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What is Defamation?

Defamation law allows a person to sue others that publish material that is capable of reflecting badly on the person’s reputation. Material is considered to be defamatory where the natural and ordinary meaning of that material bears meanings that an ordinary person could draw, and those meanings injure a person’s reputation.

The material that can be considered defamatory is not limited to letters and emails. It could be a photo, a social media comment, text message, blog, video, verbal statement or anything that is communicated to another person.

The time allowed to bring a claim for defamation, and the period given to provide an offer to make amends, is short. There are also a variety of defences available to a claim for defamation. Broadly, these defences are based on whether the person had the right to publish what they did and whether the material is actually defamatory.

Whatever your situation, when your reputation is on the line, you need someone you can trust. At Small Myers Hughes, we understand that decisive action is needed to both make and defend a defamation claim, and our experienced lawyers are trained to provide timely and cost effective solutions.

Our experience includes:

  1. implementing take-down strategies for material published online;
  2. advising clients about the path to resolution for both verbal and written publications of defamatory matter, including where that matter is on-forwarded;
  3. issuing concerns notices to the publisher of defamatory matter and obtaining an unequivocal apology and payment of legal fees for our clients;
  4. advising clients regarding damages and economic loss components of possible court proceedings;
  5. attending mediation to resolve defamation claims;
  6. issuing and defending court proceedings.