Generally speaking, if you have a claim for defamation in Massachusetts or are defending against a claim for defamation, you will need to hire a top-tier Defamation Law Firm. But, depending on the type of defamation and where the defamation occurred, you may also need a Defamation Lawyer with other expertise. For example, if the defamation involves a business making false statements about a competing business, you will need a Business Defamation Attorney. If the defamation occurred on the internet or on social media, then you will need an Internet Defamation Lawyer. Here at Revision Legal, we have deep experience with defamation cases generally and with Business Defamation and Internet Defamation. We are top-rated Business Attorneys and we are lawyers specializing in internet law. Call us at 231-714-0100 or 855-473-8474.
The basics of Massachusetts defamation claims are generally the same. Defamation can be either oral or in writing. The first is called slander and the second variety is called libel. For either type, a victim must prove five legal elements which are:
- A statement of fact was made — not an opinion
- The statement was false
- It was published to some third party or parties
- The statement resulted in injury to the victim
- The statement was not privileged in some way (such as a statement made in court proceedings)
Likewise, the types of damages that can be recovered for defamation in Massachusetts are generally the same. These include recovery of money damages for things like actual lost earnings, lost earning/business opportunities, damage to reputation, pain and suffering, emotional suffering, shame, etc.
But, as noted, you will need a Defamation Attorney with more experience in other legal fields depending on the case. For example, with Business Defamation, the key to successfully punishing defamation is proving lost profits and loss of business opportunities. Business Defamation Lawyers understand that these categories of damages involve the complex discovery of evidence and the use of expert witnesses and opinions to show how the false statements directly caused the loss of contracts, sales, and revenue. Maximizing the damages that are recovered in a Massachusetts defamation case is good in and of itself, but also serves to deter the person making defamatory statements from engaging in such bad behavior in the future. It also serves as a warning to others.
With online and social media defamation, there are two keys to success. First, you want to have the defamation removed from the internet. Yes, the saying is that the “internet is forever” and you can probably find anything with the Wayback Machine. But, still, you want internet users to stop finding the defamatory statement(s) in the here and now. A special legal skill set is needed to accomplish that. The second key is finding the social media/internet defamer in the real world. Often, internet defamation is anonymous. But, the law has means of tracking the anonymous commenter and bringing them into court. If you have a defamation case in Massachusetts, call us here at Revision Legal.
Contact The Defamation Attorneys at Revision Legal