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Philadelphia Business Lawyers
Defamation and Disparagement
Defamation is the act of harming another’s reputation by making a false statement to another party. Slander is when the defamatory statement is spoken, whereas libel is when defamation is put into writing. In order for a statement to be defamatory it needs to be false and hurtful. If the statement is true, even if it is hurtful, the statement is not defamatory. The statement must also be hurtful to the person’s reputation and cause some kind of injury. The false and hurtful statement also needs to have been published and heard, or read, by parties other than the party making the statement. Additionally, the statement must have been made negligently, recklessly, or intentionally, depending on the situation.
In Pennsylvania, like some other states, a business may file suit for trade disparagement, which is the belittling of someone else’s business, goods, or services with a false or misleading statement that is not necessarily defamatory. For trade disparagement, the false or misleading statement must have been made with the intent to cause the entity financial loss. A lawsuit for trade disparagement is designed to compensate the entity for the losses they suffered as a result of the false or misleading statement.
Sidkoff, Pincus & Green’s experience and approach to defamation and disparagement
When defamation or trade disparagement occurs a civil lawsuit may be filed to protect the reputation of, and to compensate, the defamed person or entity. Defamation and trade disparagement are not a criminal offense, so no criminal charges apply. Sometimes defamation and trade disparagement cases may be hard to litigate because of freedom of speech; however, our highly skilled attorney’s at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green are experienced in identifying and litigating these claims to protect our clients’ interests.
At the Law Offices of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, our experienced Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorneys handle many types of legal matters, including defamation and disparagement litigation. If you are interested in having a consultation with one of our Philadelphia Business Lawyers, please call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online.