Defamation of character occurs when someone makes damaging statements to the public that are untrue. Two major types of defamation are libel (defamatory statements made in print) and slander (defamatory statements made orally). This is a civil offence and may be handled with a professional attorney, or you may wish to take less aggressive measures that may be sufficiently effective.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Records of defamatory statements (dates and to whom these statements were made)
- Copies of defamatory statements
- Evidence of damage as a result of defamation of character
- Defamation attorney
Prove that you suffered real damage from someone's libellous or slanderous activity. While all defamation of character is painful, this may not be easy to demonstrate. You must determine if your business has lost clients as a result of the defamation. If all you have are hurt feelings, you may not to reconsider pursuing a lawsuit.
Prove that the defamatory statements are completely untrue. If there is even the slightest element of truth to the negative statements, you may end up in a worse position overall.
Contact a lawyer specialising in defamation of character. You should only take this step if you can demonstrate damage, and it is sufficiently large to merit the time and expense of a lawsuit, and you can prove that the statements are absolutely untrue.
Tips and warnings
- Depending on the scenario, defamation of character is something that is often best ignored. This is especially true with 21st century technology, such as the Internet, which rapidly communicates the unedited opinions of so many people so widely. Prevention in advance is always best: maintaining positive relationships with clients and colleagues is the best way to avoid future defamation.
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