If you can prove that the statements/rumors are NOT true, you can actually have them removed and potentially sue the person who is responsible.
Study the differences between slander (spoken defamation) and libel (written defamation). If you have been libeled, you do not have to prove damages. If you are slandered, you need to prove the actual losses you have suffered.
Gather evidence of the defamatory statements made against you. You need to prove in court that the defendant said or wrote the statements against you; the statements are not true; the statements caused harm to you, by damaging your reputation; other people heard or read the statements made against you.
Make copies of the statements made against you and collect proof that the defendant is the one who made the statements.
Gather documentation of the harm you have suffered -- this includes proof of how people treat you and harm to your business.
Obtain written statements of witnesses (third parties) who either heard or read the defamatory statements made by the defendant.
1. Talk to an attorney who specializes in defamation, slander or libel lawsuits. He or she will be the best one to advise you about what your potential monetary award might be.
Decide why you want to file a lawsuit for defamation. You stand a better chance of winning if your primary motive is to prove your reputation was harmed, rather than suing for monetary damages, vengeance or stopping the defendant from republishing the defamatory statements.
Discuss additional considerations with your attorney. If the defendant is already looked at with contempt, a lawsuit might actually only republish the defamatory statements. Libel lawsuits are sometimes heard by juries, which are not always predictable in the decisions they make. Make sure you have no negative information in your past -- this could work against you during a defamation trial.
2. File a lawsuit. The attorney you hire takes the evidence you have and files the "tort of libel" motion in court. This tort motion notifies the defendant that you intend to file a lawsuit for defamation of character.
3. Negotiate a settlement, if this is possible. Once the defendant and his attorney see the proof of defamation, they may be willing to discuss a settlement and avoid a lawsuit. The defendant in your case may decide to go ahead with the trial.
4. Proceed with your plans for the defamation lawsuit if the defendant refuses to consider settling the case.
Discuss your options regarding trial by jury or a bench trial. A bench trial is a trial where only the judge hears the evidence and rules on whether you have suffered harm to reputation.
· 7 years ago