Quick Reaction Force (QRF) Litigation Team
Fighting back again defamation and invasion of privacy is something that we take very seriously. You are not powerless. Defamation and invasion of privacy laws have very specific requirements and often require swift, extensive fact-based investigations. Our office has vast experience handling these types of cases.
We have the legal expertise and resources to help you when you or your business is defamed through libel or slander, or when your privacy has been invaded. Defamation can be extremely costly for those that have to go through it. It can affect business, relationships, and emotional health. We will work with you to hold wrongdoers responsible and accountable. Our QRF litigation team can provide immediate relief.
CEASE & DESIST
Often the first step is to send an urgent Cease & Desist letter demanding immediate cessation of wrongful conduct. It will outline your rights and causes of action against them, and the damages they are incurring. Where possible we will demand triple (treble) damages for wrongs perpetrated against you and your attorneys’ fees. We will impose a deadline for the removal of defamatory statements if it has been posted publicly on social media, other internet channels.
Temporary Restraining Orders & Preliminary Injunctions The next step is litigation by filing and serving a complaint on the wrongdoers. Often the complaint will be filed with a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction asking the Court to restrain and enjoin the wrongdoers and compel them to fix the defamatory statements or to cease from invading your private rights.
DEFAMATION & INVASION OF PRIVACY
Defamation is the act of harming the reputation of someone by making a damaging false statement to a third party The statements can be oral or written. These days, thanks to the pervasiveness of social media and electronic communication, false and damaging statements can follow people around for years, exposing them to unwanted negative publicity and ridicule.
Elements of Defamation
1. The defendant made a false and disparaging statement;
2. The false and disparaging statement was about the plaintiff;
3. The statement was made to a third party, either orally or in writing;
4. The statement resulted in damages or harm to the plaintiff;
5. If the plaintiff is a public figure, or was involved in some newsworthy event or some other event that engaged the public interest, then the defendant must have made the false statement intentionally or with reckless disregard of the plaintiff's rights;
6. There are no applicable privileges.
Defendants are generally placed at significant advantage as compared to plaintiffs in defamation actions.
Truth is a complete defense, no matter how injurious the statement may have been. Essentially, a defendant can publicly make any statement about the plaintiff, no matter how reputationally damaging or embarrassing, so long as that statement is truthful. If a plaintiff cheated on his wife, for example, then the plaintiff can't effectively sue a defendant for having published that fact in a magazine or newspaper.
In Utah, some false statements are considered so harmful that damages are presumed by the law. False allegations can be harmful in many different parts of your life. They can impact your personal relationships, career opportunities, business interests and family life.
Defendants may also claim that their public statement was a matter of pure opinion, which will exempt them from the action. If that fails, they may seek to have the court recognize the plaintiff as a limited public figure so that the higher reckless disregard standard kicks in. Further, many states have instituted anti-SLAPP legislation that gives considerable discretion to superior courts to determine whether a defamation action should fail before the facts ever go to a jury trial. In Utah anti-SLAPP law only protects defendants who believe they have been sued primarily for their participation in the “process of government” and as a means of harassment.
INVASION OF PRIVACY
Invasion of privacy is the intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause, which can give the person whose privacy has been invaded a right to bring a lawsuit for damages against the person or entity that intruded. It encompasses workplace monitoring, Internet privacy, data collection and other means of disseminating private information.
The Internet era has simultaneously created a fertile landscape for these kind of actions and a new barrier to action. The fertile landscape rests in the scope and amplification that the Internet offers speech. Without it, an invasion of privacy might fall upon deaf ears or be confined to such a small community that its staying power in terms of actual damage to the person -- emotional or financial -- would be difficult to access in the fact-driven environment of the courtroom and its rules of evidence. With it, we not only have speech, we have endurance for all time, international scope and the potential for reverberation of that invasion have to do real damage to people in terms of lost employment, emotional and reputational harm. On the other hand, the Internet would appear to offer technological anonymity. Not knowing who your defendant is makes it difficult to sue, which is why you need the right lawyers.