If you are a contractor that is involved in a defamation claim, please feel free to contact one of our Naples construction lawyers today for legal advice. If you are not in need of our legal services at this time, please continue reading and educate yourself on defamation claims. In the following four-part article, we first discussed what defamation is. In the second and third section, we discussed different professional situations that involve defamation. In the final section, we will discuss ways to avoid being accused of defamation.
Having Common Interests is Critical
To avoid being accused of defamation, it’s important for contractors to have a distinct common interest with the person they divulge information to. The person obtaining the information must share the same objective as the person that is providing them with the information. It’s never a good idea to openly publicize your thoughts on another professional’s performance unless it pertains to the project you are working on and the information is shared with a person that is also impacted by this performance.
Advance the Process
Remember if the statement does not advance the process then it could be considered defamatory. Having a common interest is necessary, but the statement must help each party become closer to accomplishing their common goal. For example, if a contractor is performing poorly in their role, it’s important for the architect to explain to the owner how certain tasks performed poorly by the contractor have negatively impacted the project as a whole. This connects the contractor’s performance to the end goal of the project which is of mutual interest to the architect and owner.
Investigate Then Act
Even if you are protected under qualified privilege, if you make a statement about another party then you better be 100 percent confident that your remark is accurate. Anything that is not factually supported can be disputed in court, so it’s important to ensure that no information is lacking from your professional opinion if you make a defamatory remark about another professional’s work. It’s also best to be extremely cautious of making a statement in regards to a competitor. In many cases, this can be classified in court as an ulterior motive.
It’s important to speak to an experienced Naples construction lawyer if you need legal advice in regards to defamation claims.
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.