Politicians, professionals, journalists, writers, and businesses all work hard to develop and build a trusted and respectable reputation. For many, their name and the persona associated with it are central to their career or business growth and their ongoing success. Where false statements about that individual or business are made verbally (i.e. on the radio or television) or in writing (i.e. in print media or online), they can significantly detract from the goodwill and status that these individuals have carefully crafted and can devastate a reputation.
If you have been the target of untrue public statements and are concerned about the impact these statements will have on you or your business, it is imperative to consult with a lawyer with specific experience handling these complicated legal matters as soon as possible. The faster you act, the quicker you can begin to manage the crisis and start to rebuild.
At Milosevic Fiske LLP, our team of highly skilled litigators have many years of experience representing clients who have been subject to defamatory, libelous, or slanderous statements and those who have been accused of making such statements.
Defamation is a statement made to a third party that is false and damaging to the reputation, finances, or well-being of an individual or organization. Defamation can occur in writing (libel) or orally (slander).
In order to determine whether a statement is defamatory, a court will consider whether the statement:
Importantly, this test is objective, not subjective. Therefore, it does not matter whether the plaintiff themselves believes the statement is damaging to their reputation. The question is whether the ordinary reasonable person (i.e. the average person) would think that the statement is defamatory.
Libel is a defamatory statement that is made in writing. It also includes the growing area of online communications. Libel includes false information published in newspaper articles, letters to the editor, blog posts, posts on social media (including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), and other places online.
Since written statements are more permanent and there is a record of them, they can be considered to have an impact for a longer period of time than spoken or oral statements. As such, libel is generally considered to be more harmful than slander.
If you are suing for libel, you do not need to establish that you have suffered damages – you need only establish that a false statement was made about you to a third party, and there is some permanent record of that statement.
Slander is defamatory information that is made orally, or even through a hand gesture.
Unlike with suing for libel, if you are suing for slander, you must generally establish that financial damages were suffered as a result of the slanderous statement. This can be hard to prove.
Defamation, libel, and slander claims are challenging to prove. A number of factors must be kept in mind, including:
At Milosevic Fiske LLP we are aware of the many challenges of filing a libel or slander claim and have the necessary knowledge and litigation experience to successfully help our clients defend themselves and their reputations.
If you are an individual or organization and believe that defamatory comments have been made about you in the media or online, or if you have been accused of making defamatory statements, contact the highly knowledgeable defamation, libel and slander lawyers at Milosevic Fiske LLP as soon as possible. Our goal is to immediately protect you, your reputation, and your livelihood. Call us at 416-916-1387 or contact us online.
Phone: (416) 916-1387