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What Is Defamation?

Get the answers from our experienced Virginia Beach lawyers

Defamation is an intentional false communication — either written or spoken — that harms your reputation, decreases the respect or confidence in which you are held or induces disparaging, hostile or disagreeable opinions or feelings about you. Libel involves the concrete publication of untruthful and injurious statements through the written word, printed material, Internet or social media. Slander is transmitted verbally. Both libel and slander can result in financial damages and diminished standing in the community.

The Law Office of Jeremiah A. Denton III was founded in 1980 and has built a reputation as a passionate and effective defender of people’s rights. From our Virginia Beach location, our attorneys seek justice in the most challenging defamation cases. If you have been the target of defamatory statements, we set the record straight and pursue the monetary damages to which you are entitled.

Public figures must meet a higher standard to prove defamation

As a public figure, you have a different expectation of privacy than a private citizen and you must meet a higher standard to prevail on a defamation claim — you must also prove that the defamation involved actual malice. In a defamation lawsuit, the actual malice involves a statement that was published with knowledge as to its falsity or with reckless disregard for the truth. In your role as a public figure, you have dedicated your efforts to improving your community and promoting the public interests. Your commitment to public good should not subject you to damaging ridicule. Our Virginia defamation lawyers determine whether the malicious comment rises to the level of a libel or slander claim and we file a lawsuit for damages.

Who is considered a public figure?

You are considered a public figure if you have actively sought to influence a matter of public interest — such as in the role of a senator, congressperson, city official, government employee or presidential candidate. You may be considered a limited-purpose public figure if you participate in a specific public controversy and can offer your own views through a media platform — for example as a protester or an outspoken activist. In addition, you may be considered an involuntary limited-purpose pubic figure based on your immediate involvement in a major public event or occurrence — such as holding a position as a security guard on duty during a terrorist attack or managing the trading desk involved in a substantial monetary loss.

Learn more about defamation from our lawyers in Virginia Beach

To learn more about defamation, call The Law Office of Jeremiah A. Denton III at 757-215-4818 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.


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