Most of the libel defamation cases are being filled by the private citizens. The main reason for doing so is because they have lower hindrance in handling in comparision to that of a public figure. The private figures or citizens only need to show that the defamatory statement was actually wrong and that it brings loss to them and their reputation and that the person responsible for it was negligent.
However, in case of a public figure, they need to first weigh not only the benefits and loss from financial and legal viewpoints, but also from public reputation and perception angle. Before you sue someone for defamation, it is important that you consider many things. One such thing would be that a defamation claim can open doors to your many personal details that you want to keep in private. It is much important that you know the proper meaning of defamation and what you should understand in order to fight head on.
In order to succeed a libel suit, the public figures require proving that an actual malice is done and whoever is responsible for the defamation statement did it out of malice and disrespect for the factual truth. Showing malice can be rather tough and it is also important to consider if the effort is actually worth it or not. Even though in sure wins cases for the plaintiff, filing a lawsuit is not always a smart move from a public relation perceptive.
Reasons why you should reconsider pursuing the case:
- Dragging a false story in media for a long time- Any false story may get public attention for some days or weeks. However, if a libel suit is filed, it could get dragged for months or even years. Once you take action in the court, those media channels who didn’t think of repeating or reprinting the false story will also start to cover your story thereby repeating the charge. You cannot sue every one of them. From a Public Relation angle, it is smarter if you let the story die instead of giving it a new life.
- You might attract a lot of attention- You may be kept on a witness stand by your defense attorney for days. You might also get investigated putting you in their close watch. If you have anything you don’t want to make public, they might even find it and make open about it in the court. If that happens, your story might even get bigger and bigger.
- Hollow success for you- Let us assume that everything you planned goes on your way and the media channel who defamed you doesn’t have a real defense. It might be a hollow victory, if you end up spending a lot of money for the libel case that may bring you little financial compensation.
It is advisable that you consider all the loss and gain from filing defamation in the court. Sometimes, filing a suit against your defamer may even incur worse loss.