What Is Business Defamation, And Should You Sue Over It?
Good Reputations Matter
What people are saying about you, matters. Bad press can kill a deal, or send a business straight into the red.
If you’re the target of an online reputation attack, act quickly.
Festering bad press can bury a business before it even gets off the ground, and cause established institutions to nosedive.
Are You Sure You Have A Valid Business Defamation Case?
Negative Opinions Aren’t Defamatory
The most important thing to remember about United States defamation law is this: Negative opinions don’t constitute slander (spoken defamation) or libel (written defamation). Freedom of speech and expression are the anchors of America’s core values. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, We, the People, are allowed to share of opinions – good and bad – whenever and to whomever, without fear of prosecution.
According to United States business defamation laws, negativity is not illegal.
Defamation IS Against The Law
Pure opinions, negative speech and public expression of controversial beliefs are all allowable actions in the United States. What isn’t allowed is defamation. Slander if spoken and libel if written, defamation is a civil action available to people whose reputations have been materially harmed as a result of an unprivileged false statement of fact. Huh? In simplest terms, to win a defamation claim, plaintiffs must prove that their defendants:
- Were responsible for making the statement at issue, and said statement was, indeed, about the plaintiffs.
- Negligently made a false, unprivileged and otherwise unprotected statement of fact that caused the plaintiff material or reputational harm;
What do those two things mean, practically? In a business defamation lawsuit, the following are true statements in 99% of cases:
- If the plaintiffs can’t prove that the defendants acted negligently, the plaintiffs can’t win. Even if, say, a reporter gets a fact wrong, but they can prove proper due diligence in gathering the information, in most cases, the errant statement would not be considered defamation under U.S. law.
- If the plaintiffs can’t prove that the statement under review caused themselves or their businesses financial – or otherwise material – harm, the plaintiffs can’t win.
The Relationships You Need
Founding partner Aaron Kelly was one of the first lawyers in the country to concentrate on Internet defamation law as it relates to businesses. The experience means we know the niche exceptionally well. We’ve also built solid relationships — relationship that translate into a better than average chance of getting the material you want removed, removed.
Slander and libel lawsuits are usually complicated. Giant puzzles with lots of contributing pieces. The key to winning is crafting the most convincing argument using every available detail. And that is what the business defamation litigators at Kelly / Warner excel at.
As a firm that concentrates on all things related to Internet and defamation law, every single person on our staff is required to have a tech background – from the receptionist to the partners, we’re a team of problem-solving aficionados.
Contact A Business Defamation Lawyer
Kelly / Warner lawyers help business with online reputation challenges. We have the tools, litigation team, relationships and experience you need to get things removed from the Web quickly, so your online reputation remains solid.
Kelly / Warner: better-than-big-firm results, for a fraction of the price.