Expert Witness in Defamation of Character Lawsuits, Both Slander and Libel

I provide expert witness testimony or non-testifying litigation consulting in defamation of character cases, including both libel and slander (or portrayal in a false light). My familiarity comes from 15 years of regular contact with defamation law and cases, tracking and analyzing the spreading of online defamation, working with law firms to frame defamation cases or defenses, and hundreds of consultations with victims of defamation, most of them readers of my book Fighting Slander, published in 2003 and now in 4th Edition.

Particular areas of expertise:

• Online defamation, whether through blogs or social media. I worked for the founders of the Internet, have been using social media since the early 1980s on bulletin boards and Usenet and "virtual communities," since before the WWW burst on the scene in the 1990s, and then the newer and broader venues such as Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram or Twitter since then. These venues may or may not harm either individual or business defamation victims, depending on the nature of the defamation and whether it "goes viral."

• Emotional distress and why it is a reason to be awarded monetary damages (or when the claims are spurious). In the 13 years since Fighting Slander was first published, I have spoken to hundreds of victims of slander and libel, and can clearly describe to a jury the terrific stress and anxiety that defamation causes victims, up to the point of making them unable to work, which then moves into "financial harms," the other legal claim that leads juries and judges to make substantial awards to plaintiffs (I stay current on defamation jury verdict awards). When working for plaintiff's attorneys, my opinion letters are frequently the tipping point that leads adversaries to settle. I also address emotional distress as a result of malicious prosecution. While I prefer to anchor from a psychiatrist/psychologist's or emergency room documentation to render an emotional distress opinion, I have broader and more documented experience than any of those groups to address a jury.

• Actual damages figures. After 15 years of directly counseling defamation victims on non-legal solutions, I can help put numbers to the costs of real-life solutions: seeking a new job (if the defamation has not spread too far), unemployment, moving to a new town, selling a possibly distressed home at a loss, moving costs, and the price of relocating family and children to a new community and schools.

• Traditional mainstream media libel. I've been an editor for 27 years, and understand the aspects: fault, hot-button words, the limits of satire, "newswire" defenses, etc.

• Supporting attorneys in identifying the elements of a defamation case and putting the case or the defense together, sometimes finding little-known claims or defenses in the case file (beyond mainstream media libel law, I am familiar with gossip campaigns, Web/internet/social media, business slander, emotional distress, as well as more obscure claims or defenses).

Few. I am a completely independent EW, and I am not inherently a "plaintiff's expert witness" or a "defendant's expert witness" – I render facts and/or opinion based on the facts of the case.

I will work directly with law firms, or if you prefer working through an expert witness service, I am registered with several of them, including Atrium, ExpertConnect, Forensis Group, TASA, The Expert Institute, and Thomson Reuters' Expert Witness division.
     (Referral companies' databases vary, so sometimes I appear for a search on 'defamation', other times for 'defamation of character', but not necessarily both.)

customer testimonial

Nicholas Carroll
Author of Fighting Slander, 4th Edition

Author photo

Partial list of points I am familiar with: financial harms (business losses, salary loss, and financial harm to career), emotional distress/mental anguish, malice (fault), public figures, public officials, right to privacy, truth or falsity, privilege (absolute or partial), satire, opinion vs. fact, painting or portraying in a false light, and innocent or intentional dissemination. Note: although I have written extensively on defamation law, I am not licensed to the bar, and cannot give opinions on law in deposition or testimony; in those venues my opinions are restricted to the patterns, dissemination, and consequences of defamation.

Online articles I've written on defamation:

Expert Witness Testimony or Consulting (or to request a copy of my CV) please contact me by either:
Phone: 415–810–1966 Pacific Time

No charge for a brief phone call. (Normally I can't solve anyone's entire defamation problem in 30 minutes – but I can tell you whether I can be of help.)