Suro Law: Your Trusted Defamation Lawyer Denver

Defenses Against Defamation Claims and Lawsuits in Colorado

Defamation Attorney Colorado: Protect Your Reputation

At Suro Law, we understand that the importance of a sterling reputation cannot be overstated. Defamation, whether in the form of slander or libel, can have profound and lasting consequences on an individual’s personal and professional life. When your good name is at stake, you need a legal team that understands the nuances of defamation law in Colorado, and you’ll find that dedicated support at Suro Law. When you’re looking for a defamation attorney in your area, Suro Law is the firm to consider.

Understanding Colorado Defamation Laws

Defamation laws in Colorado are designed to strike a balance between upholding freedom of speech and protecting individuals and businesses from false statements that can harm their reputation. Defamation can take two forms: slander (spoken false statements) and libel (written or published false statements).

Defamation Per Se vs. Defamation Per Quod: What’s the Difference?

In Colorado, as in many jurisdictions, there are two types of defamation: defamation per se and defamation per quod. These distinctions are important because they can affect how a defamation case is pursued and the damages that may be available.

Defamation Per Se

Refers to statements considered inherently harmful and damaging to a person’s reputation, such as:
  • False Statements of Criminal Activity: Includes accusations of theft, fraud, or other criminal conduct.
  • False Statements of Serious Contagious Diseases: Can include accusations of having a sexually transmitted disease or a severe illness.
  • False Statements of Sexual Misconduct: Accusations of sexual misconduct, such as rape or adultery.
  • False Statements of Incompetence in a Profession or Occupation: False statements that allege a person is professionally or occupationally incompetent.
In defamation per se cases, the plaintiff is not required to prove actual damages to their reputation. The law presumes that these types of statements are inherently harmful and damages may be awarded without further proof.

Defamation Per Quod

Refers to statements that are not inherently harmful on their face and require additional context or information to understand their defamatory nature. In these cases, the plaintiff must demonstrate actual harm to their reputation.
For a defamation per quod claim to succeed in Colorado, the plaintiff must show that the statement was:
  • Untrue
  • Unprivileged
  • Published to a third party
  • Caused harm to the plaintiff’s reputation
Need help with your defamation case in Denver? It’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable defamation lawyer near you to determine the best course of action. Contact Suro Law today to get started.

Common Defenses for Defamation Claims and Lawsuits in Colorado

There are several common approaches that defendants use to challenge a plaintiff’s defamation claims. These defenses aim to show that the allegedly defamatory statement should not be considered as legally harmful or that the defendant’s actions were justified.
  • Truth: Arguably the most robust defense in defamation cases, truth entails demonstrating that the statement in question is, in fact, true. In Colorado, if the statement is substantially true, the defendant may not be held liable for defamation.
  • Opinion: Expressing a genuine opinion is generally protected by the First Amendment and is not considered defamation. However, if a statement of opinion is presented as a false statement of fact or implies undisclosed defamatory facts, it may be actionable.
  • Fair Comment: Fair comment is a defense that allows individuals to express their honest opinions or critiques, especially concerning matters of public interest. This defense may be applicable if the statement is a fair and honest expression of an opinion on a subject of public concern.
  • Privilege: Certain statements made in specific contexts are protected by privilege and cannot be the basis for defamation claims. Common examples include statements made in court proceedings, legislative bodies, or by government officials in the course of their duties.
It’s essential to note that defamation cases are fact-specific, and the success of a defense depends on the particular circumstances of each case. If you are facing a defamation claim or believe you have been defamed, consulting with a defamation lawyer Colorado is crucial to assess your specific situation and determine the most appropriate legal strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Defamation in Colorado

Defamation in Colorado involves making false statements about someone that harm their reputation. In order to be considered defamatory, statements must be false, unprivileged, and made negligently or with harmful intent.

While opinions are typically defended under the First Amendment, if an opinion is presented as a statement of fact, it may be considered actionable as defamation. Courts consider the context in which the statement was made to determine if it’s protected opinion or defamatory.

Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages may include financial compensation for any business-related losses resulting from the defamatory statement. Non-economic damages aim to account for harm to your reputation and any associated suffering or distress. 
The statute of limitations for defamation claims in Colorado is one year. In other words, once you discover the defamatory statement, you have one year from that date to file a lawsuit. If you have been defamed in Colorado, it is crucial that you act promptly and find a defamation attorney near you as soon as possible.
While retraction or correction may mitigate damages, these actions will not necessarily absolve the defendant of liability. If the original statement caused harm, a plaintiff can still pursue a defamation claim as long as they are within the statute of limitations. Factors such as the timeliness and sincerity of the correction or retraction will be taken into consideration when determining whether the claim still carries weight.

Have an Unanswered Question? Contact Us.

If you have a lingering question about defamation cases in Denver, CO that wasn’t addressed on this page, don’t hesitate to contact Suro Law. David Suro is an experienced lawyer for defamation of character who can address your concerns, no matter how complex.

Contact Suro Law for Your Free Consultation

Defamation of Character Attorney Colorado

At Suro Law, we understand that defamation cases require a strategic and nuanced approach. David Suro has a deep understanding of Colorado defamation laws, and he is committed to safeguarding your reputation and seeking justice on your behalf. Your reputation matters, and we’re here to protect it.

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