Orlando Defamation Attorneys

Slander and libel (plus invasion of privacy)

Defamation is generally defined as the unprivileged publication of false statements that naturally and proximately result in an injury to another. In Florida, defamation encompasses both libel and slander. “Libel” is defamation in writing, and “slander” is defamation made orally, or spoken. Although both terms are still used, both mean defamation — the false, unprivileged, and damaging statements made to third parties.

As the public’s use of the Internet has increased, so has defamation on the Internet. Victims are not only individuals but also small businesses who fall pray to fake, negative reviews. For a statement to be defamatory, it must:

  1. Be false;
  2. Have been published or disseminated to a third party;
  3. Have been made with at least negligence of its falsity, or, where you are a public figure, with knowledge or reckless disregard as to the falsity;
  4. Tend to subject you to hatred, distrust, ridicule, contempt, or disgrace; and
  5. Have caused you actual damages.

Privacy Issues

Often related to (though different from) defamation, an invasion of privacy action can arise based on any one of three types of wrongful conduct, which are: (1) “intrusion,” physically or electronically intruding into one’s private quarters, (2) public disclosure of private facts, and (3) “appropriation,” the unauthorized use or appropriation of a person’s name or likeness to obtain some benefit.

A former type, “false light,” is no longer recognized by Florida courts as a cause of action. In addition to these common-law causes of action, Florida statutes allow recovery where someone uses a person’s likeness or image for commercial or advertising purposes without consent. § 540.08, Fla. Stat.

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If you would like to see if the Orlando defamation attorneys at Cynthia Conlin & Associates can help you with your matter, or if you need assistance for another legal issue, call us at 407-965-5519 or reach us through our Contact page.

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