Defamation is basically the publication of any false statement which has caused harm to an individual entity in some way. Doesn’t matter whether the statement is published in paper or internet or mere spoken to somebody but if it has harmed you then you can surely consult a lawyer. And if you have decided to pursue a lawsuit then there are few things you should know:
When you first meet with an advocate, just try to be thorough. Get the copy of written statement (if that has happened). In case that has been made online you can take out its print out. Prepare a list of people your advocate should talk to who have the information which would help him to make gather witness. In case you have their contact information you can provide that too.
Moreover if you are looking for monetary reimbursement, then carry documentation like accounting or the bank settlements- anything which shows that you faced some loss. In case you have been terminated from your job as a result of defamation, don’t forget to carry copy of your personnel and bring it along. You have to provide all the relevant facts to your advocate even the ones that you think might be harmful to your case. That kind of information is going to help your attorney to handle your case in the best way possible.
Steps involved in filing Defamation Suit
File the complaint: when your lawyer is done with the initial investigation then complaint is supposed to be filed. This is actually the basic document which initiates defamation lawsuit. But it is important to remember that these kinds of lawsuits move slowly. Once you have filed it then don’t expect it to get over in couple of months. Sometimes it takes a year or more for the case to start the trial in case if it is not settled.
Service and Discovery: once you have filed the lawsuit, defendant should be served and given sufficient time in writing and submitting the response. Then the court issues scheduling order, that gives important deadlines for a case. Well at that point process called discovery begins. Actually discovery is a formal investigation which is undertaken by both sides of the case. Both parties will send each other interrogatory, which are basically written questions. These questions are supposed to be answered under oath, this help opposing party to get more info about you, facts of the case and your potential witnesses.
The other party normally asks you to produce documents which back up the claims. Your advocate is going to work with you to collect documents and answer these questions.
Depositions: After this, Depositions will occur probably. It is basically an interview under the oath during which the lawyer for the other party questions you. To be precise this is a perfect opportunity for him or her to judge you that during the trial how strong or weak you are going to be and how strong you claims actually are. Your advocate will help you to prepare. Generally two opposing parties in a matter are deposed but sometimes other witnesses are also being questioned which can friends, relatives, doctors or others who have sufficient knowledge about your case.
Once the discovery process is done, a settlement negotiation starts in earnest. Advocates think about the settlement throughout your case, however discovery process gives the information that a large number of advocates need to evaluate the possible outcome of this case (whether they should go through the trial) and they can suggest their clients about the settlement along with this information.
Whether to go through the trial or settle the case out of court is totally up to the client. But it is important to consider an advocate’s advice because he/she only knows if your case is strong or weak.