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NYC Slander and Libel Lawyers

Civil Litigation Involving Slander and Libel

Civil litigation involving slander and libel is a specific area of law that differs somewhat from a typical personal injury case. The injury in a slander or libel claim is that the plaintiff’s character standing has been damaged due to the statements of an individual or a commercial entity. The standards for proving a claim are assessed by a preponderance of the evidence presented in a totality in most civil cases, but slander or libel rules for injury are subjective and often only involve mere witness testimony. While libel cases will commonly be filed against any individual or publisher printing a story that is not factual, slander cases must often be proven by using a public record of a statement made by any individual or company representative. Slander basically applies to spoken attacks, while libel is normally reserved for printed statements that are often used to generate revenue by enticing a customer to buy the publication using potentially false information. The truth is important in slander and libel cases, and the truth must be borne out in a hearing unless the case is settled beforehand out of court.

Proving a Defamation Claim

While all civil cases are decided based on a preponderance of the evidence regarding a totality of circumstances, some claims such as a defamation claim carry a heavier burden of proof than a typical personal injury claim. The plaintiff attorney must establish that the defaming statement was made, which can be difficult in a slander case, and the statement had the effect of malice toward the plaintiff. The standard for these claims in New York is different for public and private figures. Public figures must prove that they suffered “actual” malice by the defaming statement from the respondent, but private figures need only prove the statement was made and directed specifically at them. This puts the standard for a valid claim by a public figure at a much higher threshold that can often be successfully defended. However, it is important to remember that establishing whether an individual is a public or private figure can be done by a low standard, as anyone who intentionally brings public light on themselves by their actions could well be determined as a public figure. This classification includes all businesses advertising in a public space as well as politicians and entertainers to a certain degree.

Damage Assessment

Assessing the actual damages involved in a defamation case can be a tricky legal task, especially in cases of slander. Slander is typically a spoken defamatory statement that must be patently false in order to substantiate a claim, as the truth is a generally solid defense in most cases. While injury can assuredly be the result of a malicious statement, the respondent also has First Amendment free speech rights to dispel information that is truthful. Many times a case will actually hinge on the factual nature of a statement. The standard for public figures regarding the number of people who heard the statement differs as well, as private figures need only prove that one person other than themselves heard or read the statement. This condition often means that libel claims are more serious than claims of slander because they can remain in print for extended amounts of time and be subject to reading by many individuals. Defamation lawsuits also result in assessment of presumed damages in libel cases without the necessity of proving the injury, as the court assumes some level of injury occurred when the statement is published. This damage award is not applicable in slander cases when the statement can be proven but is not recorded or continually published.

Potential Damage Awards

Damages in all civil action lawsuits will include compensatory damage awards primarily, however punitive damages could be available when an experienced New York defamation attorney can prove to a sympathetic jury that the resulting damage to the plaintiff was the result of gross negligence on the part of the respondent. Criminal charges for verbal assault could also be applied in egregious situations where the respondent acted in premeditation with the expressed intent of actual injury to the plaintiff. Most damage awards are calculated based on the impact on the plaintiff’s ability to earn a living when their business has been tainted, which is often not an easy assessment. They are also calculated for long-term damage as well, which can further increase damage levels. It is also important to remember that damage awards can be mitigated when a publication issues a retraction of the false statement leading to legal action, but the retraction itself is not considered a legal remedy. This is commonly done to reduce the amount of financial recovery the plaintiff will receive. It is also important to note that a public apology is not necessarily a retraction or admission of erroneous statements.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

It is clear that libel and slander claims can be difficult legal tasks to prove in many instances, and they should never be attempted by the actual plaintiff without solid representation from a New York attorney who understands how to craft a successful case for a maximum damage award. Always call a legal professional like the attorneys at Spodek Law Group of New York City.

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