Can An Internet Defamation Lawyer Get Statements Removed From The Internet?
The rise of the Internet has also resulted in a rise of online libel lawsuits and legal matters.
Gripe and review websites are a thorn in the side of many businesses; individuals are not being hired because of defamatory online content.
A ruined rep is just a tweet or nasty blog comment away – which means it’s important to legally address any and all libelous statements ASAP. The longer words fester, the more damage they can do.
Defamation 101: The Basic Elements of U.S. Slander & Libel Law
To prevail in Internet defamation lawsuits plaintiffs must:
- Show that the defendant is the party who published the statement;
- Prove the statement is/was false;
- Prove plaintiff was harmed by the statement;
- Demonstrate that the defendants did not verify the truthfulness of their assertions.
Latest From The Defamation Blog
Each week, we explore a recent defamation lawsuit currently going through the courts. If you're interested in learning more about slander and libel law, reading about cases is a great place to start.
Kelly / Warner handles professional defamation lawsuits. As such, on our blog, we like to review business reputation cases in the news. This one is about casino mogul Steve Wynn and financier Jim Chanos.Read More »
"A competitor posted a terrible online review about my business. What are my legal options?" It's a question we hear often, and the answer is, "file an online trade libel lawsuit -- you're chances of winning are high."Read More »
As business continues to move online, the number of trade libel and business defamation cases are increasing. This post is about an interesting, and decidedly 21st century, professional defamation lawsuit, which can fairly be described as "classification marketing defamation."Read More »
A CFO for a major corporation file a professional defamation lawsuit against his former employer over accusations made in the Wall Street Journal. Can he win?Read More »
Earlier this month, a gripe site defamation lawsuit rocked the finance world. Well-known financier, Charles Schwab, sued over a handful of websites accusing him and his son of partnering with a murderous, international playboy. Jump in, it's a wild story.Read More »
Are you ready for a little levity? Well then sit back, relax and click through for a video blog about the slander event of the century that will never be -- the Dance Moms defamation trial!Read More »
Online Defamation Law FAQ
Can a plaintiff win a defamation lawsuit if the defendant is telling the truth?
You’ve heard the saying: “It’s not defamation if it is true.” And yes, for the majority of slander and libel lawsuits, this adage holds true – but not always. In some jurisdictions, a judge can deem a true statement defamatory if the defendant acted with actual malice. Additionally, if you can prove, via evidence, that the defendant made a false statement of fact, then you can win a slander or libel claim – even if the defendant told the truth.
What constitutes “harm” in a slander or libel lawsuit?
Typically, a defamation plaintiff must prove material harm to win. The two most common forms of material harm are lost wages, a decline in business or a sinking stocks. In some jurisdictions, plaintiffs can also point to mental anguish and other types of reputational or medical vicissitudes as actionable harm.
Is defamation a federal or state issue?
Defamation falls under the domains of both state and federal laws. Go here for a breakdown of national and state libel and slander regulations.
What if defendants truly believe their inaccurate statements?
This is one of the trickier aspects of online defamation law. Since the U.S. is a “free speech zone,” defendants are given the benefit of the doubt in defamation cases. As such, sometimes means that defendants who can adequately prove that they believed their statements, win. That said, if the plaintiffs’ information is more compelling than the defendants', then the plaintiffs will win. Like any lawsuit, defamation cases turn on evidence, and whose is more convincing in the eyes of the court.
Libel v. Slander
There are two main categories of defamation: libel and slander. Libel is the publication of false statements via words or images. Slander is the verbal version of defamation. A malicious and false statement made by one person regarding another person is slanderous.