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Can I Sue for Defamation in Kentucky Without a Lawyer?

By John DiGiacomo

The answer is “no.” To begin, Kentucky corporations, limited liability companies, and other types of corporate entities MUST hire lawyers to prosecute and defend litigation. Thus, for those types of entities who may be suing for business defamation in Kentucky, the answer is a definite “no.” Further, there is a statutory bar to corporate entities handling their own cases. This is a general rule, by the way. Corporate entities generally cannot engage in court proceedings without hiring licensed and experienced attorneys.

As for natural persons, the answer is the same (although there is no statutory bar). Personally handling your own defamation case in Kentucky without a lawyer is just not wise. Without legal training and significant experience handling Kentucky defamation cases, it would be disastrous. Further, if you tried to file and prosecute your own defamation lawsuit, Kentucky defamation judges would be leery and would consistently and regularly recommend that you hire skilled defamation lawyers.

There are several reasons for this. First, defamation cases are complex. In a defamation case, there are several key legal elements that must be proven. Further, the plaintiff — the person or company that is suing — has the burden of proving these elements. Failure to prove any element will result in the case being dismissed or an adverse verdict after trial. Generally, the elements are:

  • A false statement made by the defendant (the person or business being sued)
  • Publication of the false statement
  • The statement was made negligently, recklessly, or intentionally with regard to the truth
  • The plaintiff was injured by the false statement and
  • The damage/injury was caused by the false statement

A defamation Law Firm — like Revision Legal — understands these elements and what types of evidence are needed to carry the burden of proof on each element. Likewise, experienced defamation attorneys — like the ones at Revision Legal — know the legal defenses that can be used by defamation defendants. For example, one defense is that the statement was an opinion, not a statement of fact. Another defense is that the statement and its publication were privileged. A person without legal training will not understand how to prove the elements and how to counter legal defenses.

Another reason that you cannot personally handle your own defamation case in Kentucky relates to legal procedures and processes. Here are just a few questions to consider:

  • Does a person without legal training know the proper format for initiating a complaint?
  • Do you know how to identify and locate a person who commits defamation anonymously on the internet?
  • Do you know how to obtain service of process on the defendant?
  • Do you know what to do if the defendant files a Counterclaim?
  • Can you notice, schedule, and handle oral depositions?
  • What is the proper method of issuing written interrogatories?
  • What are the best procedures and methods for conducting document reviews?
  • Can you present documentary evidence to the court with the proper foundation as required by the Kentucky Rules of Evidence?
  • Will you ask for a jury trial? Are you entitled to a jury trial in Kentucky defamation cases?

If you have been defamed in Kentucky, it is worth suing and recovering just compensation. But, you will need skilled, seasoned, and courtroom-tested defamation lawyers to handle your case.

Contact the Defamation Attorneys at Revision Legal For more information, contact the experienced Defamation Lawyers at Revision Legal. You can contact us through the form on this page or call (855) 473-8474.

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