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Advice from a defamation lawyer: requirements to prove defamation in Mississauga

September 9, 2021

We’ve all heard it over the years as something one celebrity or public figure says about another that’s harmful to their professional life or reputation. It’s called defamation. This can either be spoken as slander or written as libel. Either way, if you’ve been defamed, you can sue the person who said or published something about you. Although, if you’re going to prove your case, you’re going to need a defamation lawyer in Mississauga.

Be aware that there are certain requirements to prove defamation. For instance, if somebody simply said something true about you that you didn’t like, that wouldn’t be defamation. To help, our team at Atlas Law Group has put together a guide with three things that you need to for a defamation case.

Material is defamatory

The first part of proving defamation is demonstrating the material is defamatory. The statement that is either verbalized or published must be untrue and harmful to your reputation. In Canada, you don’t need to prove any damages. The fact that a statement was made that is harmful to your reputation is enough to assume that damages were accrued. However, you must have proof that the statement is false. This means that you must be able to prove that you in no way have performed an action, made a claim, or associated yourself with a group that was in the statement. An example of this might be if somebody says you’re an adulterer. If you’re married and had multiple affairs, then the statement isn’t defamatory. Instead, you might have already ruined your reputation and the individual is simply stating a fact.

Material directly references claimant

You must be able to prove that a reference is made directly to you. Whether they used your name or a specific incident that involved you, there must be a direct correlation. It’s not uncommon for artists to make vague claims about individuals in their work. An example is a musician who refers to something someone did without giving their name. If the lyrics to the song are defamatory, the individual who the reference was made about must be able to prove it was specifically about them. If there’s no way a claimant can identify that the statement was made about them, there’s no proof of defamation.

Material is communicated to a third party

The final part of proving defamation is that the statement was made to someone besides you. A person can walk up to you and say all kinds of terrible things about you, but if no one else is around to hear it, the claim isn’t defamatory. However, if that person now walks away and tells another person, it becomes defamation. You must be able to prove that the statement was made to a third party in a defamation case. This is often easier in the case of libel because of the written and published word. Slander can be a bit more slippery as it might turn into a he-said-she-said situation. Although, if the statement was made on television or radio, you have solid evidence for your case.

Contact us for legal help

If you believe that you’ve been defamed, get in touch with our team today at Atlas Law Group. You can get your reputation back and get back to life with help from a defamation lawyer in Mississauga. Reach out by calling 905-502-8786 or send a message using our contact form. We ask that you don’t send sensitive information through the online form, we’ll get to that when we meet with you.

Advice from a defamation lawyer: requirements to prove defamation in Mississauga