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“As lawyers, we get called all sorts of names on a daily basis. It’s an occupational hazard. That said, there’s no reason you should have to put up with it and we’re here for you if you feel your reputation has been harmed by someone’s comments.”
–Alistair Stewart, Lawyer
Defamation occurs when defamatory material relating to an individual is published or otherwise exposed in the public arena. Defamation is a tort, or a civil wrong, and material is defamatory if it injures your reputation by exposing you to hatred, contempt or ridicule, if it causes people to shun or avoid you or if it lowers your estimation by right-thinking members of society. To present these kinds of claims in a court of law, or to find if you might be eligible for a case, get in touch with SK Legal. Our defamation lawyers are some of the most experienced in Sydney and we work closely with our clients for desired results, including FREE initial consultations.
For a claim of defamation to be successful, three elements must be satisfied in a court of law. The first of these elements is that the information was communicated by the other party to a third person other than yourself, the second is that the material identifies you, and the third being the information contains defamatory information, regardless of whether the material was intentionally published or not. Damages are liable to be paid by the defendant if these elements are satisfied, in compensation for damage to your reputation.
In addition to court processes, there are other avenues which can be pursued in dispute resolution. An offer to make amends can result in the prevention of further legal proceedings if the defendant corrects a mistake or issues an apology. Separately, an apology made in connection to the defamatory material mitigates damages, but does not necessarily constitute an admission of fault or liability by the defendant.
Schofield King and our defamation lawyers have experience in helping Sydney-siders with making claims in the courts or external dispute resolution for matters arising from defamation. We believe that all individuals or organisations have the right to have their reputation upheld and undamaged by defamatory material, however achieving this result requires the expertise of experienced Sydney defamation lawyers.
Schofield King Lawyers represented a client whose photo ended up online and in the newspaper next to an article about a vicious attack — despite our client not being the person who carried out the attack. Understandably, our client was very upset. Despite his best efforts to explain to the newspaper that they had the wrong photo, his complaints were met with little action.
He was starting to miss out on job opportunities, his friends and family were avoiding him, and his reputation within his industry (and on the whole) were dwindling.
After some brief correspondence we commenced defamation proceedings against the company who had spent so long ignoring our client’s desperate pleas for them to amend the article. We managed to obtain a settlement for our client, without going to a final hearing, which he was more than happy with. We also managed to persuade the newspaper to print an apology to try to undo some of the damage it had caused. The last we heard, our client was planning on framing the apology!
What can you expect from Schofield King Lawyers?
We’ll have a chat with you to figure out what’s happened. We want to hear it all: what happened, why it happened, how it affected you — the lot. We’ll determine whether you have a claim, and the prospects of that claim, and will advise you of the process.
Once we have an idea of the impact that the defamation has had on you, we’ll write to the other side to try to resolve the matter quickly and cost-effectively. If the other side does not respond to your satisfaction, we will prepare and file proceedings against the other side to get you what you deserve.
When the proceedings are commenced, there will be a few small preliminary arguments. We will keep you up to speed, but will handle these on your behalf so you don’t need to worry about them.
Ideally, we will resolve the matter as soon as possible without the need for you to attend a final hearing — but we will never recommend you take a settlement that is unfair to you. It’s your reputation, and it means as much to us as it does to you.