The attorneys at Pfeiffer Law Corp help you to create a winning strategy
In a time when gossip news dominates every media outlet and millions of people are able to express their personal opinions on social media, defamation lawsuits are inevitable. As a result, defamation law is becoming increasingly relevant and complicated. Under current defamation law in California, a plaintiff pursuing a defamation claim must prove the defendant is at fault for publishing a false statement about the plaintiff, which then harmed the plaintiff. Whether you are considering bringing a defamation suit, have already been served as a defendant, or are worried about any potential liability, the attorneys at Pfeiffer Law Corp have the experience necessary to help you create a winning strategy.
Libel vs. Slander
In California, defamation suits are divided into two sub-categories: libel and slander. Generally, libel includes defamatory statements that appear on paper (writings, printings, pictures) while slander is usually restricted to oral statements and gestures. Libel is considered more serious because of the permanent nature of a writing versus the relatively fleeting nature of oral statements and gestures.
To prevail on a slander claim, however, only certain types of oral statements are presumed to be harmful to the plaintiff; the plaintiff will likely have to prove how s/he was actually harmed by the slanderous statement. Because of these types of technical distinctions, defamation law becomes complex very quickly. Retaining qualified counsel is imperative to achieving success in a defamation action. Our attorneys will bring their many years of experience to bear on your case to get the results you need.
Public vs. Private Figure
The Court also applies different standards to your case based on whether or not the plaintiff is a public figure or a private figure. Public figures receive less protection from defamation, while private figures enjoy a greater amount of protection. This is because the standard of proof for public and private figures is vastly different. When a public figure brings a defamation suit, the public figure must prove the defendant made the defamatory statement with “actual malice.” Actual malice means that the defendant knew the statement was false, or acted with reckless disregard as to the statement’s truth or falsity. This is a difficult standard to meet because it is very hard to prove or disprove a person’s thoughts at trial. When a private figure brings a defamation suit, however, the private figure need only prove that the defendant was negligent with regard to the statement’s truth or falsity. Determining whether a plaintiff is a public or private figure can be complicated and the attorneys at Pfeiffer Law Corp have the experience necessary to navigate the many subtle distinctions in the world of defamation law.
The examples above are only a few representations of the issues involved in defamation law. If you are facing a potential defamation suit, or feel you might have a good case for a defamation claim, give us a call at Pfeiffer Law Corp. Our attorneys will apply their experience to every facet of your case, whether the task requires filing a complaint, answering a complaint, sending a cease and desist letter, or pursuing the case all the way to trial.
If you are seeking representation regarding Defamation, give us a call at (310) 451-5800.