In the world of business and commercial disputes, having an experienced litigator on your side could mean the difference between a successful negotiation or a long, drawn-out court battle.
Publishing false and damaging statements is actionable. Publication is key. The most vile, patently false, and horrible statements sent in private correspondence from one to another is not actionable as defamation. But nor does publication require running the falsehood in a newspaper or posting a scandalous lie on the internet. Publishing to even one individual, perhaps copied on an email, can be adequate to create a cause of action for defamation.
Whether proving falsity is part of a plaintiff’s burden of proof, as opposed to truth serving as a defense, depends on the jurisdiction. Virginia is different from Maryland and District of Columbia law. Experienced counsel can also evaluate and advise as to whether the category of false statement constitutes defamation per se, meaning demonstrating harm without requiring any measure of the damages caused because they are presumed.