Defamation may be either a written or spoken false statement about anyone that may result in significant damage. Even if the statement is written online or uttered in any social gathering, it will still be considered defamation. The term ‘libel’ is used for posted defamation, while ‘slander’ applies to spoken words. Before you proceed to take legal action against such an action, you must have a clear idea of the whole process.
Here we discuss the whole procedure of pursuing a civil lawsuit against the person or any other entity that has made a defamation statement against you.
You Should Meet With A Defamation Lawyer :
The first action to go for is to discuss your situation and your legal alternatives with a professional attorney. So, first, you should hire one of the best defamation of character lawyers in Perth.
- If it is in written format, then you must show a copy of the defaming statement at your first meeting. A printed copy will be required for online posting. If there is any comment supporting the defaming statement, it should also be brought along with the main page.
- Then, you must prepare a detailed list of people who may have the correct set of information about the posted statement and its impact.
- Suppose you want to claim financial damage from the statement. In that case, you should carry any related documentation that may include accounting or bank statements, income tax information, pay stubs, contract ending notices, or any other document that will have valid proof that you have lost money or an opportunity to earn. You should not forget to bring any relevant evidence for your case. So, it is better to be prepared from the earliest.
- Above all, you have to be very honest. You have to trust your lawyer and also earn the trust of that person. It means that you should tell all the details to your attorney before the lawsuit proceedings so that he can handle the case better.
Consultancy firms like Defamation Lawyers Perth can help you to get an attorney for your case.
You Should File A Defamation Lawsuit :
This very step involves three separate actions that are as follows.
The Case Starts With The Complaint
Once you have discussed with your lawyer, and he or she has investigated the case that implies that you can now go with the matter. A complaint has to be lodged in the civil court system of your state. This document will start the lawsuit process. At this stage, you have to consider the defamation statute of restrictions in your state or territory. It is a law that states that you have to take the case to court within a limited period.
You should keep in mind that initiating the lawsuit does not mean that the court will give its verdict in just a few weeks or months. For a defamation case, sometimes it takes more than a year to reach only the trial stage, while settlement negotiations can continue with litigation playing its part.
Service, Answer, And Discovery
In the next stage, the defendant gets the lawsuit documents and has a little space of time in which he or she has to file the response, which should be a reasonable answer.
Following the defendant’s response, the court will issue a scheduling order in which all the vital deadlines are included. And at this point, the phase of ‘discovery’ starts. Each party sends written questions to the other parties through their attorneys. These questions are termed interrogations. The questions have to be answered under oath, and the information helps the people of the opposing party, i.e. the defendant, to get to know more about you, case facts, and potential witnesses.
Just the same way, the other party will also ask you to submit specific documents. You have to work with your lawyer to answer those documents and gather the records. But, sometimes, you may have to withhold documents or reject to answer the questions.
In the phase of deposition, an interview is conducted under oath, during which the lawyer of your opposing party will ask you questions. Take this as a golden chance to make a judgment of yourself and choose what type of witness you will keep at the trial, get an idea of the strength of your claims, and how a jury will perceive you. Here also, your lawyer will help you. Other witnesses who sufficiently know your case may also be questioned.
You Should Settle A Defamation Case :
As the discovery process gets over, both sides can gather most of the primary information they require. At this point, the settlement negotiations usually start. Whether you want to settle the case out of court or take it to trial is up to you, but you should consult with your attorney before making any decision. Attorneys may sometimes give the advice to make even powerful cases get settled for various reasons. But it will wholly depend on the situation.
A trial can give rise to much anxiety, or you may not want to make some specific information public. Sometimes it may also happen that the verdict comes in your favor, but you have not got the amount you have expected for the damages. It usually occurs when it is challenging to establish calculated losses.
Many people don’t have enough patience and will not take risks of getting something in the future. Instead, they will prefer a certain amount when the trial ends over expecting something in the future. So, you have also to consider these things.
A majority of defamation lawsuits get settled upon agreement from both sides, while those go to trials when the two sides are so far apart that no agreement can be reached.
Where Can You Find A Civil Lawyer?
Civil lawyers in Perth can also give you advice on defamation cases. To get in touch with an attorney, you may contact a consultancy firm like Civil Lawyers.