Defamation lawyers Melbourne and Ballarat

If someone has said or printed something about you that you believe damages your reputation or has lost you work, it can be very distressing. Your name and goodwill are on the line, and defending yourself can land you in hot water if it’s not done properly. There are specific laws that outline what we can and can’t say about others.

Find the right defamation lawyers to make sure that you are supported, and understand your options so you can restore your reputation and livelihood.

Defamation explained

Defamation is when someone publishes something that harms another person’s reputation. This can include written material, pictures, or even something spoken. It may be published in a magazine, newspaper, in drawings, on a blog or on social media. If you’re commenting or replying to a social media post, you can also have a claim or defamation brought against you.

If you bring a defamation claim, you must prove that the material makes a negative claim about you or your behaviour and that it’s untrue. This can often be difficult to prove, but our experienced defamation lawyers can help you build your case.

Time limits for defamation

In Victoria, you must make a claim for defamation within one year of the publication of the comments. This doesn’t give you much time if you believe that someone has damaged your reputation or is affecting your ability to work. While the time limit can potentially be extended by the court, this is generally an exception, not the rule. So, it’s important to seek legal advice quickly if you believe your character has been defamed.

Why MNG Lawyers

Our solicitors have over 20 years experience helping people just like you who believe their reputation has been defamed. We know that it’s an emotional and stressful time, so we take the time to listen to you, explain the law in plain English and outline your options so you can decide what you want to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several defences available against a defamation claim. These include if you can provide what was published was true or that you were offering your honest opinion. There are complex legal reasons that determine whether a defamation defence will be allowed by a court. For example, if it’s your opinion you must also be able to show that you honestly believed it to be true and were not being malicious. There are also some situations where you may not be able to sue for defamation at all because it is privileged, like if someone says something during a parliamentary debate or in a court.

Other situations may be qualified privilege, like if you’re giving a character reference to an employer or defending yourself in public. To use the defence of qualified privilege, you must be able to show that you weren’t being malicious or having reckless indifference to the truth.

If you successfully make a claim for defamation there are several things that a court may do. They can ask the other party to pay you damages, the amount of which will depend on the harm and personal hardship that was caused. The court may also ask the other party to issue a public apology.

Yes, defamation falls into two categories – libel and slander. Libel is something that is published in a permanent way, like in a book, while slander is something published in a non-permanent way like a speech. However, it no longer matters which category your claim falls under as both are now just treated as defamation.

Generally, large companies cannot sue for defamation, but a small business with 10 or fewer employees or not-for-profit companies may be able to sue for defamation.

If your company can’t sue for defamation, you may be able to claim an injurious falsehood. Injurious falsehood is something published by a third party (like a newspaper or on social media) that is false about the business. These claims can be complex and are often difficult to prove. Our experienced defamation lawyers can review your claim and help you understand your options.

Defamation is generally not a criminal offence, but there are certain situations where you can be fined or imprisoned for defamation. This is if you publish content that is considered to be malicious or that you know is not true.

Get in touch today, always in confidence.

We’re here to help. It’s our top priority to ensure your needs and concerns are met every step of the way.
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