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It takes a lifetime...

18 Jun 2014

It is often said that it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only a few seconds to destroy it. The law of defamation seeks to address the problems associated with negative communications with respect to a person’s character. Defamation is a statement that is communicated by a third party that tends to harm a person’s reputation. Defamation can occur either verbally (“slander”) or in writing (“libel”).

Reputational damage can have extremely negative consequences on a person’s life in general and on a business in particular. With the rise of the Internet, defamatory statements have been easier to proliferate and harder to fight. Individuals tend to be harsher in their expressions while remaining anonymous. The online medium presents procedural and practical challenges that require the aid of a skilled lawyer.

In a business context defamatory statements occur between warring ex partners and various stakeholders. It is often the case that departing employees, former business associates, directors, partners or competitors in the same industry seek to tarnish a company’s or a person’s reputation by, among other things, misrepresenting facts about it. It is also the case that individuals and companies can seek to sabotage the productivity of a business by interfering with its economic relations, committing trade libel and causing to lose profits and earnings. Finally, it is often the case that individuals and companies are wrongfully subjected to allegations of defamatory conduct only to put pressure through a misuse of our judicial system.

We are often surprised at how shocked people become when they realize the severe consequences that follow defamatory conduct. At Zeilikman Law we strive to both protect and vindicate the reputation of our clients and to defend individuals and companies that are being sued for defamation and other causes of action. If your business or you have been subjected to defamatory statements, or if you have been sued with defamation and are in need of representation, we invite you to contact us.

The above article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you are an employer or an employee and have concerns with regard to the foregoing issues, please make an appointment with one of our lawyers or a qualified legal practitioner elsewhere.