Anybody who sets themselves up in business has to be prepared for some exposure, or they're not going to be very successful. In other words, they can't be introverted and guarded, as otherwise they're likely to be swamped by the competition. If this is you, then you want people to be talking about you as much as possible. However, if some of that discussion turns negative and somebody says something about your business, you may feel that your reputation has been harmed. What can you do in this situation?
Your Legal Rights
The good news is that the law will protect you against people who may say false things about you in a public forum. If you feel that these actions have negative implications for you, then you can sue for defamation in a court of law. You may think that others are now looking at you in a different light due to these actions, or that people are opting not to do business with you any more.
What Does the Law Say?
Defamation is clearly defined by the legal system. The matter in question must have been communicated or published and must relate to you specifically. Furthermore, the person or persons in question must have had no "lawful excuse" for their actions.
You can take action whether the material published was a total lie or simply a misrepresentation. However, you need to be able to show that your reputation has been tarnished due to what has happened in some way or another. The law will wonder whether any reasonable person would agree with you in this situation, and if so, they are likely to side with you as well.
Is It Justified?
While you may be forgiven for being upset if somebody says something that could be perceived as negative, you still have to ask whether they have any grounds for doing so. In other words, you have to look at it objectively and determine whether or not there is any element of truth contained within.
An Opinion, or Just Trivial?
You then need to ask yourself whether the party was just expressing their opinion. In their defence, they may say that it was obvious that it was "just" an opinion and that any impartial person would think so. You shouldn't be quick to pursue a legal alternative either, if a reasonable person might think that the situation was simply trivial.
What to Do Next
It can often be difficult to distance yourself from this type of scenario and know the best course of action. As it can also be tricky to prove such a situation in a court of law, it's best in both of these situations if you ask an experienced lawyer for their help.Share
28 August 2017
Hello, my name is Jenny and this is my probate law blog. I should say now, I am not a lawyer and I have not had any professional legal training. However, I do know a thing or two about probate. I taught myself a lot after the death of my grandma. My grandma left a lot of money and property behind, but unfortunately, she didn't leave a will. This lead to several family members staking a claim on the inheritance. I instructed a lawyer to act on my mother's behalf to ensure that she was not cheated out of her share.