Home Defamation

Legal Assistance for Victims of Libel and Slander

Defamation is damaging someone’s good reputation. It involves false, oral or written, damaging statements made by one person about another. Defamation can have serious negative effects on the target person, including physical and emotional health issues. If you have suffered damage to your reputation because of false statements someone else has made, you may be able to recover compensation from the responsible party.

I represent clients the way I would want to be treated: with respect, honesty, and a commitment toward great results.”
- Julian Allen

How Does Defamation Occur?

A tort is a wrongful act or infringement on the rights of another that leads to civil legal liability. Defamation is a tort that involves injury to another person’s reputation. Damaging statements about the victim may be:

  • Slander – spoken statements; or
  • Libel – written statements

In both slander and libel cases, the defamatory statement must have been “published.” This means the statement was communicated through oral remarks or through a blog, newspaper, magazine, or other traditional format.

What Are the Elements of Defamation?

In a civil action to recover damages for defamation, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff (person bringing the action) to show that a statement made by the defendant (at-fault party) is defamatory in nature. The following elements of the claim must be shown:

  • A false and defamatory statement was made
  • The false and defamatory statement was unprivileged and published to a third party (meaning the person who made the statement did not have a right or privilege to make it to a third party)
  • The statement damaged the plaintiff

While most defamation claims require that the plaintiff prove that there has been an injury or damage, some statements are presumed to have caused the plaintiff harm. These statements are defamation per se.

What Qualifies as Defamation Per Se?

With this type of defamation, the law presumes damage to a person’s reputation from certain types of false statements. The categories of per se defamation are statements that:

  • Suggest the victim committed a criminal offense
  • Represent that the victim has contagious disease
  • Represent a lack of chastity in a female victim
  • Claim unfitness for business, profession, or office

What Is the Time Limit to File a Defamation Lawsuit in South Carolina?

A statute of limitations is a time limit imposed by law. Although the statute of limitations is three years for most injury claims in South Carolina, for libel or slander, the time limit is only two years. Once the statute of limitations has run, a claim is forever barred.

How Can an Attorney Help When You Have Been a Target of Defamation?

If someone has caused damage to your reputation through defamation, our Charleston personal injury attorney at Allen Law can help restore your good name. We can help you hold responsible parties accountable by pursuing compensation for your damages.

Our firm was founded in 2015. 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) 882-5005 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.

Additional Information