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Can you sue someone for defamation?

Have you and your business partner recently severed ties? If you two did not end your business partnership on amicable terms, you may be fearful of defamation.

A person’s right against slander may outweigh another person’s right to free speech. In other words, your ex-business partner does not have a right to say malicious and untrue things about you or your business.

What constitutes defamation?

Defamation encompasses written or spoken statements about someone’s character that harms their reputation. The statement must intend to cause harm. It must be false and negatively impact a person’s public image.

Written and published defamation is called libel. Spoken defamation is slander. Under defamation law, you may be able to sue anyone who defames your character or reputation.

Regardless of the type of defamation, here are three elements you must prove:

  1. Someone made a false, defamatory statement about you.
  2. Your reputation was harmed because of the statement.
  3. The statement the person made was false.

Without those elements, you may not be able to sue for defamation. A person’s opinion does not qualify as defamation. Additionally, if your ex-business partner speaks poorly about you or your business but the information is true, you will not be able to sue for defamation.

Is defamation common on social media sites?

It is worth noting that defamation can occur on social media. You may be able to sue someone for defamation because of claims they posed online. Unsurprisingly, a high number of defamation claims come from social media posts. Not all of the claims qualify as defamation.

If you are wondering if you can sue someone for defamation, it may be wise to seek legal guidance. An experienced legal expert can look into the validity and severity of a claim to determine if it qualifies as defamation. Keep evidence of the statement and the harm it has caused.

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Moghul Law PLLC

Moghul Law PLLC 8230 Boone Blvd., Suite 210 Vienna, VA 22182 Phone: 571-732-0764 Fax: 866-451-9531 Vienna Law Office Map