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Matt: Hi, it’s Matt Plessner and welcome back to Defamation Law Radio. We’ve talked about defamation on the internet many times before. What can you do if you are defamed? And what kind of compensations are you entitled to? We are going to talk about some of these things as we interview Mark Clark of the Traverse Legal office of Traverse City, Michigan. Mark, thanks again for being back!
Mark: Thanks Matt! It is always a pleasure to be here.
Matt: Well thank you very much! Now, just start off plain and simple. What, I guess damages are available for any kind of online defamation, Mark?
Matt: Now Mark, backing up just a little bit, you were talking about … you used the term ‘non-quantifiable damages’. Do these always deal in money and cash and financial restitution or do other things come into play as well?
Mark: That is a good … Matt, that is an excellent question. As I’ve indicated, you can obtain relief from a court in an online defamation matter by way of an injunction that would order the removal of the online defamation. The Court may also order the defendant to refrain from any further defamatory content. Sometimes courts will indicate that is what they call a prior restraint on free speech, but I have seen it accomplished in some cases.
Matt: And, of course, Mark, you have talked about punitive damages, punitive restitution. What does this include? In other words, what kinds of penalties can be given to the person who has inflicted the damages?
Mark: Well, Matt, it really depends on how angry the jury becomes. Where punitive damages are available to punish the defendant for their actions in posting online defamation, those awards in some jurisdictions have totaled in the millions of dollars simply because of the outrageous nature of the conduct relative to the online defamation posting.
Matt: Well, Mark, thanks once again for joining us and talking to us about these defamation charges and what types of things can happen and what you can do about it.
Mark: Thanks Matt! We always recommend that someone who is a victim of online defamation consult with an online defamation attorney to assess their own particular set of circumstances, the law in their particular jurisdiction and that allows them to better be able to make value judgments and informed decisions on how to proceed forward with their online defamation problem.
Matt: And, of course, Mark and the other lawyers there at Traverse Legal are there to help you with these things should this happen to you. We just wanted to give you these overviews to help you out should this happen to you. And once again, thank you Mark, and want to see you next time here on Defamation Law Radio. This is Matt Plessner.
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