Defamation, Slander, and Libel

Some words do more than cause offend or hurt feelings; some words can cause actual damages.  Some people communicate messages with the intent of costing your business and money. Those types of communication are defamation and freedom of speech does not include defamatory statements..

Defamation includes libel and slander. Slander covers defamatory statements made verbally while libel covers written defamatory statements. As Illinois defamations lawyers, we know reputation may be your most valuable asset. The Stoltmann Law Offices Commercial Litigation Group will diligently fight to protect your reputation and punish those who maliciously harmed you.

Defamation has a very specific legal meaning. The elements of defamation are:

The defendant made a false statement about the plaintiff;

There was an unprivileged publication to a third party;

 Fault by the defendant amounting to at least negligence; and.

The publication damaged the plaintiff.

Our Chicago defamation attorneys will consider public or private figure, actual malice, negligence, and manner of publication, and your damages to determine whether the harmful statement meets the legal standard of malice. 

There is a special type of defamation that is particularly application to business people. In defamation per se cases, Illinois law does not require plaintiff to prove damages. In other words, damages are assumed. Four categories are cases are defamation per se:

Words that impute the commission of a criminal offense;

Words that impute infection with a loathsome communicable disease;

Words that impute an inability to perform or want of integrity in the discharge of the duties of one’s office or employment;

Words that prejudice a party, or impute a lack of ability, in his or her trade, profession, or business; and

Words stating false accusations of fornication or adultery.

If you believe you are the victim of defamation that causes you financial harm, please contact the Stoltmann Law Offices Commercial Litigation Group at 312-442-3200.