What You Should Know About Libel, Defamation, and Slander

Defamation has existed for as long as people have been able to express their thoughts and ideas. Defamation refers to a false statement of fact that damages a person or company’s reputation, thereby exposing them to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, causing them to be shunned or avoided, or lowering people’s opinions of them.

Defamation is not actionable until it is published or communicated to another person (not the individual being defamed). In today’s world, defamation can occur online, in print, in television, or in person. Specifically, there are two types of defamation. Libel occurs when a defamatory statement is published in writing, either in print or online. Slander occurs when a defamatory statement is published through speech, whether online video, television, or in person.

Regardless of whether defamatory statements appear in a personal blog, news organization, or customer review page, defamation law can be costly for all parties involved. Damaging someone’s reputation impacts a person or company’s ability to work and make a profit. And winning a defamation case typically involves damages as vindication and compensation for effects on the plaintiff’s reputation.

Hutcherson Law’s reputable defamation attorneys understand how to prevail on a defamation claim, including how to counter a defendant’s legal defenses of justification and fair comment. Justification means the defendant claims their statements are true and must produce proof that their comments are true. Fair comment obligates the defendant to show the defamatory statement was an honestly held opinion based on facts that were true.

The advent of the Internet has only added wrinkles to the world of defamation law. When defamation appears online it is not free speech; it is still illegal. And you may be entitled to recover monetary damages from the person who defamed you. Remember, you are not powerless against defamation. But, considering the intricate nature of defamation claims, and all of the aforementioned defenses available to defendants, it is essential to have an experienced team such as Hutcherson Law fighting your libel and slander charges. Contact the defamation attorneys at Hutcherson Law to review your options to eradicate the wrongdoings and restore your good reputation.

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