Injury to Reputation

In 1710, literary figure Jonathan Swift wrote that “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.”  In our connected age of the Internet, social media and smartphones, ill words fly faster than Swift could have ever imagined.

Traditionally, public discourse was regulated mainly by the law of “defamation” – the venerable notion that injuring someone’s reputation by spreading falsehoods entitled the victim to just compensation.  And while defamation is still considered a civil wrong, the legal landscape has grown more complex. 

California’s expansive “Anti-SLAPP” law provides formidable protections for persons sued for acts in furtherance of their right to free speech or petition.  At the Federal level, the 1996 Communication Decency Act renders online hosts mostly immune from laws that would otherwise hold them responsible for what others say.  At the same time, online attacks on reputation seem to be more prolific than ever.  If you think you may have a claim for defamation, or have been threatened with a lawsuit accusing you of harming someone’s reputation, Mr. Mandlekar may be able to help.