Libel and Slander Attorneys
At Older, Lundy & Alvarez, we understand that one of your most valuable, cherished, and important assets is your reputation. When one’s reputation has been tarnished by a false statement, or a statement that gives rise to a false implication, we use defamation law—which encompasses both libel and slander— to help restore your reputation and to recover damages suffered as a result of the false statement or implication.
A claim for defamation requires proof of five things:
- Publication – i.e., a written or spoken statement made to one or more third parties or to the public at large.
- Falsity of the written or spoken statement.
- Negligence/Malice – If the false statement concerned a public official or a matter of public importance, the speaker/writer/publisher/broadcaster will be liable if the statement is made with actual knowledge or reckless disregard of the falsity; if the statement was made about a non-public person or issue, the plaintiff needs to prove that the speaker/writer/publisher/broadcaster was at least negligent in publishing the false statement.
- Actual damages resulting from the defamatory statement or publication;
- The statement must be defamatory—i.e., it must be false, or at least create a false implication. Defamation by implication may arise from an implication where, for example, a defendant juxtaposes a series of facts that imply a defamatory connection between them, or creates a defamatory implication by omitting facts that put the otherwise true statements in proper context.
“Slander” is when the false statements are conveyed orally and not recorded or broadcast. “Libel” is when the false statements are published in written form or broadcast or otherwise published in a tangible medium.
In certain situations, the law recognizes certain categories of defamation—called “defamation per se” (or “libel per se” or “slander per se”) general damages may be presumed. For example. damages may be presumed when the defamatory statements concerning a person tend to degrade the person, bring him or her into ill repute, destroy confidence in his or her integrity, or cause other similar injury.
The law of defamation is complicated, as there are often two important competing principles—the subject’s right to his or her reputation, and the First Amendment rights of the person who published or spoke the allegedly defamatory statements.
At Older Lundy & Alvarez, our defamation litigation practice involves the representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in defamation litigation. We are experienced in navigating the complex issues and protecting the reputations of our clients who are the victims of defamatory statements, and protecting the First Amendment rights of our clients who are accused of defaming another person.
Get the Help You Need to Resolve Libel and Slander Issues
Older Lundy & Alvarez welcomes the privilege to serve you or your business. Schedule an appointment with our team of skilled and dedicated Tampa defamation litigation attorneys by calling 813-254-8998, or contact us online to schedule your consultation.