People often confuse libel and slander, mistakenly using the terms interchangeably. Although they are both forms of defamation, they are unique concepts with different criteria of proof.
Founded in 1980, Denton & Denton Attorneys at Law reviews your case to determine if you have a cause of action based on either type of defamation. Our Virginia Beach lawyers guide you in pursuing justice against the perpetrators of untruthful and harmful statements.
Libel and slander represent two distinct causes of action, but share elements in common, including:
Both libel and slander face common challenges by the individual or corporation accused of making slanderous or libelous remarks. The truthfulness of the statement is an absolute defense. The defendant may also claim that the statements were merely opinions and not verifiable facts. The First Amendment protects certain speech, and even though slander and libel are not a Constitutional right, the line can blur.
The primary distinction between libel and slander is in the medium of publication. Slander refers to a statement that is communicated orally or through another ephemeral means, such as through a gesture or sign language. Libel involves a statement that is transmitted in a concrete form — including printed articles, Internet posts, text messages, videos or drawings. Our Virginia defamation lawyers pursue damages under the applicable theory of the law and collect evidence that supports your claim for slander or libel.
Both libel and slander have the effect of tarnishing your reputation or that of your business. A defamatory statement made about you personally can harm your standing in the community, affect your child custody rights, lead to your job termination or hinder advancement in your career. If the target is your business, it may experience lost profits and diminished good will. Proving how the defamation harmed you or your company is crucial to maximizing your damages award. Our attorneys think outside the box to gather evidence that shows your status, financial and emotional losses.
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