26 May 2009 by Mary Heaney
Reputation is not only a matter of pride but can be of commercial value to individuals and businesses and as such the services of a libel lawyer may be required to maintain a public profile.
Reputation is not only a matter of pride but can be of commercial value to individuals and businesses and as such the services of a libel lawyer may be required to maintain a public profile. The advice of a libel lawyer can be helpful either for preventing or repairing damage done or for ensuring that fair compensation is received after the event. Equally, a libel lawyer can ensure that those in media stay on the right side of the law and act on their behalf should a claim be brought against them.
What kind of work a libel lawyer deals with
A libel lawyer deals with defamation which can be categorised as either libel, slander or malicious falsehood. A libel lawyer defines libel as something that is published in the media, slander as something that is spoken and malicious falsehood as something that is known by the publisher to be untrue. A libel lawyer can also defend your right to privacy, preventing the publication of private information even if it happens to be true.
A libel lawyer can act on the behalf of any individual, business or partnership concerned that they either have been or will be suject to defamation. A libel lawyer can help bring a claim against the publishers of such material. Preventative action can also be taken though so, as is the case whenever taking legal advice, you can benefit from contacting a libel lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity. A libel lawyer can usually only act within a year of the original publication except if the material is still available.
On the flip side, a libel lawyer can also act for media defending the publication of material accused of being defamatory.
How a libel lawyer can assist you
The earliest action a libel lawyer can take (if you consult quickly enough) is to apply to the court for an injunction preventing a damaging publication. If urgent, this process can be very fast, taking just a few hours. It is important to give your libel lawyer as much information as possible so they can make an effective application.
If the damage is already done, a libel lawyer can help you receive compensation, recovery of any costs incurred in the process and an apology, retraction or correction. Your libel lawyer may even be able to reach such a settlement without you having to go through the additional distress of litigation and a court appearance.
For the media, a libel lawyer can give pre-publication advice on material, whether it be journalistic or advertising. A libel lawyer can also advise clients on the strength of a claim brought against them and the sagacity of defending it should the situation arise. Consequently, a libel lawyer can either help negotiate and resolve a complaint or provide a defence should the claim prove unmeritous.
NB: None of this information should be construed as legal advice.