Libel Case: Do I Need a Lawyer?

May 14, 2021

If you have been defamed, you can take false comments against you. In this case, defamation litigation is a remedy that helps to rectify damages caused by false statements and to recover some benefit.

Defamation is the act of expressing, posting, commenting and presenting data to destroy and damage his image, incite hatred, contempt and ridicule of the public. Defamation can affect an individual, a company or a product.

In the United States, if a person has been defamed and you believe that the action caused you any harm or loss, you have the legal right to file a defamation claim against the persons responsible for the false statements. As a general rule, the first step is to consult with a defamation lawyer who can refer you based on your case. For example, libel and slander are two forms of libel.

What is libel and slander? Slander is verbal libel, and libel is its written form. However, defamatory radio and television broadcasts are considered libel and not libel, although the libel in these cases is oral and not written.

What is libel as such? When written libel or slander is very clear in itself and does not require substantive explanation, it is called libel as such. For example, a false statement that: 

  • He accuses any person of a crime or accuses, codes or punishes him for a crime.
  • Holds the person responsible for an infectious, contagious, or disgusting disease.
  • Harms the plaintiff directly in connection with his position, profession, trade or business by disqualifying or imputing anything that could harm his professional interests.
  • He attributes to the applicant impotence or lack of chastity.

A defamation lawyer can help you understand defamation law, clarify doubts about what defamation is when you cross the line of free speech, determine the most appropriate remedies during the trial and represent your interests.

When a libel and non-pecuniary damage claim is filed, two types of compensation are claimed:

  • Actual damage: Compensation is required for the damage suffered by the victim in connection with the economic damage, his reputation and mental suffering.
  • Penalty damages: An attempt is made to punish the person who made the comment, as well as to serve as an example to discourage others from doing the same. Penalty damages are set as financial penalties.


Defamation of character, if a person makes a statement and wrongly accuses another person of a crime, or the statement adversely affects his or her profession, then the court or jury can assess the damage.

But in the case of other types of defamation, the victim must prove that the damage was caused in order to initiate the compensation process.

The penalty depends on the damage done and the type of protection. Defamation cases are very delicate because both parties have to prove their point of view, and thus they can also cause harm, so a defamation claim can be canceled if it is not substantiated.

Gone are the days when it was believed that only public figures can make slanderous statements, everyone can become a victim of false comments. For example, in your workplace, someone may bring unfounded accusations against you in order to damage your reputation, or an enemy may want to hurt you by posting personal photos or comments on social media.

An experienced defamation trial attorney will find the best way to recover your damages and get the most out of your case.

If you are charged with libel, you will also need a lawyer who can avoid your charges. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees its rights for freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association.

There are six possible ways to defend an accused person against whom a libel case is being filed, and this also depends on the type of allegation.

  • You have to confirm that what is said is true: this is complete protection, but it can be difficult to prove.
  • This was a reasonable comment on a matter of public concern: it only applies to “opinion” and not to a statement of fact. Typically, the respondent needs to prove that he expressed his opinion honestly and that the comments were not motivated by “malice” (knowledge of the falsity of a statement or negligence in order to discover its truth or falsity).
  • I had the privilege to state that a privilege can be absolute or limited. And this usually happens when a speaker or writer is required to communicate with a specific person on a specific occasion. In some cases, the privilege may be lost if the posting is unnecessary or malicious.
  • The consent was: the defendant must prove that he received some kind of permission from the defendant in order to choose this type of protection, this is usually unusual.
  • Innocent Spread: Occurs when a party defends itself against defamation because it was unaware of the content of a false statement. For example, a postman delivering a sealed envelope containing a defamatory statement is not legally responsible for any damage it may cause.
  • Exposing the bad reputation of the plaintiff: The defendant can reduce the defamation of a libelous statement by proving that the plaintiff did not have a good reputation. For example, this can be achieved by calling witnesses who can confirm the plaintiff’s unreliability in relation to the alleged defamation.

Today, defamation cases are very common and anyone can fall prey to false news or negative comments from colleagues, even on digital media such as Google.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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