Florida Defamation of Character Attorneys

Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can absolutely destroy a business or a person's reputation, causing long-term damage and consequences. Whether spoken or in print, defamation of character can cause severe damage. It can impact a person's career, relationships with family and friends, and mental well-being. It can also cause significant damage to a company’s goodwill that has been built over years of good business. If you are the victim of defamation of character, you need an attorney dedicated to holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Parrish & Goodman Attorneys at Law represents the injured with integrity, determination, and personal service.

We have legal representation throughout Florida with offices in Fort Myers and Naples. Parrish & Goodman Law Firm has experience handling hundreds of slander and libel cases throughout Florida, including complex cases involving Internet and email communications. We will not rest until you receive justice and clear your name from association with any falsehoods or wrongdoing. Protect your rights and reputation with a seasoned defamation of character lawyer today.

Call 813-643-4529 or complete the contact page to request your consultation with one of our experienced Florida Defamation of Character Attorneys

Proving Slander or Libel in Florida

Florida law views slander and libel as two separate forms of defamation of character. Both involve false statements presented as facts that damage another person’s reputation, character, or standing. Such false utterances can cause legal lawsuits to clear your name and recoup any losses you or your business may have suffered.

  • What Is Slander? Committing slander is orally speaking defamatory remarks or making such claims about a person publicly before a third party.
  • What Is Libel? Committing libel is writing derogatory or false claims about another person and communicating those falsities in writing to third parties. This can include email and social media.

Both are equally damaging ways to commit defamation of character under the law. Proving defamation of character in a court of law requires:

  • Proving that a specific person made a statement
  • Proving that the statement was distributed orally or in written form
  • Proving that the statement caused you to suffer an injury
  • Proving that the statement was false
  • Proving that the statement was not protected (examples of protected statements are those made in a legal deposition or during a trial)

Possible harm you could suffer from defamation of character can include mental stress, depression, loss of a job, denial of opportunities, and more. If these or other damages are proven as a matter of law, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your losses and receive a retraction of the defaming comments.

Common Defamation Questions

What does or does not constitute defamation of character can be confusing. Many factors apply, and proving the statements according to the above criteria can often be tricky. Here are some of the most common questions our attorneys are asked about potential defamation cases.

  1. Is making false statements about someone online defamation of character? If someone made false statements or accusations about you online, and you suffered an injury from their statements, that is libel (written communication).
  2. Is spreading rumors about a person that causes them to be fired defamation of character? If the statement was false and you can prove the firing was due to the false statement, that is slander (oral communication).
  3. Is spreading a negative opinion of someone defamation of character? People can share negative or unflattering opinions without breaking the law. “I think so-and-so is stupid” is an opinion that does not necessarily constitute a false statement of fact. “So-and-so stole my wallet at the library” is defamation if the statement is invalid.

Note: Adding “I think” does not convert false statements into opinions. “I think so-and-so steals wallets at the library” can still be a legally defamatory statement that could warrant a legal response.

What Can I Do About Libel or Slander?

If you have experienced libel or slander, documenting the statements about or against you is critical. This is the absolute best evidence you can offer to our attorneys. Of course, Internet-based communications can be erased, so screenshot the offending statements immediately and save them in a secure location. Next, you should identify potential witnesses who also viewed or heard the statements and record their testimonies. You should also document any damages from these false statements and the proof that connects them.

Schedule a Florida Defamation of Character Consultation

Defamation of character is a civil matter in Florida, and you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation in the courts. Parrish & Goodman Attorneys at Law have represented hundreds of Florida individuals who have suffered from slander or libel. Collect all the evidence of the defamatory and false statements you can, and then call our statewide firm at 813-643-4529 to schedule a consultation.

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