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In the age of social media and online interactions, understanding defamation has become more important than ever. If you feel someone has said something negative and untrue about you or your business, you could have an avenue towards compensation.
Read on to understand why this may be the case and where to get free legal quotes online.
Speak to a defamation lawyer
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What exactly is defamation?
Defamation is any instance where someone uses a false statement that's presented as factual and which causes damage to the reputation of the individual or business its aimed at. Defamation law lets people sue those who say or publish such falsehoods.
This act of defamation can take several forms including:
- Online reviews
- Social media posts
- Publicly circulated emails or letters.
When should I use a litigation lawyer?
If you think you've been defamed, you can call on the services of a defamation lawyer to assist you in challenging the remarks and pursuing compensation. A defamation lawyer will be able to provide you with advice on how to proceed — as well as protecting your interests and ensuring you are represented.
A defamation lawyer will also be able to assist you if someone is bringing a claim of defamation against you.
To help you understand when you might call on the services of a defamation lawyer, consider the following questions:
- Have the defamatory remarks occurred within the limitation period (such as the last 12 months)?
- Were the remarks a substantial falsehood?
- Did the remarks cause damage to your reputation or affect your livelihood—such as causing lost revenues for your business or affecting your employment status?
- Were these remarks published to a third party?
If you feel these criteria are met then you may choose to proceed with one of three options: defamation proceedings, mediation or reaching an agreement with the offending party, or issue a cease and desist letter.
Alternatively, enlist the help of an online legal service to get the right legal support for your circumstances.
Defamation Lawyer Free Quote Australia vs Cease And Desist
There are two primary ways of resolving defamation legally — a concerns notice, which requires a defamation lawyer, and a cease and desist order. Which one you opt for will depend on the outcomes you wish to achieve, and the legal processes you have the resources for.
As a cease and desist letter isn't strictly a legal document, it can be written by you — although you may prefer to consult a legal expert before doing so. If you believe the matter can be resolved this way, then it can be a simpler and less expensive process.
However, if the offending party is unlikely to comply, you may be able to save time by utilising a defamation lawyer and having them issue a concerns notice. This will also be necessary if you wish to receive financial compensation or further actions, such as an official apology.
What do the services of a defamation lawyer include and not include?
A defamation lawyer will be able to assess your case, to ensure that you have a solid basis for proceeding. Once this happens, they will ensure that your interests are looked after and that a fair agreement is reached. If you are a defendant, a defamation lawyer will be able to help you either defend your case or reach a settlement that satisfies both parties.
- Issuing a concerns notice. A concerns notice is a formal document that needs to be set in the matter of defamation. It's sent by the aggrieved party and establishes what has occurred, and how that constitutes defamation.
- Representation in court. For your case to be heard, and for your rights to be upheld, you need a defamation lawyer with the skill and experience to represent you in court.
- Communicating with the other party. In matters of defamation an open channel of communication is a necessity, this should be done through your defamation lawyer.
- Researching your case and presenting the best possible approach. Defamation can be a tricky area to prove or disprove complicity, which is why having a defamation lawyer with a good understanding of the subject is vital.
Typically not included
- Mediation or dispute resolution. If you do not wish to pursue damages or compensation, then a mediator would be the better option.
- Criminal defence or prosecution. Defamation is a purely a civil matter.
How effective is a defamation lawyer?
Looking at the defendant's side of things — a defamation lawyer is often seen as crucial in protecting one's interests. Primarily, this is because, under Australian defamation law, the impetus is on the defendant to prove that they did not defame the claimant.
For defendants — a defamation lawyer will help protect one's business, personal reputation, employment and livelihood, and more. Because of the fast-paced nature of the digital world, any damage from defamatory remarks can be swift and irreparable, meaning the only way you have to recover what was lost is through legal proceedings, and this is where a defamation lawyer can ensure that you are protected.
Do I need a defamation lawyer?
If someone is sharing negative false statements about you then you may wish to consult a defamation lawyer — such statements are rarely harmless, and can take either a financial or an emotional toll on business owners and individuals.
Owing to the widespread nature of defamation, there is an increasing pool of skilled and experienced defamation lawyers you can consult.
Where to get defamation lawyer quotes
- Lawpath. After creating an online account with Lawpath, you can access three free quotes from expert defamation lawyers who are a part of their vetted marketplace.
- O'Brien Solicitors. You can book a free consultation today through the O'Brien solicitors website. O'Brien solicitors also offer cases on a no-win, no-fee basis, provided they meet certain conditions — these are typically cases brought against media companies
- Websters Lawyers. Websters Lawyers offers a free initial consultation, which can be booked either on the phone or through their website
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