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Defamation Law Part 1

The First Amendment to the Constitution protects our freedom of speech; however, freedom of speech doesn’t excuse falsely speaking against someone. Has your reputation, livelihood, or community standing been affected as a result of defamation of character? At Trent Cotney P.A., we take defamation claims seriously. We’ve represented many in the construction industry that have experienced defamation of character in the workplace.

In this two-part article, we’ll give you an overview of defamation, and in Part 2 we’ll discuss the elements of defamation in more detail.

What is Defamation

Defamation is when false statements are made that cause harm. Defamation can occur in the workplace between employers and employees and can be a result of rumors, performance reviews, background checks, and statements made that can be proven false. There are two types of defamation:

  1. Slander is an oral defamation where a verbal untruth told by one person leads to harming the reputation of another. Slander is against the law and the victim of slander can seek compensation for damages in a lawsuit.
  2. Libel is when someone intentionally defames another person in writing, published pictures, and through broadcast mediums such as radio and television. Like slander, the victim of libel can seek and pursue remedy through a lawsuit.

How is Defamation Proven?

Proving defamation is not easy. More specifically, proving slander can be more difficult than libel because defamation in the printed form is easier to use as evidence. This is why defamation claims need to be handled with the legal expertise of construction lawyers in Jacksonville who can help you redeem your reputation. To prove defamation, the victim must be able to prove the statement, whether oral or printed, is fictitious and harms their reputation. Whether the act was done intentionally or with malice is also taken into consideration.

To schedule a consultation with one of our construction attorneys in Jacksonville, please call us today at 904.425.5030 or submit our contact request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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