Defamation, Slander, and Libel
One of things that make the United States great is the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. Some words do more than cause offend or hurt feelings; some words can cause actual damages. Some people communicate messages with the intent of costing you business and money. Those types of communication are defamation and freedom of speech does not include defamation. Defamation lawyers have a track record of successful defamation lawsuits.
Defamation includes slander and libel. Slander covers defamatory statements. Libel covers defamatory writings. Defamation can be personal, or about your business. Business defamation is also known as trade disparagement. As New York slander lawyers, we know reputation is an important part of our practice. Therefore, we really understand how important reputation is to you. Wooldridge Law Firm will fight diligently to protect your reputations and punish those who maliciously intend to harm you.
Defamation: Legal Aspect
Defamation has a very specific legal meaning. The elements of defamation are:
- A false and defamatory statement of fact
- Regarding the plaintiff
- Which is published to a third party and
- Results in injury to the plaintiff.
The law doesn’t guard against just anything that is defamatory, but only genuine, serious defamation. Our NYC defamation attorneys will consider public or private figure, actual malice, negligence, and manner of publication, and your damages to determine whether the harmful statement meets the legal standard of malice. The laws of defamation are strongest for private individuals and intentionally false statements. The laws of defamation tend to be weaker for unintentional or negligent statements about public figures.
There is a special type of defamation that is particularly application to business people. In defamation per se cases, the New York law doesn’t require plaintiff to prove damages. In other words damages are assumed. Four categories are cases are defamation per se:
- Charging a plaintiff with a serious crime
- Stating false facts that tend to injure a plaintiff in his or her business trade or profession
- Charging that a plaintiff has a loathsome disease
- Imputing that a plaintiff is unchaste
Our lawyers know how to deal with the defamers
Once our slander and libel lawyers have established defamation, there are two types of relief for defamation: If the defamation has occurred in the past, we can seek compensatory relief in the form of money damages. If the defamation is currently happening, we can seek injunctive relief to force an end to the defamatory statements. We will file a defamation lawsuit.
On the other hand, if you’ve been charged with making a defamatory statement, our defamation attorneys have extensive knowledge of the defense to the charge. For example, a true statement is never defamatory. Also, opinions and comments generally don’t fall within the realm of defamation. Our attorneys can also examine other factors recognized as defense by New York’s common law.
If you’ve been defamed, let the top ranked new york litigation lawyers help you today because defamation has a very short statute of limitations and action should be taken right away.