Reputations can take years to build, but only a few minutes to destroy. In today's networked world, defamatory statements can spread from one keyboard to millions of computer and television screens within seconds. Companies and individuals alike can lose goodwill in a competitive environment where, sometimes, that goodwill can make the difference between success and failure.
The right to free speech is not in question—indeed, it is the cornerstone upon which media operates. But that right must be exercised carefully at all times. Individuals and organizations have an equal right to defend themselves against defamatory statements and to protect their public reputation when it is corrupted by a third party. While there are a number of options available to strike back at unfair statements or defend one's right to freedom of speech, litigation is often the most powerful means of response.
McMillan's Litigation Group works with individuals and companies on both sides of the equation. For companies in the media sector facing defamation allegations, we are a dependable ally, mounting a vigorous defence in the face of an attack. We have also worked with employers as they defend themselves against defamation claims brought by disgruntled employees. Similarly, if we are working with a client whose reputation has been unfairly sullied, we leverage all the available legal avenues to set the record straight and recover damages.
McMillan professionals help clients lead by:
- Assisting media outlets and publishers with pre-publication reviews to mitigate potential claims
- Representing plaintiffs and defendants in defamation actions
- Advising on right to privacy issues
- Negotiating settlements between parties—including apologies, retractions and financial damages
- Advising in matters related to publication bans, access to information and press freedoms