- : Laws vary by state. Always consult an attorney for expert, specific legal advice
- Step 1: Show publication Prove that the statement in question was published by getting a copy of the publication.
- Step 2: Truth Prove that the statement made is not true. This can be challenging and expensive.
- TIP: Opinions, satire, and hyperbole can be used as defenses in a libel suit.
- Step 3: Prove damage Prove you have been damaged due to the false statement, such as providing evidence of lost customers or emotional distress.
- Step 4: Prove negligence Prove negligence if it involves a private figure. Negligence means a reasonable person would not have published the defamatory statement. If you are a public figure, prove that whoever published the information had full knowledge that it was false or in reckless disregard for the truth.
- TIP: In some cases you will need to prove that the publisher had knowledge the statement was false even if you are a private figure.
- Step 5: Take them to court Hire a lawyer to collect evidence and present your case in court.
- FACT: In 2006, the median annual earnings of lawyers were $102,470.
You Will Need
- Defaming publication
- Proof of damages
- Proof of negligence or malice