Toronto Defamation Lawyers

Defamation, Libel, and Slander Actions
Tortious Interference | Interference with Economic Interests | Conspiracy

Defamation is the publication of false statements to others. It can come in a variety of ways, both orally (slander) and in writing (libel), including in newspapers and broadcasts (radio, television, etc.) and can negatively impact your business and personal reputation.

Damage to Reputation

Businesses, professionals, authors, public figures and others put immense time and resources into developing a strong and positive reputation, all of which can be put in jeopardy when damaging false statements are published, whether in conversation, traditional media, and especially online. Often, the scope and lasting nature of the harm caused by these statements cannot be easily quantified.

Intentional Interference with Economic Interests or Conspiracy

In some cases, people may engage in wrongful conduct against your clients, suppliers, or other businesses associated with you, with the goal of causing you harm or where it is likely to cause you harm. Even if the wrongdoers are not engaging in wrongful conduct against you directly, it is possible to maintain an action against them to protect your legitimate economic interests. Similarly, there are also potential remedies where multiple persons agree to engage in unlawful conduct and one or more take steps to advance that agreement, which could include the publication of defamatory remarks. It is important to retain prompt legal advice from lawyers who are experienced with these types of cases.

Anonymous Authors and Publishers

The identity of individuals who are engaged in defamation is not always initially known. Lawsuits for defamation against anonymous persons are often brought in the courts as so-called John Doe and Jane Doe actions. The legal process of the court may lead to the identity of the wrongdoers. Injunctions against unknown wrongdoers to restrain continuing or imminent breaches are also sometimes granted by the courts.

Urgent Remedies

In any defamation action, it is important to move promptly to protect your interests. Depending on the nature of the publication (for instance, in a broadcast or newspaper), it is very important to be aware of and/or know how to comply with the following very short time limits:

Notice of Action time limit for notice to intended defendant under the Libel and Slander Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.12

Limitation Period time limit to commence legal proceedings in Ontario under the Libel and Slander Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.12

Jurisdictional Concerns

We have strength and experience in advising foreign clients involved in litigation or arbitration in Ontario and across its borders.

In many cases, the person or company engaging in defamation is not located in the same jurisdiction as you. If you operate in Ontario or have had your reputation damaged in Ontario, you need lawyers with experience handling Ontario litigation in cases where some or all defendants are located in foreign jurisdictions.

Similarly, if you are based in a foreign jurisdiction, actions can be maintained in Ontario if, for example, the person engaging in defamation resides in Ontario, or the wrongful publications occurred in Ontario, or you are seeking to enforce a foreign judgment in Ontario. In these cases, you need local counsel who is familiar with representing and advising foreign clients involved in Ontario litigation.

We often work with conjunction with foreign counsel for foreign clients.

We are consulted by those located in the United States, and in the past have been consulted by or retained in litigation by those (or matters located) in Alaska, California, Washington, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida and Texas.

Internationally, we have also been involved in litigation or arbitration with clients (or matters) located in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, England, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Monaco, Guyana, Liberia, South Africa, Angola, The Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Kuwait, India, Bangladesh, South Korea, Hong Kong, PRC and Australia.

Some of our lawyers have been admitted and previously practised law in foreign jurisdictions (including England, Bermuda and New York), have both foreign and local legal education, including in the U.S. and U.K.

Please contact Gilbertson Davis LLP to arrange an initial consultation.

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John L. Davis

Managing Partner
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David Alderson

Counsel – Commercial Litigation
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Nick P. Poon

Associate
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R. Lee Akazaki

Partner
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Andrew Ottaway

Associate
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Robert Kalanda

Associate
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