If a person or any other entity tries to hurt your reputation, you should not avoid it as it can cost your credibility, and you may even lose your job. You need to know the difference between the use of freedom of speech by that person or entity and your right to protect your reputation. And as you have built your reputation over a considerable number of years, others should have no right to defame you by making false claims. Consulting top defamation lawyers will be a good option, and here we discuss the legal actions you may take in such a case.
What Is Defamation?
Whenever a publicly given statement harms a reputation of a person, it is known as defamation.
What Are The Two Types Of Defamation?
Generally, there are two forms of defamation that people face so often. These two forms are libel and slander.
Whenever one person attacks another person by a written statement, it is called libel. An example of libel is when someone writes something about an online tutor on an online education website. One may say that the tutor has not enough degree to his name and thus is not eligible to teach others. The statement may be completely false, but it may cost the tutor his job.
Whenever a person says something about another person’s character, it is called slander. A nasty example of slander is when a person falsely claims that a co-worker has stolen cash from the register and tells another coworker. This information will ultimately reach the manager or the company’s boss, and the accused person may get fired because of the false claims.
What Actions To Take?
- You Should First Contact A Lawyer
The first and foremost step you should take in a serious defamation case is contacting a public defamation lawyer. While consulting a lawyer, you should keep in mind the following points.
- When you first meet your lawyer, you should give them a copy of the written statement. If the statement is made online, a printed copy will be necessary.
- Next, you should make a detailed list of people who are well aware of the incident and its impact.
- If you want to claim financial compensation, you have to bring necessary financial papers like bank account details or income tax details. Any other relevant documents should also be produced if those can prove your financial losses.
- You have to trust your lawyer.
2. You Should File The Defamation Lawsuit
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help in filing a defamation lawsuit.
- Start With The Complaint:
Your lawyer will help you understand the public defamation law. After discussing the case with you, your lawyer will carry out some basic investigations, and it will pave the way for carrying out the legal proceedings. You should then complain about the civil court system available in your state. It is the beginning of the lawsuit procedure. You should keep in mind that the verdict will not come in just a few weeks or months. You have to be patient as sometimes you may have to wait for more than one year. In the meantime, you can carry on with the negotiation process outside the court premises.
- Service, Answer And Discovery:
At this stage, the defendant party gets the documents related to the lawsuit and is given very little time to respond. They have to provide very reasonable answers. After the court receives the response, it issues a scheduling order, mentioning the important dates and deadlines. After that, all the involved parties exchange written questions with each other. Their attorneys help them with it. This is the interrogation phase, where each party has to give definitive answers to all the questions after taking the oath.
In this stage, you will also be asked by the other party to submit specific documents. Regarding the answers and gathering the documents, you should discuss them with your lawyer. Based on the situation, your lawyer may recommend rejecting giving answers to those questions or withholding the asked documents.
At this stage, you will be interrogated by the opposing party’s lawyer, and you have to give the answers under oath. Here you will have the opportunity to judge yourself and decide on the witness you can use for the court trial. You can also know the strength of your claims and have a fair idea about the jury’s perception. You should not worry much as your lawyer will always help you.
3. You Can Settle A Defamation Case
As the court proceedings progress, you will get the chance to know the other party better. So after a certain point of time, you may consider negotiating the matter with your opposing party. It will be entirely in your hand to decide if you want to carry on with the case or settle it outside the court. However, whatever your decision may be, you should always discuss it with your lawyer. Your lawyer will always analyse the circumstances and give you advice.
In several instances, people go for a settlement. Sometimes, they find trials highly stressful and do not feel comfortable disclosing some sensitive information publicly. Sometimes, people get the verdict in their favour but may not receive the expected libel compensation, resulting from a complex loss calculation.
Sometimes, people become impatient to think whether they can truly get something in the future and so do not want to take risks. Instead, they feel satisfied with the compensation received after the end of the trial. Depending on your circumstances, you should consider all these factors. In reality, most defamation cases get settled when two sides agree to the terms.
Who Can Help You?
Defamation Lawyers Perth is a top-rated law firm based in the city of Perth that has served many customers over the years and so for help, you may get in touch with them anytime you want.