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Have you contacted this person at all to discuss the comments that he has made?
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Many thanks for your patience. Whilst this may appear to be a potential case of defamation (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form), such claims are rather difficult to pursue. Many people are keen on suing for defamation without having full appreciation of the law or practicalities in doing so. I will try and clarify the position below.First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:1. There has to be a defamatory statement - it has to be an untrue statement and the assessment that is often used to establish this is whether the statement tends to lower the claimant in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally. So it can be a fine line between negative opinion and a clearly false statement which satisfied the above criteria2. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant – this will vary based on what effect it will have but it really has to be something sufficiently serious3. The statement has been published by the defendant to a third party4. The claimant must prove that the words complained of were published about him - this should not be an issue if the claimant is named or clearly identified.Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has taken place, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is often complex and prohibitively expensive. A claim must be made in the High Court and will likely require the help of professional defamation lawyers, so the costs will often be high right from the outset, usually in the thousands. There is also no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally.You must also consider whether the publisher of the statement can potentially defend the claim. For example this can happen by proving the statement was true or an honest opinion which could have been made based on the available facts.Instead of starting legal proceedings it would be best to contact the publisher of the comment, advise them that what they have done amounts to defamation and that you will consider pursuing the matter further if they do not retract their statement and issue an apology. This could prompt them to reconsider their position, which would avoid the need for court action. Of course, if they refuse to comply the option of suing still exists, but consider the above information before going down that route.
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Hi there, as mentioned it is a fine line so I cannot tell you with 100% certainty whether a court will decide these are actually defamatory statements or just an expression of opinion. To be honest you may find that one court with one judge on one day comes to a completely different opinion to another on a different day. There is no standard checklist you can follow that will give you that guaranteed answer and often it is open to interpretation and how a judge views this, meaning there is a level of subjectiveness in it too.
What is more likely to lean this in favour of defamation is whether they were trying to make these statements as statements of fact, rather than just expressing their opinion. In other words, if he said something like ‘I think he is poor at his job, etc’ it will be difficult to argue defamation, whereas something along the lines of ‘He has failed to gather the necessary funding because he has not done A, B or C’ when in fact the opposite can be shown, that is more likely to be defamatory. Does this clarify a bit more?
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can either reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’, or select 3, 4 or 5 stars on this page. I can still answer follow up questions if needed to clarify anything for you. Many thanks
Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? Do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the response to your query? I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks
Hi there, requesting a phone call just means your request is open to the panel of lawyers and if someone is available to do a call then they accept this and go ahead with it. Sadly it does not guarantee it. If you have not received one it means no one is available to discuss this particular situation over the phone with you