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Stacey Evans Law
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Home > Atlanta Defamation Lawyer

Atlanta Defamation Lawyer

A person’s reputation is probably their most important asset. Professionals spend decades building a reputation as someone who is skilled and trustworthy. Unfortunately, it only takes one lie to bring all of that hard work crashing to the ground.

At Stacey Evans Law, we represent individuals or businesses whose reputation has been defamed. This is not the easiest type of legal claim to bring. Under the First Amendment, people have strong rights to free speech, and judges are often hesitant to find defamation claims. Still, free speech is not absolute, and there is no First Amendment right to tell a lie. Contact our law firm to get started.

Types of Defamation

All defamation is premised on lies. However, the law recognizes two types:

  • Slander. This is a spoken false statement that damages a person’s reputation.
  • Libel. This is a written or published false statement that damages a person’s reputation.

With the rise of the internet, defamation is increasingly communicated by social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. For that reason, we see more libel than slander, though both are actionable.

Both businesses and individuals can be defamed, and both can bring lawsuits. In fact, we increasingly advise businesses that they must stay on top of all statements circulating about them on Yelp and other review aggregation sites because unfair and libelous statements can damage their business model.

Proving Defamation

Whether you are alleging slander or libel, you must establish four elements to have a valid claim:

  • First, the defendant made a false statement of fact. An opinion is not a false statement.
  • Second, the defendant communicated this false statement to a third party without a privilege to do so.
  • Third, the defendant made the statement with fault, which in most cases will mean the defendant made the statement negligently or intentionally.
  • Fourth, our client suffered harm or the statement was defamation per se. An example of the latter is falsely stating a person committed a crime.

Why You Will Benefit from Hiring Us

Making out a claim for defamation is tricky. Defendants raise all kinds of objections, such as arguing the false statements were merely opinion and therefore protected. Others will claim they had a privilege to make the statement, such as in a legal proceeding.

Another complication stems from proving damages. Unless the statement is defamatory per se, our clients must show that the statement somehow harmed them, usually by costing them work opportunities.

If you are a public figure, then you face additional hurdles. People who are well known typically must show that the defendant made the statement with actual malice—a very high standard. In most cases, this means the person making the statement knew it was false or acted necessary with regard to truth or falsity.

Contact Us Today

Those injured by defamation must act quickly. Georgia gives victims only a year to file suit in court, and delay can cause you to lose your right to sue. Contact a defamation attorney in Atlanta today to schedule a time to speak.

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