Facts & Falsehoods: Winning A Defamation Lawsuit in VA

People have greater reach now. Twenty years ago, defamation lawsuits were based on what people said in print (e.g., books or newspapers), or what was spoken about on TV. The number of people who had access to these outlets was limited. That is a crucial detail to remember. When someone spoke poorly about you—or said something false—in private, their reach was minimal. 

Due to social media and other internet-based outlets, anyone can speak to an enormous audience. When someone speaks negatively about you on social media, is it defamation? Let’s discuss that.

Virginia Defamation Lawsuits

You cannot paraphrase. When you file a lawsuit for defamation, you have to have the precise wording of what was said. Social media makes this relatively easy. Screenshot, print, and save anything you suspect could be the root of a defamation lawsuit. At the very least, you provide your attorney with a factual representation of what was said about you or your business.

One of the common questions people have pertains to opinions and libel or slander (slander is spoken and libel is written). The key to remember is that the statement (whether written or spoken) has to be proven false. For example, saying someone is a terrible person may be a matter of opinion. Outright saying someone is a convicted criminal (when they are not) is not opinion—and can be proven false. 

Right Facts, Wrong Impression

There are times when something is said based on truth but incorporates false information—or someone may say something factual to give you a false impression. Someone may omit a part of the story while stating everything else as it happened. The reader, viewer, or listener may get a very different interpretation than what occurred because of the intentionally omitted information.

The above also extends to circumstances where someone uses factual details while deliberately trying to get you to make a false impression. 

Law Offices of Robert Dawson

Regardless of the source of the defamation, it can have significant consequences on your personal and professional life. Something can be stated about you that alters how you are perceived in the public eye. False information can harm you unjustifiably. Although this can result in a financial loss for you or your business, it doesn’t have to be that tangible. 

For instance, false information can have an unseen effect such as mental duress—which can still impact your life. Contact the Law Offices of Robert Dawson and schedule a consultation. Don’t allow someone to speak falsely about you or your business. 

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Law Office of Robert Dawson

You have more power than you realize. If you need a professional attorney who has built a reputation within employment and business law, contact the Law Offices of Robert Dawson. We are passionate about protecting our clients and pursuing their interests. Contact us for tailored legal solutions.

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