Defamation Lawyer near me

What Does Defamation Cover?

Personal injury law covers damage to the reputation of a person because of a lie. In a defamation lawsuit, a plaintiff must prove that a false statement was published to a third person and that this statement injured the plaintiff's reputation and therefore entitled the plaintiff to damages.

The intentional tort of defamation recognizes two types of defamation: slander and libel. Slander covers a spoken false statement, and libel covers a written false statement. Both slander and libel cases fall under either category as "defamation per se" (a statement that the court finds is obviously defamatory and its content will harm the plaintiff's reputation) or "defamation per quo" (a statement that might not be obvious or clearly understood why it would harm the plaintiff, but the plaintiff proves harm resulted from it).

Defamation cases are very fact-driven and can be lengthy and expensive as they can consist of numerous interrogatories and depositions to prove facts and actual damages to a plaintiff's business, trade, property, career, or occupation. Defamation damages also include expenses the plaintiff has incurred for damage control and for repair to their reputation such as hiring a public relations firm or a social media monitoring agency. Other expenses which can be included in damage calculations are compensatory damages such as medical visits (including a psychiatrist) for stress, depression, sleep disorders and other symptoms inflicted by the defamation. A monetary value can also be applied to hurt feelings, shame, and mortification, and these can also fall under assumed damages (presumed damages) as a court may assume that these negative experiences have caused harm even if the plaintiff cannot prove actual damages. Furthermore, if the plaintiff proves that the defendant acted with malice or fraud, the court can also punish the defendant by awarding punitive damages.

How Do Defamation Lawyers Get Paid?

Hopefully, you have not needed to conduct a defamation lawyer near me search, but if you have, here's what you can expect.

Generally, defamation lawyers are retained on an hourly fee basis but they may also agree to represent you on a hybrid fee structure for a lower hourly rate and a lowery contingency fee. Like personal injury attorneys, defamation lawyers need to evaluate each case individually to determine the merits of the case and whether there is a greater than not likelihood of success. A defamation attorney will also focus on gathering evidence and hiring experts, if needed, to prove their case.

As the plaintiff, your attorney will most likely work on a contingency basis receiving a percentage of the net recovery (usually 25% to 40% of net after attorneys cost reimbursement). The percentage increases as the case moves forward from the pre-filing of the lawsuit to litigation.

If you are the one defending your statement as true, the attorney most likely will charge you by the hour. Hourly fees typically require a retainer and vary by state as that state's bar regulations imposes fees limitations.


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Orlando Office: 37 North Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801. Phone: (407) 926-6610
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Stuart Office: 789 South Federal Highway, Stuart, FL 34994. Phone: (772) 283-9200 Fax: (772) 283-9229
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