Top Kansas City, MO Defamation Lawyers Near You

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Kansas City Defamation Information

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Lead Counsel independently verifies Defamation attorneys in Kansas City by conferring with Missouri bar associations and conducting annual reviews to confirm that an attorney practices in their advertised practice areas and possesses a valid bar license for the appropriate jurisdictions.

Find a Kansas City Defamation Attorney in your area

Are There Defamation Lawyers Near Me In Kansas City, MO?

If you believe you’ve been defamed, either slanderously or libelously, you should reach out to a local Kansas City defamation lawyer to discuss the strengths and merits of your case. You can use our attorney directory to search for a lawyer in your area who has experience in defamation cases. Because defamation can be tricky to prove or defend against, depending on what kind of evidence is available, you may be better off talking to an experienced legal professional before you try to move forward with a lawsuit.

What Is the Difference Between Defamation, Libel, and Slander?

Defamation is usually an umbrella term for any kind of shared, false, harmful information, and libel and slander are more narrow types of defamation. Libel is physically shared defamation, like through writing or images. A newspaper that prints unverified information about someone may be engaging in libel. Slander, on the other hand, is a defamatory statement spread through speech. Proving libel or slander requires the same elements as broader defamation.

What Does Defamation Mean?

Defamation is the spreading of false, harmful information about someone else. In most cases, true defamation requires that the person who shared the false information presented it to other people as if it was truth. Another important element of defamation is that it must actually harm the subject’s reputation in some way that has a demonstrable negative effect on them. It’s generally not sufficient for the rumors to have the potential to harm the person’s reputation, or for the harm to be on a small-scale without larger impacts. If someone loses their job because of defamation, for example, that may be a demonstrable impact for pursuing a defamation case.

How Can You Defend Against a Defamation Lawsuit?

The best way to defend against a defamation case is to prove that the information is true. Spreading accurate negative information about someone is usually legal, even if it has a harmful impact on the person. You may also have a defense if the information you shared was an opinion and you made it clear that you were not presenting it as a genuine, unproven fact. In some states it’s also a defense to have a valid reason to genuinely believe the rumor is true. Typically, the person sharing the information needs to be at least negligent in how they spread it, such as by not fact-checking the rumors before passing it on to others. Another defense may be to challenge the impact the false information had on the subject and demonstrate that there is no provable way to show they were sufficiently harmed by it.

How Do You Prove Defamation?

Defamation can be tricky to prove, and the exact qualifications and remedies will vary from state to state. In some states, for example, the “injured” party will need to prove that the defendant spread the false information maliciously. Not only can this be hard to prove, it can eliminate people who recklessly defame someone. Your case will be much stronger if you can show solid evidence of substantial harm the rumor caused you, or that the defamer is clearly the one who shared the information, such as by bringing in a printed, bylined article or having a witness give testimony about who told them a particular rumor.

How an Attorney Can Help

An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.

Top Questions to Ask a Lawyer

  • What is the usual process to resolve my case? How long will it take to resolve this?
  • What are likely outcomes of a case like mine? What should I expect?

An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic “road map” on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you’ve laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

Common legal terms explained

Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.

Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.

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