Florida has defamation laws that protect individuals and companies from false statements that harm their reputations. Defamation is broadly defined as a false statement published or spoken to a third party that causes harm to the reputation of the person the statement is about. Defamation can be broken down into two categories: libel and slander.
In Florida, a plaintiff bringing a defamation claim must prove that the defendant made a false and defamatory statement about them, which was communicated to a third party, and caused harm to the plaintiff’s reputation. Additionally, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant acted negligently or with actual malice when making the statement.
Actual malice means that the defendant knew the statement was false or acted with reckless disregard for whether the statement was true or false. This is a higher standard of proof than negligence, requiring the plaintiff to show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in making the statement.
If a plaintiff prevails in a defamation case in Florida, they may be entitled to damages for the harm caused to their reputation, as well as any financial losses that resulted from the defamation. Defamation cases can be complex, and it is important to consult with an experienced attorney if you believe you have been defamed or if you are facing a defamation claim.
According to the case of Border Collie Rescue v. Ryan, to make a defamation claim under Florida law, the following elements must be present:
In order to succeed in a defamation claim in Florida, the plaintiff must also prove that the defendant’s fault in publishing the false statement amounted to at least negligence. This means the defendant must have failed to exercise reasonable care when making the false statement. If the plaintiff can prove all of these elements, they may be entitled to damages.
In Florida, some examples of defamation include:
These are just a few examples of how defamation can occur in Florida. A skilled attorney can help victims of defamation navigate the legal system and seek justice for any harm caused by defamatory statements.
Florida law recognizes that businesses have a reputation that can be damaged by false statements, just as individuals do. This means that businesses can be the subject of defamatory statements made by competitors, customers, employees, or others that can cause harm to their reputation.
Additionally, Florida law recognizes a cause of action for defamation of a business’s products or services, known as “product disparagement.” This occurs when false statements are made about a business’s products or services that are intended to harm the business’s reputation and result in financial loss.
If you or your business have been the victim of defamation in Florida, there are legal options available to protect your rights. These include:
It’s important to note that not all negative statements about a business constitute defamation. Statements of opinion or fair comment are generally protected under the First Amendment and cannot form the basis of a defamation claim. Additionally, statements that are true, even if they are negative, cannot be the basis of a defamation claim.
If a business believes it has been defamed, it’s important to consult with an experienced defamation attorney who can review the facts and provide guidance on the best course of action.
Defamation is a serious issue that can have long-lasting consequences for both individuals and businesses in Florida. If you believe you have been the victim of defamation, it’s important to protect your rights and seek legal recourse if necessary.
Florida’s defamation laws apply equally to all individuals, regardless of their financial status. However, high-net-worth individuals may face different challenges when pursuing a defamation claim. For instance, they may be subject to more public scrutiny or be public officals, making it more difficult to prove that the statement was false and caused them harm.
If a high-net-worth individual is the victim of defamation, they have legal recourse under Florida law. To prove a defamation claim, they must demonstrate that the defendant published a false statement about them to a third party and that the statement caused them harm. In addition, they must show that the defendant acted with negligence or actual malice, meaning they either knew the statement was false or recklessly disregarded the truth.
In Florida, high-net-worth individuals may also be entitled to more damages than the average person in a defamation case. This is because damages are calculated based on the harm caused to the victim’s reputation, which can be significant for individuals with a high public profile or net worth.
When it comes to safeguarding your brand and market position in the business world, temporary or permanent injunctions can be a crucial tool. In defamation cases, injunctions can prevent the publication of inaccurate, confidential, or defamatory information, and even require the removal of harmful online content. Injunctions can also help protect one’s reputation and prevent further harm.
The Campbell Law Group understands the urgency of time-sensitive matters and can assist clients in obtaining injunctions to stop actions such as violation of non-competes, non-solicitation, or other detrimental actions. Our legal team has extensive experience in filing and defending against injunctions in Florida and can help clients navigate the legal process to achieve the best possible outcome.
If you or your business have been the victim of defamation, time is of the essence. The Campbell Law Group has the experience and expertise to assist you in pursuing legal action. With their expertise in defamation law, they can guide clients through the legal process and help them understand their rights and options. Whether dealing with false statements made by a competitor, a disgruntled employee, or a malicious online review, having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can make all the difference.
The Campbell Law Group’s ability to assist businesses all over Florida is also a valuable asset. Given the size and diversity of Florida’s business landscape, it’s important to have legal representation that understands the nuances of the state’s defamation laws and can navigate the local court systems. By offering their services across the state, The Campbell Law Group can help businesses and high-net-worth individuals in various industries and regions of Florida protect their reputations and seek justice for any harm caused by defamatory statements. Contact us today.
The statute of limitations for a defamation claim in Florida is two years from the date of the publication of the statement. This means that a plaintiff must file their lawsuit within two years of the defamatory statement being made, or they may lose their right to pursue legal action. It’s important to act quickly if you believe you have been defamed, as waiting too long could result in the loss of your legal options.
Libel and slander are two forms of defamation. Libel refers to written or published defamatory statements visible to a third party, while slander refers to spoken defamatory statements. The key difference between the two is the form of communication, with libel being written and slander being spoken. In both cases, the defamatory statement must be false, and it must cause harm to the victim’s reputation. The laws governing libel and slander in Florida are similar, with the same elements required to prove a defamation claim.
Acting promptly is crucial if you suspect you have been defamed in Florida. Seeking the guidance of an experienced defamation lawyer is essential to evaluate your legal options and deciding on the most appropriate course of action.
If you have been defamed in Florida, you may be entitled to damages for the harm caused to your reputation, including economic and emotional damages. Economic damages may include lost income or business opportunities, while emotional damages may include pain and suffering or emotional distress. The number of damages awarded in a defamation case will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the extent of harm caused to the victim’s reputation. Consulting with an experienced defamation attorney can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing damages in a defamation case.
If you are a business owner — no matter the size of your business — you likely have the need for regular and ongoing legal services.
The Campbell Law Group P.A.
Focuses its practice on corporate and family law matters.
While representing clients whether in civil, corporate or family law matters, our company’s primary goal is first to help clients minimize the need for unnecessary litigation and conflict where possible. If litigation is necessary, our company is more than capable of representing you or your business’ interest and helping you achieve a fair outcome, while guiding you, your family and your company through the difficulties involved in litigation.
Corporate and Family Law Attorney and
Collaborative Family Law Attorney
Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law – Hempstead, New York Juris Doctorate (2007)
Florida International University – Miami, Florida – Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (1998)
Florida Bar (2009)
United States District Court for the Southern District (2013), Middle (2015) and Northern Districts of Florida (2018)
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida (2015)
Member of the Collaborative Family Law Institute, Inc. (2017)
Regina is the Managing Partner of The Campbell Law Group based in Coral Gables, Florida. She is recognized for her unique insight, resourceful problem-solving skills and understanding of how legal issues affect people and companies differently.
One of Regina’s biggest passions is litigation. Regina and The Campbell Law Group PA have seen a great deal of success in prosecuting and litigating business fraud and ponzi schemes, tortious interference with a business relationship cases, non-compete cases, shareholder actions, complex divorce and post-divorce actions, especially cases with recalcitrant parties with a talent at hiding assets and/or avoiding support obligations amongst others causes of action.
Regina is fluent in both English and Spanish and has assisted businesses and families from over twenty countries with their business and family legal needs.