial, but there are rare times when someone can win a defamation lawsuit (or false light lawsuit) even if the statements in question are true. A skilled defamation lawyer will sort through the details and determine the best course of action.
Find A Defamation Lawyer Before The Statute Of Limitations Runs Out
While strong free speech laws make winning a defamation lawsuit a bit more difficult in the U.S. than in other countries, it’s not impossible. After all, free speech rules only go so far. As the old saying goes, you can’t scream fire in a crowded theater, cause a panic, and get away with it. Nor can you, maliciously and falsely disparage another individual or business online.
Thanks to handy advancements like Internet and mobile phones and mini-computers, bad news travels quickly. So, if you’ve been defamed online, the best thing to do is seek counsel as soon as possible. A skilled defamation lawyer knows how to expedite a beneficial remedy. Who knows, you may not even have to deal with a long, drawn-out lawsuit if you have a defamation lawyer who knows slander and libel litigation inside and out.
Common Defamation Defenses
One oft-used defamation defense is truth. Another popular defamation defense is proving that the content or broadcast did not cause the plaintiff actual harm. Defendants also experience success in some defamation cases if the plaintiff can’t prove the alleged defamer knew the information was false and decided to publish or broadcast it anyway.
Moreover, free speech is an important aspect of defamation law. Sometimes, people are unfairly asked to eradicate material that is protected by the first amendment.
Different Defamation Standards For Private and Public Figures
In the U.S., different defamation standards exist for public and private citizens. Simply put, celebrities and public figures must meet the advanced standard of actual malice in order to win a defamation lawsuit. Private Citizens do not.
That being said, the Internet has changed a lot of things – including the way courts interpret defamation law as it relates to cases involving the Internet, iPhones and smartphones. In fact, just recently, a California judge ruled that “everyone is famous on Facebook.”
In today’s legal climate, it’s best to have a defamation attorney that understands both the complexities of slander and libel law, as well as the nuances of Internet and technology law. We are that firm. Contact us today to begin the conversation.