Click here for Paul Brennan discussing defamation with Phil Dobbie of Btalk Australia.
Generally, defamers do not defame people who they think will punch them in the mouth. So if you ever have the option of frightening people by using threats or just your unpleasant manner, you do not need to demean yourself by resorting to defamation. This is why the Mafia is not big on defamation; in fact they go out of their way to be nice to you up to the point of garotting you from the back seat of your car.
A problem arises when you lack sufficient evidence of being defamed. For instance, there is the often alcohol-fuelled “I was only joking” insult, which grows into a whispering campaign that has proved so popular in clubs over the years.
Your lawyer will seek to gain evidence. This usually amounts to statements from other club members who are naturally reluctant to get involved and often report what they have heard from others, rather than what they have directly seen or heard themselves. Therefore, it is best to consult a lawyer early as they can coach you on gaining sufficient evidence and how best to position yourself.
Ironically, in order to try to stop the defamer, the victim often must broadcast the insult, which in turn places their own conduct under the microscope. This can deter victims from doing anything at all and provided that the perpetrator is sensible enough to stop, the matter ends and people move on with their lives (or at least until the perpetrator finds another victim).
If you ever have the misfortune of being defamed by a stupid person, you had best make sure to gather sufficient and relevant evidence or perhaps seek Mafia assistance.
sponsored by Brennans solicitors - a Queensland, Australia law firm - Individual Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.
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