blog home Defamation When “Opinions” Are Defamatory

Everyone has opinions. In some cases, having an opinion is even protected by law. However, there can be a fine line between opinion and defamation which can lead to legal wrangling between parties. This is particularly common when people provide their opinion about a business or a person and do so in a way that crosses the line from opinion to defamation.

Defamation is an act of libel that slanders a person’s reputation and can damage their ability to get jobs, retain employment, or to do business. This kind of “opinion” can take two different legal forms, but both are considered to be defamation rather than an honest opinion. When you have been impacted by someone’s defamation of your character, you might need to seek legal support to have the person’s statements retracted.

If you are ready to learn more about when opinions become defamation, you need to keep reading.

What Are the Two Types of Defamation?

Defamation can take two forms. These are the legal terms that are used to handle the case as it progresses. The difference between these two kinds of defamation will impact the way that your case is prepared and tried. Your lawyer will know how to help support you for either kind of case, and they can prepare the defense that is necessary for a good outcome in either case. Slander can be harder to try since it is often based more on one person’s word against another.

·         Slander

This is oral defamation, and it happens when one person spreads false or malicious rumors about someone else or someone’s business. This can result in the person losing their job or their livelihood as well as suffering damage to their reputation.

·         Libel

Libel is a defamatory statement that is published through any variety of media. This kind of defamation can include false or malicious statements that lead to contempt, hatred, ridicule, or even loss of a job or position. This is considered a civil breach of the law as well.

How to Tell if Someone Can Be Held Liable for Defaming You

If you think that someone has defamed you and caused harm to your reputation or your ability to work or hold a public office, you need to seek the help of a legal professional. Ultimately, your lawyer will help you to determine which form of defamation fits your situation so that you can proceed with seeking compensation and a retraction of the defamatory comments.

There are some easy ways to tell if you will have a case against someone who has defamed you. Any published statements that are not true that you can prove are not accurate can be considered defamatory. If the statement has caused you to lose your job, close your business, or has caused other harm to you that you can prove, you will be able to sue for defamation. Statements that fall into a privileged category cannot be proven in court, but all other statements can be considered defamation if they cause harm.

What Actions Should You Take If You Have been Defamed?

The first thing that you need to do when you think you have been defamed is to save all the evidence of the defamatory statements that you can. This can include saving written or printed materials or saving images of Tweets, posts on social media, or other digital statements that might be removed from publication by the person who has decided to defame you. You will want to be sure that you preserve the evidence of the defamatory actions so that they can be used as evidence in court.

You will then want to reach out to a lawyer to get the legal support that you need to support your case. You will want to be sure that your lawyer is skilled in this area of law since experience in these cases can make a big impact on your defense. Lawyers who have tried these cases before will know how to complete an investigation and gather evidence to support your case correctly.

Once you have legal assistance, you will have the support and guidance that you need to prepare for your case. You will be asked to provide the evidence that you have collected and any witnesses or contacts who might be able to provide testimony on your behalf. You will want to have as much support for your case as possible since there is always an element of these cases that is one person’s word against another.

Your lawyer will help you to decide which kind of defamation was involved in your case. This can impact the actions that are taken during the trial or the settlement determination that is made and you will want to follow the advice of your lawyer to be sure that you have the best possible outcome for your case. Skilled lawyers will know how to present the evidence that is needed to make a case, and you will be spared some of the discomforts of this kind of trial or hearing process when you have a skilled lawyer working on your behalf.

Work With a Skilled Defamation Lawyer For your Case

When you have been defamed in South Carolina, you will want to be sure to work with a skilled defamation lawyer who knows how to investigate and prepare this kind of case. You will want to be sure that you are going to be able to seek a withdrawal of the statements that have caused you harm, and you will want to be afforded damages for the harm that has been done to you.

Attorney Julian Allen is a skilled negotiator and trial lawyer with 15 years of experience. He has been named among Super Lawyers® Rising Stars™, and rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®. Call us at (843) 806-0191 to schedule a free consultation with no time limit if you have been a target of defamation. We can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to claim

Posted in: Defamation