When it comes to lawsuits, a defamation case can be very challenging. For example, unless you hire an attorney who works on a pro bono basis, this type of lawsuit can be costly. The reason for this is that to win, there is a lot of fact-finding involved, which often requires the assistance of an expert. Even if you win the case, information could leak to the public, leaving people with the wrong impression. While there are challenges, it is possible to win a defamation lawsuit.
You need to understand the true meaning of defamation, which is a false statement or lie that actually causes you harm in one way or another. For example, if someone posted on social media that you were having an affair, although you were completely innocent, and your spouse filed for divorce as a result, you could have a defamation case. Another example is if someone said or posted that you were a drug dealer and, because of that, your business suffered lost clientele and revenue.
There are two critical factors to a defamation case, evidence and a great attorney. If you have copies of posted lies, voice recordings, or any other evidence, save it. You then need to hire an attorney who is well versed in handling defamation lawsuits. During your first meeting, you need to be completely open and provide the evidence that you have, as well as any names of witnesses. Even if some of the information that you need to share is embarrassing, you have to be 100 percent honest with your attorney.
If your lawsuit focuses on recovering financial loss, make sure that you have bank statements or any other supporting documentation that proves that you did, in fact, lose money in direct correlation to the false statement. In the event that you were fired from your job, request a copy of your personnel files, as well. In a defamation lawsuit, you will face some tough battles. Therefore, you can never be too prepared.
Please note that while some lawsuits move along at a relatively good pace, a defamation case is not one of them. You will need to be patient and trust your attorney every step of the way.
To initiate a defamation lawsuit, your attorney will file a formal complaint. Next, the defendant will be served a notice and given a specific amount of time to respond.
At the same time, a formal investigation commences. Usually, the defendant is asked to give a deposition, which involves swearing under oath his or her side. In addition, any documents or other forms of proof are shared. Along with the defendant, other parties may be called to a deposition, such as your employer, doctors, therapists, etc. Depending on the circumstances and whom the defendant is, negotiations may occur in which both parties try to reach an agreement. If no settlement is reached, the lawsuit moves forward.
Based on your exact situation, your lawsuit could result in a jury trial or bench trial in which only the judge decides the outcome. Because this is an extremely difficult time, you want the best attorney possible working on your behalf.