Personal injury law firm Kenneth S. Nugent, P.C. Attorneys At Law is offering legal services to those who are pursuing a defamation case against parties that have tried to malign their character in Augusta and other parts of Georgia.
Defamation, although it does not involve physical injury, deals with the harm that is caused to a person’s character by someone’s ill intent or negligence. Legally, the tort of defamation includes both libel (written statements) and slander (spoken statements). In the United States, due to the enforcement of the First Amendment, the laws are skewed heavily towards protecting the defendant while placing the burden of proof on the plaintiff. The distinction between libel and slander also varies between states as courts in different states will interpret defamation laws differently.
Georgia Code section 51-5-1 defines libel as "a false and malicious defamation of another, expressed in print, writing, pictures, or signs, tending to injure the reputation of the person and exposing him to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule." Georgia Code section 51-5-4 defines slander as "oral defamation (a spoken, false and harmful statement) that links the subject of the statement to certain criminal activity, the having of certain diseases, or a ‘debasing act’, or that harms the subject's trade or profession, or that results in ‘special damage’ that would be expected to flow naturally from the statement.”
Most defendants in defamation lawsuits end up being newspapers, publishers, television stations, or other forms of media. Most plaintiffs in defamation lawsuits are corporations, business people, entertainers, and other public figures that are fighting against the negative publicity that they accuse the media of perpetuating through allegedly false statements. Defendants and convicts from high-profile criminal cases also often bring on defamation lawsuits against news organizations.
In Georgia, a plaintiff has one year to file a defamation lawsuit, according to Georgia Code section 9-3-33. The time ends a year from the date on which the defamatory statement was first made. This time doesn’t extend indefinitely as copies or republications of the statements are made available. In Georgia, libel encompasses both print media and online sources including social media or even the “comments” section of a web page.
There are four requirements that a plaintiff must fulfill to prove defamation before a court of law. Firstly, the plaintiff has to submit proof that the defendant made a false statement under the pretension of being fact. Secondly, the plaintiff must show that the defendant published the statement to a wide audience or at least communicated it to a third party. Third, the plaintiff has to prove the defendant’s fault in publishing the statement is tantamount to malice or at least negligence in its duty of ascertaining the facts pertaining to the matter. Finally, the plaintiff has to prove that the statement, written or said, caused some sort of harm to them.
A spokesperson for Kenneth S. Nugent, P.C. Attorneys At Law speaks on its approach to handling defamation lawsuits by saying, “If you have ever been in the public eye you might have felt the intense level of scrutiny that public figures are subjected to. Sometimes publications might get some details wrong. Minor mistakes can be overlooked. However, oftentimes an unscrupulous or grossly negligent party might choose to publish falsehoods about you or your loved ones for the sake of sensationalist pandering to prop up its own bottom line. In many cases, their lies may have caused you real damage in the form of lost business, a damaged reputation, or more importantly, the loss of your mental wellbeing. In such cases, the only resort that honest law-abiding citizens have is to appeal to the state’s authority to get the justice they deserve. If you are dealing with a publication or individual that has made egregious statements at your expense, we can help you make it right. Give us a call and you will find out why Kenneth S. Nugent is the best personal injury attorney Augusta has to offer.”
Kenneth S. Nugent, P.C. Attorneys at Law can be contacted at the phone number 1-888-579-1790.
Augusta Accident Attorneys - Let the law firm of Kenneth S. Nugent, P.C. handle your personal injury and auto accident cases.
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