DEFAMATION CASE IN SPAIN: USEFUL TIPS
Defamation can occur when someone makes a false statement of fact about you, and you suffer harm as a result (financial damage or harm to your reputation, for example). This kind of cases are extremely serious because they are a direct affront against all your moral, ethic, legal and personal integrity. In fact, your honour can be at stake, both as a family and as a legal professional.
Until now, the trend had been that platforms and social networks are being seldom affected by legal proceedings where civil liability is required for the content they host. However, the trend is changing and there is in fact a significant increase in legal claims at the moment. Furthermore, not only the person given the defamatory statement can be sued but also sometimes even the platform or social network, depending on the nature and content of the messages. That is why companies are increasingly aware of the power of influence comments on certain platforms and examine their social networks in greater detail, not only at the level of workers but also as customers, especially to protect their own reputation.
II.- THE IMPORTANCE OF CONDUCTING A VERY THOROUGH LEGAL RESEARCH
In the first place, it is of the outmost importance to research case law to determine how courts have interpreted certain legal issues.
This is because defamation law can be very confusing and harsh because there is a maze of complex Spanish legislation and defamation laws, as well as a variety of case law rendered by both the Spanish Supreme court as well as the European Courts of Human rights and the European Court of Justice.
In addition to that there are different procedural remedies, – not only criminal – but civil as well. Taking the above into consideration, it is absolutely CRUCIAL to carry out an attentive analysis of the problem at the outset in order to choose the most feasible legal strategy option depending on each specific case.
Subsequently, in this Post, we’ll discuss some of the important evidence that the affected person will need to gather (and be ready to present) in order to make sure your defamation lawsuit is successful. Remember that the evidence, must be focused on meeting all elements of a defamation claim. This is sometimes called establishing a “prima facie” case. In a nutshell, generally all of the following elements must be satisfied:
- publication (to someone other than the person who brought the case)
- of a false statement
- of fact (rather than opinion)
- not privileged
- that injures the reputation of the person being (“claimant”)
In other words, to make your best defamation case, remember that you’ll need to be able to back up your claims with the right evidence. Otherwise you might risk losing the case with costs.
Likewise, it is also essential to gather evidence to rebut any potential defences, that the defendant may have.
Finally, from a procedural point of view, there would be two feasible legal actions; either to claim through a criminal action or alternatively to file a civil lawsuit. through the civil courts, exercising the pertinent lawsuit aimed to claim to claim a financial compensation from the defendant.
Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages.
We must refer in this point to the more detailed information provided in the specific section of our website:
III. SUPPORTING YOUR CASE FOR DEFAMATION CASE IN SPAIN: USEFUL TIPS
Regarding the evidence required, (although the burden of the proof is not as high as in criminal matters), IRRESPECTIVE from which option is chose, it is crucial to prepare in advance all the necessary legal evidence that will be used as a strong legal ammunition against the defendant. The law requires that these elements be established in a manner that meets the burden of proof, which in civil matters is usually considered by a preponderance of the evidence provided by each party in the dispute (i.e., greater than 50% chance that the proposition is true). Likewise, it is extremely important to provide the court with a timeline showing when the defamatory statements were made would be demonstrative evidence.
On the other hand, the most common form of evidence in a defamation case is the Documentary evidence, which is any evidence summited with the particulars of the claim in the form of documents or writings—for example, an email containing the defamatory statement, a screenshot of the libellous comment posted on a social network, etc etc This is absolutely vital in order to increase the chances of success. For example, If the defamatory statement was made in writing, such as in a magazine or newspaper, or even online through a blog, website, or email, make sure to save a copy. This is especially important for writings that are not in your control, such as someone’s Twitter feed (screenshots are a good way to preserve online statements). You should also collect receipts, paystubs, and other documents to support your claim for actual damages.
IV. HOW TO CONTACT US FOR FURTHER SPECIFIC ADVICE?
We hope this information is useful. Remember that this is not intended to be specific legal advice, just a general overview. As independent lawyers, we can help you both by assisting you to pre-empt most tenancy issues as well as to oversee a tenant eviction procedure, if required.
Should you be interested in receiving more specific information about defamation case in Spain, (either about this particular tenancy subject or any other), you can contact our firm several ways:
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Finally, thank you very much for your attention, and in case you might have any question or doubt at all, again please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be glad to assist you! We look forward to helping you and the benefit of our “know-how”.
Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.