Why It May Be Best To Settle Defamation Cases Out Of Court

The main purpose of hiring a lawyer is not to go to trial. An attorney's main aim is to help you get justice via legal channels. The lawyer can negotiate with your adversary so that you can come to a common and acceptable understanding. In fact, in many cases, it is better to get a legal resolution without seeing the inside of a courtroom. If you are accusing somebody of defamation, then here are four reasons it's best to settle your case out of court:

Wider Audience

First, going to court increases the number of people who may listen to or read the defamatory statement(s). Lawsuits create publicity, especially if they involve controversial statements. This is even more so if you or your accuser is a public figure. Your case may become a topic for discussion in online chat rooms, local newspapers or even televisions. What is more, media houses tend to focus on negative information as compared to positive information.

Unfortunately, the public tend to have a short attention span. They may move to different things or cases before the case ends. Therefore, they may not know who won the case, and may only be left with the false allegations in their minds.

Lengthy Lawsuits

Secondly, just like many personal injury cases, defamation lawsuits tend to be lengthy. In fact, after filing the lawsuit, you will wait between 18 and 36 months before your case heads to trial. That is followed by the discovery process, which can take up to a year. This is followed by other processes, such as mediation and negotiations, before finally heading to trial. As you can see, it will take you many years before your case is concluded.

Upfront Fees

It's likely that you will have to pay the cost of your lawsuit before the trial ends. This is because, unlike other injury cases, few lawyers are willing to handle defamation lawsuits on contingency bases. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that the cases take a long time and tend to fetch relatively low compensation amounts.

Therefore, winning a defamation lawsuit may involve a lot of money (most of which may be upfront) and take a long period. If your lawyer advises you to opt for an out-of-court settlement, it's best to listen to him or her instead of insisting on a trial. The good news is that, as long as the statute of limitations has not expired, you can always go to court if the alternative dispute resolutions fail.

To learn more, contact a legal office like Welsh & Welsh PC LLO.