If you have been defamed, prompt action is crucial to protect your reputation and avoid further damage.
Our experienced Defamation Lawyers represent both claimants and defendants in relation defamation claims including claims with represented and unrepresented parties.
We understand that when questions about defamation arise, time is usually of the essence.
If you need an answer fast, contact us today for a Free Case Evaluation.
How We Help
Our Defamation Solicitors will quickly evaluate your defamation claim and help you develop practical strategies for redressing damage caused to your reputation. We also assist parties to defend a defamation claim.
Claims for defamation through the Courts can be protracted and expensive to run resulting in significant stress or personal anxiety, particularly if parties are unrepresented or represented by Lawyers who are inexperienced with defamation cases. Where possible, we will endeavour to help you avoid the need to become involved in such Court proceedings or resolve existing proceedings promptly.
Our approach is usually to issue a detailed and effective Concerns Notices at the earliest opportunity and to encourage the offending publisher to seek legal advice without delay so that a proper and timely resolution might be achieved in the interests of all concerned through a reasonable Offer to Make Amends.
If Court proceedings have been commenced by an unrepresented litigant, the pleadings are often defective. When this occurs prompt action is required to address the problem, narrow issues in dispute and/or to have the claim struck out by the Court.
When defamatory publications are ongoing, we can also assist with urgent applications for injunctions.
A claim for defamation exists where a statement or publication is made to a third party that carries a defamatory imputation unless:
- there is an available Defence, or
- the person is a company with more than 10 employees or a publicly listed company other than a non-for profit organisation.
The law of defamation is based upon the communication of defamatory meanings (or imputations) and not simply upon the words spoken (or written).
There is no single test for determining whether a statement is defamatory. Examples of the formulations used to define a “defamatory imputation” include imputations which:
- are likely to lower a person’s reputation in the eyes of reasonable members of the community,
- injures a person’s reputation by exposing them to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or
- tends to make the person be shunned or avoided.
The basic Defences available to a claim for defamation are:
- truth (or justification),
- contextual truth,
- absolute or qualified privilege,
- fair comment about a matter of public interest, and
- a reasonable Offer to Make Amends.
A claim for defamation is only actionable if brought within a period of 12 months from when the defamatory statement or publication was made.
As Court action is best avoided, where possible, it is usually better to take prompt action to try to minimise or redress any early damage that a defamed person has suffered.
To assist parties to avoid the need for Court action, the Defamation Act 2005 (NSW) provides that a person who is aggrieved by a defamatory publication may issue a Concerns Notice to the publisher whereafter the publisher has 28 days to make an Offer to Make Amends.
It is important to carefully and clearly articulate the defamatory imputations.
Offers to Make Amends
An Offer to Make Amends will usually include an offer to publish a correction or apology and payment of compensation. In addition, the offer must also include an offer to pay the legal expenses reasonably incurred by the aggrieved person.
If not accepted a reasonable Offer to Make Amends will be a Defence to a claim for Defamation.