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What Is Defamation?

Whether to be in spoken or written form, when a certain false or unprivileged statement is made about you in a way that it seems like a fact and can therefore harm your good reputation and/or cause other possible damages, that statement or that action can be considered defamation. A written defamation is referred to as a libel, and a spoken defamation is called a slander. For a statement to be defamatory, usually it must be made and published  as a statement of fact, meaning that if it appears more like a person’s opinion or mere prediction, e.g., “It seems to me that X is _____,” it may not be defamatory. This is, of course, to make sure that freedom of expression is maintained under reasonable circumstances.  Also, in some cases, regardless of being false or true, if a statement appears to be made with malicious intent and/or deliberate contempt, it could nonetheless be considered defamation. 

How Can Defamation Lawyers Help Individuals?

Lawyers specializing in defamation lawsuit can assist, advise, and represent both victims and the accused in any defamation-related cases. For a plaintiff, the goal is to prove how the other party truly thinks less of you and how that unthoughtful action causes you actual damage, and for a defendant, the goal is, of course, to defend you in any way possible should you insist that your statement can hardly fall under defamation. Defenses available to defamation defendants include truth, honest opinion, publication on a matter of public interest, and privilege (absolute or qualified). Lawyers can play a crucial role in a wide range of defamation-related legal steps ranging from trying to help you settle before trial by ways of settlement negotiations to eventually helping you build a strong legal case and representing you in a trial should you and the other party cannot settle. 

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