A defamation investigation is a particular niche specialty service offered by some professional detectives who deal in corporate and personal image concerns. Defamation is defined as propagating a negative public portrayal of a person, company or organization and in most cases, this portrayal must be false in order to commence legal action.
Defamation in the investigative sector typically involves either slander investigations, libel investigations or both. These types of case profiles are not standard investigation assignments, so it is always best to seek out a specialist when hiring a P.I. to solve a defamation concern.
This discussion focuses on defamation cases that are typically handled by private sector detectives.
Defamation Investigation Regarding Slander
Slander is defaming a person, company or organization using the spoken word. This may entail lowering the public reputation of the target, spreading lies or rumors about the target or even providing an opinion disguised or represented as fact in a public forum. Slander can be tricky to prove and usually relies heavily on recorded evidence or first-hand witness accounts to pursue successfully in a court of law.
Without evidence that the spoken words have caused direct injury or damage, there is little benefit to be gained, even if the slander is definitively proven in court.
Defamation Involving Libel
Libel is defaming the target using written words or other media portrayals. Libel is usually easier to prove than slander, since the written account serves as record of the defamation which occurred. In some cases, artistic expression has been persecuted as libelous, which is harder to prove, since art is open to interpretation and may be a challenging legal case to bring to court.
Identical to slander cases, actual injury or damage must be proven, in order to receive any financial compensation for proven libel.
Defamation is a very difficult case profile to successful bring to a legal forum. Proof must be positive, actual damages must be proven and intent must be established. If all these criteria can be met, then the case may be won and damages awarded. However, in the majority of defamation cases, this is a hefty burden of proof to provide in open court.
Remember that defamation is a legal niche which should always be handled by experts in the field. Investigators who work defamation cases must be acutely aware of what exactly constitutes slanderous or libelous behaviors and what falls within the rights of protected public expression and personal opinion.
To learn more about defamation, and how it can be proven using investigative services, contact your attorney or a specialized defamation detective today. If you are an investigator with knowledge of libel and slander, it is a natural fit to join the ranks of detectives who offer these specialized services.