Defamation occurs when something that is untrue and damaging to a person’s reputation is published. Publishing may refer to appearing in print, online, on the radio or television, or simply repeated to a third party. People who have been defamed are able to sue the party responsible and hold them liable for damages that their defamatory statements have made. The process can be long and challenging, but worthwhile if you have suffered a loss. If you are considering suing someone for defamation of character and would like to know more about the process and your chances of winning your case, contact the experienced Philadelphia law firm of Bochetto & Lentz. We have represented many clients successfully, and can provide you with the counsel and representation that you need.
Filing a defamation of character lawsuit always begins with meeting with a qualified attorney and providing them with the details of your experience. By providing them with as much documentation as possible, including evidence of the defamatory comment and any evidence that you can gather to show the damage that has resulted from the statements, you give your attorney the information that they need to properly advise you about the strength of your case. If your attorney believes that your rights have been violated and damage has been done, they will prepare a complaint to be filed with the court. This complain will detail the wrongs that have been done to you.
After the lawsuit has been filed, the court allows the accused time to answer the claim, then established specific deadlines for the gathering of evidence. The formal investigation process, which needs to be pursued by both sides in a defamation of character case, is called discovery. It involves written questions called interrogatories being supplied to both the defendant and the accused in order to provide detailed information about the evidence that will be presented in court, and may also involve submitting information about documents and witnesses that will be used to support your case. Interviews called depositions are scheduled, during which the attorney for the other side will ask you questions. Though they are gathering information, they are also gauging your strength as a witness in order to assess how the case is likely to go if it proceeds to trial. It is usually after depositions are completed that settlement discussions between both sides begin.
There are many good reasons to consider a settlement in a defamation of character case. It minimizes the risk of exposure of embarrassing information that may further impact either side’s reputation. It also cuts the process shorter, and for those who have been defamed may result in a higher amount of compensation, as juries often have a difficult time assessing the value of a reputation. The attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz always have our clients’ best interests in mind, and have extensive experience in advising clients about whether to accept a settlement offer or to proceed. If you would like to discuss your situation and get our thoughts on whether to file suit or not, contact us today to set up a convenient appointment.
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