While the contest of business is largely beneficial to the economy, it may oftentimes present issues when more nefarious tactics are taken to get the edge over an opponent. There are a slew of different ways in which this is carried out and may eventually lead to serious legal battles. It is important to understand not only how to avoid these cases but to understand your own personal rights so that you may be able to protect yourself and your business should you be involved in a lawsuit. For more information about business and commercial law, please reach out to an experienced Phoenix business attorney from the Law Offices of William D. Black.
Defining Defamation and Disparagement
Defamation is a broad term that can apply to a number of different types of entities. It is referred to when someone or something makes a false statement about a person or entity that is intended to cause damage to their reputation. If the statement is written, it is known as libel, while spoken defamation is referred to as slander. Business disparagement is similar to defamation but applies to cases in which a business is involved.
The reason these are brought about is that there is a claim that the libel or slander has resulted in a damaged or jeopardized the reputation of the victim. This is important as the free, unconstrained spread of misinformation can have terrible consequences for a business and those whose livelihoods depend on its well-being. This offense is not taken lightly in court and requires experienced attorneys to successfully handle a case.
The Elements of a Defamation Case in Arizona
With the ambiguity of the definitions of defamation and disparagement comes confusion in regards to what may or may not qualify as a breach of the law. Despite its difficulty, Arizona disparagement cases are not uncommon nor in other parts of the country. In order to prove that someone has committed this offense, there are generally certain elements that are broadly applicable to most cases.
- The presence of false statements that are either written or spoken.
- A defamatory element in said false statement
- The communication of the disparagement to someone other than the plaintiff
- A degree of malice within the statement
- A result in harm to the plaintiff
There are many situations in which business disparagement is present. This can be done through false reviews being published on review sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Google, a published article being posted on the website of a competing law firm, or the spread of misinformation regarding one’s business on Facebook to discourage clients from purchasing the services of a particular business.
Experiencing Attacks on Your Business? Call the Bill Black Law Firm Today
Instances of defamation and business disparagement, as previously examined, may result in serious financial consequences. With the ruining of someone’s reputation and livelihood comes serious legal action by victims and our Phoenix business defamation attorneys who are committed to seeking justice. If you or someone you know is suffering as a result of defamation or business disparagement, please reach out to the Law Offices of William D. Black as soon as possible to speak with an experienced Arizona business and commercial law attorney who is willing to help you fight for what’s right. Contact us online or call our law office at 602-265-2600 today.