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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
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In a defamation case involving my reputation among a community

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In a defamation case involving my reputation among a community of peers, how would I go about proving enough damage to my reputation to win a suit?

Would it be enough to show that other peers would not want to work with me in a professional capacity or would I need to show that someone actively avoided me?
In Colorado, actual damages may be proved by showing actual or reasonably foreseeable lost profits or wages -- as well as emotional damages which can be proved by your own testimony. Case law has held that a plaintiff's own self-serving testimony concerning the emotional damage suffered as a consequence of defamatory injury is sufficient to permit the jury to determine an award, even without any proof of a specific pecuniary loss. See Keohane v. Stewart, 882 P.2d 1293 (Colo. 7/11/1994).

It would be better to show that there are peers who have actually avoided you -- but, it is not necessary to show the damage to your reputation worthy of compensation.

Hope this helps.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That is a very concise and excellent answer. Thank you very much.


 


One further clarification, would loss of reputation and future foreseeable work count as damages in this case? IE, could I successfully argue that the defamatory statements could have an impact on who would be willing to work with me in the future?

Would loss of reputation and future foreseeable work count as damages in this case?

A: Loss of reputation yes. Future foreseeable work is a mis characterization, in my view. It is reasonably foreseeable lost profits that matters. If those profits are lost as the result of being denied business opportunities as a consequence of reputation injury, then the damages are recoverable. Work, on the other hand, does not equate to lost profits, unless the work is that of an employee, where it is lost wages/salary that matters.

Hope this helps.