Basically, the kind of lawyer that would take on a cyberbullying and defamation case would be a top-rated defamation and/or negligence lawyer with experience in complex litigation cases. Revision Legal has such lawyers and we would be pleased to have you contact us for a consultation. We can be reached at 231-714-0100 or 855-473-8474.
Deep experience with complex litigation is necessary since cyberbullying and defamation involve complex legal issues. While cyberbullying and defamation are similar, they are separate legal causes of action. Often, the facts of a given case will combine elements, but it will be necessary to separate the facts into separate legal theories (the causes of action). These specific legal elements vary from state to state, and some states have statutes and laws that apply. Thus, it will be necessary to have knowledge of laws and legal elements in the state where the cyberbullying or defamation occurred.
Cyberbullying is a type of tortious conduct handled under the doctrine of negligence. “Tortious” is a legal word meaning some harm inflicted upon another without just cause. An automobile accident is a type of tort where a driver causes injury because of the accident. Usually, something like an accident is unintentional. Thus, the legal cause of action is negligence. But there is also intentional tortious conduct. Cyberbullying falls in that category. Cyberbullying is usually litigated as the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
As noted, the specifics will vary from state to state, but generally, intentional infliction of emotional distress has four legal elements that must be proven. These are:
- That the person being sued acted intentionally or with reckless disregard
- That the actions were “extreme and outrageous” — to an objective observer
- That the victim suffered severe emotional distress and
- That the actions of the person being sued were the cause of the severe emotional distress
As for defamation, again, the elements will vary, but generally, the elements are:
- At least one false statement was made by the person being sued about the victim
- The false statement was published to third parties
- The false statement was made negligently, with reckless disregard for the truth, or with intent to harm
- Injury or harm was suffered by the target of the false statement
- The false statement was the cause of the injury/harm
As noted, in many cases of cyberbullying, there is also a case for defamation. But, sometimes, the statements made as part of the cyberbullying are not false statements or are not “false” in the sense required for a defamation claim. For example, a statement that is an opinion will not be considered “false” for the purposes of defamation, but certainly can be evidence of intentional infliction of emotional distress. An example here might be something like, “you are ugly.” Likely, legally, that will be deemed to be an opinion, but it is certainly an intentional effort to inflict emotional harm. On the other hand, a statement like “you are fat,” might be objectively false AND an effort to inflict emotional harm.
Contact the Cyberbullying and Defamation Attorneys at Revision Legal For more information, contact the experienced Cyberbullying and Defamation Lawyers at Revision Legal. You can contact us through the form on this page or call (855) 473-8474.