In an age of technology, social media sites, and the ability to communicate incognito with seemingly nonexistent accountability, the issue of defamation, libel, and slander is more prevalent today than ever before. The topic requires the expertise of contemporary attorneys who have cutting-edge knowledge of technology and the internet, combined with the classic knowledge of constitutional rights and the laws of our country. The lawyers at George Collins, P.A. are able to combine these skills to bring you a solid and reliable defense.
What is Defamation?
Defamation is the spreading of false information by either negligence or intentional malice that leads to the harm of persons or reputation of the individual or group. A spiteful and untruthful attack can lead to innumerable consequences for the person or group such as loss of employment and emotional distress. This defamation is usually brought about in one of two ways:
- Libel- The spreading of falsities via the written word, either in print, through online publications, or through social media.
- Slander- Falsities that are stated orally.
Freedom of Speech or Accountability?
The complexity of the law of defamation hinges on the balance between two key principles that have combined to keep law and order in our country. These two principles are the following:
- Freedom of Speech– i.e. the First Amendment to the Constitution which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The amendment gives certain rights to everyone with respect to freedom of speech.
- Accountability and Consequences– The principles laid out in the First Amendment have limitations and boundaries when it comes to causing harm to others or infringing on the rights of another person as a result of the abuse of these rights and privileges.
Defamation law rests upon these two different but complementary ideas which are tied together with a complex set of laws, court cases, and exceptions that can be difficult to unravel. Cases of slander can become even more complex when it is necessary to obtain proof of defamation by way of witness statements, or in libel cases where investigative work is necessary to find proof of the false and malicious statements.
Because of the complexity of such laws, regardless of whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant in such a case, it is helpful to have the aide of a knowledgeable attorney who has a firm grasp of the laws and exceptions surrounding such cases.
Whether you are seeking to protect your reputation or well-being from a malicious and injurious attack that severely impedes your rights, or you are seeking defense against an accusation of defamation that lacks true merit, George Collins, P.A. has both the experience and knowledge to build an impregnable case. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your case.