What Does a Defamation Lawyer Do?

Sometimes a defamation lawyer will also provide advice to his clients concerning defamation law and ways to avoid lawsuits.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2014
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A defamation lawyer typically handles cases in which a person has been accused of saying or publishing false statements that are malicious and damaging to the character of another person. A defamation lawyer may work on behalf of the person accused of making these statements. In such a case, he will defend the accused party. Sometimes, however, a defamation lawyer works on behalf of the plaintiff to obtain compensation in a defamation of character case. In some cases, he may even offer advice to clients who want to avoid making statements that could leave them vulnerable to defamation lawsuits.

When a defamation lawyer works on behalf of a party accused of defamation of character, he typically works to either negotiate a satisfactory settlement in the case or ensure the defendant will not have to pay the plaintiff any type of compensation. If the plaintiff and defendant cannot reach an agreement out of court, he will typically work to present evidence and convincing arguments that help the defendant win the case. In many jurisdictions, there are defenses against this type of accusation. If the statements the defendant made were true or presented as opinion, for example, this can typically be used as a defense. Likewise, a defamation attorney may defend his client by saying he felt he had a duty to provide the information.


A defamation lawyer may also handle the case of a person who’s character has been defamed. He may file a lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiff and work to reach a settlement with the defendant. In the event that the plaintiff and defendant do not reach an out-of-court settlement, the defamation lawyer will gather the evidence he needs to prove the plaintiff's case in court. In most cases, his arguments and evidence not only will have to show that the defendant made false, malicious statements, but also that the plaintiff was harmed by these statements. For example, he may work to prove that the defamation caused the plaintiff to lose business clients.

Sometimes a defamation lawyer will also provide advice to his clients concerning defamation law and ways to avoid lawsuits. For example, if a person is writing a book about another party, a lawyer may advise him on whether or not his statements can be considered defamation. He may provide such advice to individual clients or serve as a legal advisor for businesses and organizations.


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