Following the high-profile case of Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard, the topic of defamation lawyer Sydney has gained more importance. A defamation lawyer in Sydney will assist you with all defamation lawsuits.
Before we explore the functions and other important aspects in relation to defamation lawyer in Sydney, let’s first understand what is defamation.
Defamation is a false statement made against a person. This statement hurts their reputation. This false statement of facts could be in the form of written statements – known as libel – or spoken statements – known as slander.
Defamation cases will thus involve two parties, one is the party who has suffered loss due to defamatory statements and who brings the case forward. Plaintiff is the party who has suffered some loss.
In a defamation case, the plaintiff sues the defendant. In understanding defamation lawyer in Sydney, it is essential to understand all elements related to defamation cases.
Defamation Lawyer In Sydney: Elements Required To Prove Defamation
Importantly, the plaintiff is required to prove or show four things. These include:
- A false statement being said or written as a fact
- Some form of communication or publication of that false statement to a third person
- Fault amounting to at least negligence; and
- Some form of harm or other damages caused to the plaintiff that is the person who is the subject of the false statement
How Does The Law Work: Functions Of The Lawyer
To begin with, the plaintiff files the complaint in the court. Following this, the court will serve the defendant. A key step in the overall litigation process is that of discovery.
During this step, both parties are required to exchange information to prepare for the trial. A defamation lawyer in Sydney will play a particularly crucial role in this step. The lawyer will prepare a thorough list of questions. The defendant will need to answer these questions under oath.
An expert defamation lawyer in Sydney will be needed to question the defendant during the discovery process. This is because the plaintiff will need someone who has knowledge of all evidence rules. Moreover, he/she will need a lawyer who has technical know-how on how such cases pan out.
Notably, like many other lawsuits and court battles, settlement is an option even in defamation cases. Settlement can occur outside of court, making a lawsuit in the court unnecessary. Lawyers play an instrumental role in the settlement process.
Often, alternative dispute resolution approaches are used to settle defamation cases. These include mediation and arbitration. Lawyers help both parties to facilitate a healthy discussion in order to reach a satisfactory outcome.
Costs Associated With Defamation Cases
If the case goes to trial and the judgment is made in favour of the plaintiff, the lawyer receives some portion of the recovery. Similarly, if both parties have reached a settlement, some portion of the defamation settlement will go to the plaintiff’s lawyer.
In case of the defendant, the lawyer may charge hourly fees and may also request for advance fees. In any case, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, it is important to have an initial consultation with lawyer.
During this consultation, lawyers from JB Solicitors will provide cost agreements to give you an understanding of the costs involved. Litigation is costly and time-consuming. This is why you need to ensure that you meet trustworthy lawyers who are genuinely concerned about your interests.
By having a consultation, you will also be able to gauge the lawyer’s professional values and their opinions about your case. This is an important step before hiring defamation lawyers as you need to know whether or not you are on the same page about the matter.
What Happens If The Parties Are Unable To Settle?
In the instance where the parties are unable to reach a settlement outside of court, the case will proceed to trial. Following this, the plaintiff and defendant will present their cases.
Court trials are lengthy and costly. This is why having a defamation lawyer in Sydney for such trials are very important. The lawyer will prove to the jury that the plaintiff was defamed and consequently suffered some form of harm.
Case Study Of Defamation: Johnny Depp Versus Amber Heard
In March 2019, Johnny Depp sued his former wife and Hollywood actress Amber Heard for 50 million dollars. He sued her for defaming him in her op-ed article that was published in 2018. The trial for the same commenced on April 11, 2022 in a Virginian court.
In her op-ed published in Washington Post, Amber Heard wrote about domestic abuse, without explicitly naming Johnny Depp. However, after the publication of the article Depp faced serious losses. During the trial, an accountant stated that Depp lost 40 million dollars because of the article.
By analysing this example based on the elements mentioned above, the plaintiff i.e. Depp needs to prove that the false statement written as a fact (libel) has caused harm to him. Amber Heard has argued that Depp was abusive towards her. Depp has repeatedly denied this allegations.
Defamation Lawyer Sydney: JB Solicitors
Our lawyers at JB Solicitors will provide market-leading legal advice for libel, slander and all defamation cases. We provide legal guidance to our clients such that they achieve the best possible outcomes in their case.
We represent our clients’ best interests at all times. Our lawyers are experts in litigation and defamation matters. Whether you are the defendant, or the plaintiff, rest assured that our team of lawyers are here to help you with your defamation case. We have the experience and the legal knowledge to provide advice tailored to your specific case.
Our award-winning mediators can help reach agreements in situations which can be resolved through dispute resolution.
For more enquiries, contact our experienced team of solicitors.