Chhabra® Law has successfully resolved numerous issues related to online reputation arising on the internet for both plaintiffs and defendants throughout California. As defamation defense attorneys, we will strive to protect your free speech rights. As plaintiff's attorneys we will fight to get the justice you deserve.
Rohit Chhabra understands the need to utilize the strategic nuances in defamation law. As a defamation attorney for plaintiffs, Rohit has successfully defeated anti-SLAPP motions so that the case can proceed further. Conversely, for those who seek a defamation defense attorney, Rohit has successfully won anti-SLAPP motions to terminate legal proceedings. Having an understanding of the laws from the perspective of both plaintiffs and defendants gives Rohit a unique edge on how to successfully resolve defamation related issues.
Rohit is skilled at resolving issues through complex analysis of electronic data and forensic resources and has consistently been rated as one of the best in the bay area. Whether you have been defamed online or have been falsely accused of defaming someone, Rohit can aggressively represent you with all facets of Internet defamation litigation.
ℹ️ Defamation Defense
Are you being sued for defamation? We understand the stress and anxiety it may have caused. However, there is hope. Defamation requires a false factual assertion. That means, you need to have presented a statement that can be proven false. If the defendant only expressed his or her opinion or presented truthful assertions, they may be able to file an anti-SLAPP motion and have the case thrown out (read below about opinion statements and anti-SLAPP motions). Moreover, defendants are entitled to their reasonable attorneys fees and costs if they win an anti-SLAPP motion.
ℹ️ Pursuing Defamation Claims
People often write statements without considering the harm those statements can to one's reputation. Worse, in a society where the so called "cancel culture" has become the norm, we often hear about folks losing their jobs because of the defamatory statements.
However, before filing a lawsuit, the most important factor to consider is: whether a statement can be considered as an opinion. Judges often declare that opinions are not defamatory. Why? This is because, opinions are statements that can not be proven as true or false. This includes statements that are very subjective in nature. For example, if someone says Bob is garbage, it conveys ones subjective interpretation that they don't like Bob. Such statements are called rhetoric hyperbole because no one would believe that Bob is actual trash found in a dumpster. Nonetheless, it is still an opinion.
To explain this better, let's start with an overview.
What is Defamation?
Defamation means that someone has (1) made a false statement (2) about about another, (3) such that the statement causes harm to the person’s business, profession, occupation, or reputation.
The key element is that the defamatory statement should be one that is capable of being proven false. But as discussed here, not all offending statements meet this requirement.
What are Opinion Statements
The law holds that opinions are not defamatory. But Why? This is because, opinions are statements that can not be proven as true or false. This includes statements that are very subjective in nature. For example, if someone does not like the food or service of a restaurant, that is considered as an opinion. One person's statements may differ from that of another and therefore a subjective interpretation can never be considered defamatory.
Defamatory Opinion Statements
Simply publishing a defamatory statement as an opinion does not make it an opinion. An opinion statement may be defamatory when the underlying justification of the opinion is false. For example, if a person opines that no one should go to a particular restaurant that is, in itself, a non-defamatory opinion. However, if the person states that no one should go to the particular restaurant because they got sick after eating food there, then the opinion can be defamatory if the person lied and did not get sick or got sick because they ate something else. This is because now it can be proven whether eating at the particular restaurant made them sick. Therefore, clients should always ask their defamation attorney whether a statement can be considered as an opinion, and whether such an opinion can be defamatory.
One should never instantiate legal action simply because another expressed their opinion. Such lawsuits are called Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). A SLAPP'd action is countered by an anti-SLAPP motion by defendant. If defendant wins the anti-SLAPP motion, then as a punishment for wrongfully instantiating a lawsuit, plaintiff is obligated to pay defendant's legal fee.