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Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 42659
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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I would like to get advice please about whether or not I

Customer Question

Hi, I would like to get advice please about whether or not I have grounds to litigate for a personal offence of defamation made against me, (meaning not involving a workplace or business defamation) and if its possible that there are lawyers available in my region who would be willing to take on my case on a no win no pay basis. Can you please advise me on this? Thanks, Chrissy.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I would like to clarify, in case of any confusion, that I am not defending myself for a case made against me for defamation. I am seeking advice regarding a defamatory statement which was made against me. I may not have made this clear in my initial question. The defamatory claim made against me was of a criminal nature, and the defamatory statement in question was made against me by the accuser in a recent family law court assessment for a current court proceeding. The false allegation made about me was documented in the family assessment report by the report writer, with no evidence that the claim made against me was true. The family court proceeding in question is not one which I am personally involved in, but one that a very close and long term friend of mine is involved in. Aside from the potential damage to my current and future reputation being at stake, the impact of that claim made against me in the assessment may very well impact the outcome of that family court proceedings for my friend and in turn, the welfare of her children who are involved in that particular case.
Expert:  Leon replied 5 months ago.

Good Morning

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

If it is in a report before the court it is not possible to sue for defamation.

Your job is to have your lawyer seek to have ti removed from the report by asking the report writer to remove it on the basis it is false.

Your reputation outside the court is not being affected as the report is for the court alone and will not be released.

If you wish to proceed on this you have to have the report writer be a witness and to confirm that his opinion of you has been diminished and you have to show how this has resulted in financial loss.

You will be wasting your money if you chose to go down this road.

I hope this make sense and is of assistance If there is nothing further

thank you for using my services.

If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know

If there is anything else in the future please do not hesitate to ask.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback.

Regards

Leon

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi LeonThanks for your reply although I am still concerned about a few things, and your advice that the defamation has to result in financial loss. Firstly, what could a likely positive outcome be if the defamation claim did result in a financial loss? And how would it even be possible to proceed with it if I am not even able to sue for defamation in a court proceeding anyway? Also when doing some very extensive research on this on the internet last night, I believe that in defamation cases, the damage caused by the accuser does not necessarily need to result in financial loss, but that it can be enough grounds to seek compensation if it can be proven that there was any damage (or likelihood) of damage done to the reputation of the accused.I also question whether or not my reputation can be damaged outside of the court since, despite any confidentiality clauses made by the court, the court cannot police any unauthorized breach of confidentiality, not to mention that any such breach would still have to be proven by another party that the breach of confidentiality did in fact occur. What if this is not possible for the person who wants to prove there was a breach of confidentiality, yet they are fully aware that a breach had occurred? This then gives me the impression that the court cannot safeguard against each and every situation in which this may happen, so there still in-lies a potential and likely risk to the party who was defamed within the court of being further defamed outside of the court.At this point I would also like to advise you that I have already provided a support letter to my friend's lawyer, immediately upon hearing of the defamatory claim, explaining that the accusation was based on unfounded and malicious reports made to the police by the accuser, and gave my reasoning why I knew it to be a false allegation. The same allegation was made to the police two years ago, however the police established that there were no witnesses and no evidence or any reasonable doubt in order for them to continue the proceedings, and therefore the matter was dropped. I explained all of this in my support letter and also provided the police report number for the courts reference. I was also informed (by the report writer herself) that my support letter would be provided to the assessment writer for her consideration to be included in the family assessment report. However, I have since discovered that despite my efforts to prove to the assessment writer that the claim made against me was false and misleading, my support letter was not even acknowledged in the family assessment, and the claim against me by the accuser was still included in the said family assessment. So now to my knowledge, my letter of explanation and hopeful vindication was futile anyway.I feel as though going through this with you now is virtually pointless to the outcome of my situation based on the advice you have already provided, although I still feel it is important that you are aware of all the steps I have taken, and all the current relevant information, for you to be able to provide me with more accurate advice in my situation. Also, if I am going to pay $80 to receive this advice I would like to be sure that the amount and quality of the advice provided to me in our correspondence will justify the financial expenditure that I will incur.Regards,Chrissy
Expert:  Leon replied 5 months ago.

Good Afternoon

In any court case, if you are to sue you have to show some form of loss that you can be compensated for.

If there is no economic loss then the court will ask why are you here?

1. You have to have the person that was given the information give evidence and confirm that as a result of the defamatory information their opinion of you has changed and how it has changed.

2. You have to be able to quantify what you financial loss is. eg. If you lose your job and cannot get work and are being shunned by the community.

3. You have to show some form of loss. If you have had to leave where you live because of the defamation as the neighbours did not want to deal with you and they made your life miserable, then the cost of relocating etc is your financial loss.

4. Likelihood of damages in the future will not cut it the court will throw it out and you will pay the costs of the defendant because no loss has been caused.

5. In all defamation cases you have to seek a retraction and an apology in the first instance.

6. Reputation can be damaged but unless there is some loss, there is no compensation that the court can award you.