• Someone anonymously posts a horrible review of your business.


    Your former employer gives you a bad recommendation for a job.


    Someone falsely accuses you of something in public.

    defamation attorneys boston mass

    All of these things can be defamation. And all of these may not be defamation. The law on defamation is strict, and courts tend to avoid it when they can. But defamation cases are often worth pursuing because wrongful damage to a person’s or company’s reputation from false statements can have dramatic financial impact, ruin business opportunities, or diminish an innocent person’s standing within a community. Even short of outright victory in court, a defamation lawsuit can often spur a person to rethink what they have said, and sometimes force them to retract and apologize for their statement.


    To raise a legal claim in court, defamation must meet several legal criteria:

    • The defaming statements must be published, either in written form or through a televised or recorded broadcast of the slanderous statements, or they can be spoken or written to even one other person.
    • The defaming statements must be false. You cannot take legal action against any party for publishing true information about you simply because it damages your reputation. It must be provably false. That means that someone’s opinion or speculation does not count. Courts often go out of their way to find that the statement amounts to opinion.
    • The statements in question must be harmful. This means you must have experienced some type of physicalemotional, or financial injury due to the defaming statements.
    • The defaming statements must be made with a certain level of intention. That can be somewhere between negligent and reckless, depending on whether you can be considered a public person in some way.

    If your situation satisfies these criteria, you have may grounds to file a defamation lawsuit against the party who uttered or published the defamatory statements against you. If you win in court on a defamation claim, you can be compensated for the loss you suffered. In some cases, the person may make a public retraction and apology.


    On the flip side, if you fear you may have made a defamatory statement, there are steps you can take now that can help mitigate some of the damages you may face in court later.


    A defamation attorney in Boston can help you gather evidence to prove your case, thoroughly uncover the full extent of the damages resulting from the defamatory statements and provide you with legal guidance throughout your case.

    Defamation Against Public Figures

    Defamation laws do not apply to every individual on the same level. If an individual holds public office or is a noteworthy public figure, the plaintiff will need to show that the person uttering the defamatory statement did it recklessly, or even aware that the thing was false.


    Courts have long recognized that people have the right to criticize those who govern them. Likewise, people who are in the public spotlight such as celebrities and influencers must also recognize the right of the public to criticize them. Public people also have ready to access to the media so that they can quickly counter the harm of a defamatory statement themselves, without having to resort to the courts.


    For that reason, the courts make it tougher for a public person to win a defamation case, and require that public officials and celebrities prove what’s called actual malice. “Actual malice” can apply when people publish defamatory false statements without fact-checking, and a reasonable action could have shown that the statement was false.

    Potential Damages

    The defamation plaintiff has the right to pursue compensation for any damages resulting from defamatory claims made by the defendant. But calculating damages in a defamation case can be tricky. These damages could include:

    • Financial losses, such as lost business opportunities or lost customer patronage resulting directly from the defamation. The plaintiff will need to provide evidence that financial losses resulted directly from the defendant’s defamatory statements.
    • Pain and suffering. Defamation can cause emotional distress and, in some cases, has spurred others to engage in violent acts. For example, if defamation caused public outrage against the plaintiff and he or she suffered a violent assault following the publication of defaming statements, the plaintiff could hold the defendant responsible for his or her physical pain and suffering. Non-economic damages are not available in every state, and they are always difficult to get a court to grant.
    • Medical treatment costs. If the defamation in question resulted in physical or psychological harm to the plaintiff, the plaintiff can claim the cost of medical and psychiatric treatment as damages in the case.

    A plaintiff pursuing a defamation lawsuit must rely on his or her team to uncover the full extent of available damages to maximize recovery. Often losses can be measured by the drop in a person’s business, combined with some sort of evidence that the business loss can be attributed to the defamation.

    Hire an Expert to Defend You

    As you can see, defamation is an extremely complicated area of the law. Anyone facing this kind of situation should seek top-rated lawyers to help.


    The right firm can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of a defamation lawsuit and help restore a client’s reputation.


    If you need assistance with a defamation case in the area, the team at Cornell Dolan, P.C. can help you protect your reputation and recover your financial losses resulting from defamation.

    Cornell Dolan, P.C.

    Contact Us

    Cornell Dolan, P.C. is an experienced legal team who understands how the First Amendment applies to defamation lawsuits. We regularly represent clients on both sides of a defamation lawsuit. This gives us insight into how the other side is thinking throughout the case. When embarking on a complex case such as a defamation lawsuit, it’s essential to have appropriate legal representation. The Boston defamation attorneys at Cornell Dolan, P.C. have built their firm’s reputation on a solid commitment to protecting their clients’ rights.


    If you think you need assistance with a defamation lawsuit in Massachusetts, contact Cornell Dolan, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney. Call (617) 535-7763, or email us at info@cornelldolan.com.