How do I Choose the Best Attorney for Libel?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

You may need a lawyer when you’ve been the subject of false, malicious written statements that constitute libel or if you’ve been accused of committing libel yourself. To choose the right attorney for libel, you may have to consider a range of factors, including the experience of the attorney you are considering and whether or not his practice is focused on libel cases. You may also do well to consider the attorney’s reputation and his legal fees. Additionally, you may consider how and when payment will be expected when you are trying to choose the best attorney for libel.

An attorney's reputation is an important consideration when looking for a libel attorney.
An attorney's reputation is an important consideration when looking for a libel attorney.

When you want to sue another party for libel or need to defend against an accusation yourself, you may prefer to have an expert handling your case. In such a case, you will typically need to seek the help of someone who has vast experience not only with libel cases, but also in the area of the law that is specific to your particular libel case. For example, you may need an attorney with significant experience dealing with cases of libel that involve the media, the Internet, or even employment law. Having a lawyer who has in-depth knowledge of your particular type of case may have a positive influence on your chances of winning.

An attorney’s reputation may also influence your decision to hire him or move on to consider another lawyer. You may seek out recommendations from friends, relatives, and business associates who have hired an attorney for libel. You may also look online for reviews. In many cases, peer reviews may prove helpful as well. The manner in which an attorney has conducted himself with others may give you a good idea of how he will act in his dealings with you.

Legal fees may also prove to be an important consideration when you are attempting to choose the best attorney for libel. Some attorneys may require you to pay a lump sum before they begin working on your case while others may expect hourly payment and bill you. There are even some who may combine these two payment arrangements, requiring you to pay a deposit and subsequent bills based on their hourly rate. If you are suing for libel, you may also consider an attorney who will allow you to pay on a contingency basis, which means you will pay a portion of the settlement the attorney wins on your behalf.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


@Soulfox -- I do believe a lawyer who takes on a libel case and does not know enough to do it justice is guilty of an ethics breach at best and malpractice at best. An attorney who doesn't know how to handle something is obliged to refer it out to someone who does.


@Logicfest -- I would hope an attorney who wasn't familiar with libel cases would refer a client elsewhere. Still, you never know. Some attorneys might need to pay their rent and will take on any case that comes through the door.

Anyway, I think one of the best ways to find a good libel attorney is to retain one that defends newspapers. That lawyer will no libel law inside and out and will know how to prove libel and win your case. That attorney should also be able to tell you if you have a case worth pursuing or not.


I was talking to someone the other day who mentioned she found a divorce attorney simply by opening the phone book and picking one out at random. That worked out OK for her, probably because most attorneys in this area handle divorce cases because they pay well and there are a lot of them around.

Picking a libel attorney that way can be a disaster. That is because libel is a highly specialized field and you want someone with some real experience in that area.

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