Defamation (Slander and Libel)

Defamation occurs when a person makes a false statement to a third party about your character from which you suffer harm. Defamation includes slander and libel. Libel is the act of defaming another person through writings, such as newspapers, other publications, articles, blogs or social media postings. Slander is the act of making a false oral statement about the character or professional standing of another person. The four elements of defamation are:

  1. A defendant made an oral or written factual and defamatory statement;
  2. Regarding the plaintiff;
  3. That was published without privilege or authorization to others by the defendant; and
  4. There was resultant injury, unless the statement falls within a category of “per se” harm.

In defamation per se cases, a plaintiff does not need to prove damages. The categories of defamation per se in New York are:

  1. Charging a plaintiff with a serious crime;
  2. Stating false facts that tend to injure a plaintiff in his or her business trade or profession;
  3. Charging that a plaintiff has a loathsome disease;
  4. Imputing that a plaintiff is unchaste.

At Lax & Neville LLP, our lawyers have extensive experience representing individuals who have been defamed and suffered damage to their personal and professional life as a result of such defamatory statements. If someone has written something about you or said something about you out loud, and it has a negative impact on your professional reputation, you may have a case. It is important to find out immediately if you have a case for defamation in New York.

Besides representing victims of defamatory statements, Lax & Neville LLP has also successfully defended individuals charged with making a defamatory statement. We have extensive knowledge of the defenses to a defamation charge. For instance, true statements and opinions can be defenses to a claim for defamation. If you are named as a defendant in a defamation action, our attorneys can assist you in defending that action by making sure you are aware of all the defenses available to you.

If you believe you are the victim of defamation, libel or slander or have been accused of making a defamatory statement, please contact our team of experienced and highly qualified attorneys.

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