Chandra Law Logo

Practice Areas • Practices • Defamation (Libel and Slander)

Reputations are everything. But what if yours is harmed or someone accuses you of harming theirs?

Defamation—especially internet defamation—is rampant these days. Keyboard warriors make harmful false statements about people all the time. Our lawyers have both successfully defended and pursued defamation claims.

"Defamation" ("slander" if it's oral and "libel" if it's in writing) is defined as a false statement of fact that causes harm to a person’s reputation; exposes that person to public hatred, contempt, ridicule, shame, or disgrace; or affects that person adversely in his trade or business.

Harsh statements of opinion are not defamation. it must be a false statement of fact. This fact/opinion distinction is key, and courts use it to throw cases out.

The statute of limitations for defamation in Ohio is only one year, so if you have been defamed, you must act quickly. But before you call a lawyer, be prepared to explain, and if possible quantify, how you have been harmed:

  • Have you measurably lost business as a result of defamation?

  • And is the person who defamed you even monetarily collectible? How would you prove that? Do you know the person's income and property holdings?

  • Is it worth spending time and money—including the out-of-pocket cost to you of court-filing fees, court-reporter fees, and deposition transcripts—to pursue the defamer in court?

  • If you claim to have have been psychologically harmed, are you prepared to open up your medical and psychological records to the potential defendant's counsel and insurer in a court proceeding for their examination and exploration of your damages claim?

As a practical matter, law firms that you contact about defamation claims are going to want to know the answers to these questions. Whether the firm takes the case on a contingency or hourly fee agreement—or takes the case at all—will depend on the strength of proof about the defamation (false facts that cause you harm) and the measurable damages to you.

Recent successes and experiences by our firm's lawyers in defamation (slander and libel) cases include

  • Working with co-counsel, a federal libel lawsuit resulting in a $4.1 million-dollar judgment against a white-supremacist website, on behalf of the nationally known comedian and commentator Dean Obeidallah. The website had committed libel by falsifying tweets against the commentator to claim that he is a terrorist.

  • A complete defense jury verdict following a three-week trial for an entrepreneur sued by a police officer for defamation. The entrepreneur had complained about harassment by the officer.

  • A $550,000 settlement to a former Mahoning County, Ohio assistant prosecutor who was defamed by the elected county prosecutor in retaliation for reporting misconduct in the office.

Before you think about pursuing legal action, please undertake the practical inquiry about whether you can really quantify how you have been harmed. Sometimes, the burdens required by litigation to prove both liability and damages aren't worth the trouble. Sometimes, just responding to defamation with the truth is enough.

Contact The Chandra Law Firm LLC for help

If you are a victim of defamation (slander or libel) and can persuasively address the issues above, then you may reach our firm, which serves clients throughout Ohio and the nation, by calling 216-578-1700 or (better yet) by filling out our online contact form. Be sure to copy, paste, and answer the questions above on the contact form.

Making the right choice in legal representation can make the difference in whether you achieve a result that protects your legal rights and best interests.

Tell Us About Your Case