What Can I Do If I Have Been Defamed?

Oct 5, 2016
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Written by Carmen Zhu

As an individual or small business owner, it is important to be aware of laws that safeguard your reputation.

With the growth of e-commerce, businesses are increasingly being subject to online material that may be defamatory, for example in the form of online reviews. If someone publishes communication which negatively affects your reputation, they may be liable for defamation.

To find out more information about what defamation is, read our guide or speak to a defamation lawyer.

What Can I Do If I Have Been Defamed?

1. Create A Cease and Desist Letter

A cease and desist letter is a formal notice for an individual or business to stop a certain conduct. This can help prevent further cases of defamation or conduct that constitutes harassment.

A cease and desist letter acts as a formal warning to the receiving party that there may be legal consequences if they continue their actions.

With us, you can create a cease and desist letter for free in under 5 minutes. This service is suitable for any individual or business in Australian states and territories.

2. Initiate Proceedings

Any individual may initiate a cause of action for defamation. Unlisted companies with less than 10 employees can also sue for defamation. The only restriction is that an action must be brought within 12 months of the publication date of the defamatory communication.

In the event that a cease and desist letter does not offer adequate protection, before you enter a lawsuit for defamation, it is highly recommended that you seek professional consultation. LawPath has access to qualified lawyers to help you.

Penalties For Defamation

Currently, the Defamation Act 2005 (NSW) allows for a maximum of $250,000 to be rewarded for non-economic loss suffered through defamation.

A plaintiff can also seek an order for an interlocutory injunction to prevent further defamatory publications from being communicated in the course of legal proceedings. However, these are rarely granted due to freedom of speech matters.

Final Tips

It is important to protect your business reputation. A defamation lawsuit would not only be costly and time consuming but adds unnecessary pressure to the establishment of your business.

To avoid defamatory communications from being published about you, remember to act ethically and be mindful of what you may say or write. LawPath can provide you with access to an experienced business lawyer who can also advise you on defamation.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

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