Defamation Lawyers - NSW
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What is defamation?
Defamation occurs when someone communicates material which has the effect of, or leads to, damaging the reputation of another person or entity. It doesn't matter how the communication occurs (spoken words, writing, photos, video, drawings, etc.) or what material is communicated.
Defamation is unlawful and is governed by Defamation Act 2005.
The function of defamation law is to protect the reputation of individuals and businesses by providing a deterrent in the form of compensation.
With this in mind, there are two traditional forms of defamation:
Strict time limits do apply to defamation claims. For this reason, it is recommended you seek legal advice immediately when you become aware you have been defamed.
When has defamation actually occurred and what would need to be proved?
Defamation has occurred when:
All of the above will need to be proved by the plaintiff if they are to achieve a successful outcome in a defamation case.
The three most important factors to consider in any potential defamation case are:
When is communication actually defamatory?
Defamatory communication is:
Can I claim for defamation?
If you have been defamed (see above) and you wish to take legal action for defamation, then legal proceedings must be commenced within 12 months of the publication of the defamatory material.
However, you should consider very carefully any offer by the publisher to make amends... as there can be serious implications if you commence proceedings after a reasonable offer to make amends has been made.
If you have been the victim of defamation we recommend you seek legal advice immediately so strategies can be put in place to minimise the risk of any further damage to your reputation.
I have been accused of defamation, what should I do?
If you have received a cease and desist letter and have been accused of defamation you should seek legal advice immediately, as failing to respond to the accusation in an appropriate timeframe could lead to further consequences.
If you have been accused, there are three principle defences to a defamation claim:
What are the first few steps in the defamation claims process?
The first step involves getting in contact with us to book in a 'Preliminary Assessment' phone conference, to determine if you have a claim that is worth proceeding with.
If it is determined that you have a claim worth proceeding with, the second step in the process usually involves us drafting and sending a cease and desist letter to the defendant. However, in some defamation claims, a cease and desist letter may not be appropriate.
If the cease and desist letter fails to generate the response you were hoping for, we'll need to proceed to Court.
For all your defamation enquiries, please call 1800 994 279 or email us.
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation