As an adult, many of us rely on our reputations in order to become successful in our fields of practice and in life. Defamation of character could be catastrophic to a person’s livelihood which is why there are legal means of recourse should you ever be defamed.
Defamation laws are designed to protect individuals and businesses alike from false and damaging statements. Defamation of character is broken down into two categories: libel and slander. Written defamatory statements, such as those published in a newspaper, magazine, book, or online blog are considered to be libel while spoken defamatory statements are considered to be slander. Spoken defamatory statements can be made on a radio broadcast, podcast, or during a public speech.
In order to prove that defamation of character occurred, there are a few elements that first must be met:
- A false and defamatory statement must have been made.
- The statement was published to a third party (either through spoken or written means).
- The act of publishing the falsely defamatory statement was done so intentionally or with gross negligence.
- Harm or damage resulted from the statements made.
Generally speaking, a statement is considered to be defamatory “if it tends so to harm the reputation of another as to lower him in the estimation of the community or to deter third persons from associating with him”.
Examples of defamatory statements
- The statement alludes or claims that the person/business was involved in a serious crime.
- The statement alludes or claims that the person being involved in a morally compromising situation.
- The statement has a negative impact on the person/business’s integrity.
There are numerous factual and legal nuances of a defamation case, but if someone has published or spoken to others about you in a way that has reduced business for you or has made you a social outcast, then you should to call our office so we can review your claim.