With the close to universal use of social media and the internet, people increasingly are suffering serious damage to their reputations from scurrilous, false, and painful defamatory on-line statements. Businesses also face loss of reputation and patronage from false and vindictive online publications. Free speech protections and state law privileges for certain types of communications often limit the ability to sue or obtain full compensation for such conduct. People in the public eye face heightened barriers to succeeding in recovering damages for even malicious speech. California’s anti-SLAPP statute may result in dismissal of an ill-conceived defamation action at an early stage and result in the defamed plaintiff paying for the defendant’s attorney’s fees! Proof of hard damages may be elusive.
What can be done?
Defamation actions require careful planning and preparation, as well as counsel fully conversant with the many pitfalls facing defamation plaintiffs. Notable recent cases have resulted in substantial verdicts for injured plaintiffs where the evidence showed the defendant with malice published false information not related to a genuine public issue.
We can help.
The Law Offices of David H. Schwartz, Inc. has the knowledge and experience to evaluate a defamation claim and, if it is actionable, develop the evidence necessary to prosecute it to the fullest and recover maximum damages. If you have been defamed, call us to arrange a free consultation on whether you have an actionable claim, the probability of success, and the likely litigation costs and damages available.