In Illinois, there are several defenses that can be utilized in response to a libel suit. One such defense is the doctrine of “innocent construction”, where a potentially defamatory statement is innocently construed, and therefore not actionable. Expressions of opinion are another type of defense, as they are not considered statements of fact and are therefore protected from defamation claims.

Another key defense to defamation in Illinois is the defense of truth. Under Illinois law, if the defendant can show the “substantial truth” of the alleged defamatory statement, this is considered a complete defense to defamation. The defendant need only show the truth of the “gist” or “sting” of the defamatory material.

Additionally, the establishment of a qualified privilege can also serve as a defense. If a qualified privilege is established, the communication becomes actionable only if the privilege was abused. The plaintiff must present evidence of a reckless act which shows disregard for the defamed party’s rights, such as failure to properly investigate the truth of the matter, limit the scope of the material, or send the material to only proper parties .

In some cases, the defendant can maintain a suit for defamation without proof of special damages only if the defamatory statement falls into one of four “per se” categories: commission of a crime; infection with a communicable disease leading to the infected person being shunned; malfeasance or misfeasance in the performance of office or job; and unfitness for their profession or trade.

Lastly, under Illinois statutory and constitutional provisions, when truth is published with good motives and for justifiable ends, it can be used as a defense to prosecution for criminal libel. However, both elements are necessary for the defense to prevail.

Choose Lubin Austermuehle as Your Libel Defense Attorneys

If you are facing a libel lawsuit in Illinois, hiring Lubin Austermuehle for your defense is a prudent choice due to their extensive experience and deep understanding of defamation law. Here’s why they stand out as an ideal choice:

  1. Experience in Defamation Law: Lubin Austermuehle has a team of attorneys with over thirty years of experience in defending and prosecuting defamation, slander, libel, and cyber smear lawsuits. Their extensive experience in this field makes them well-equipped to handle the complexities and nuances of libel cases.
  2. Knowledge of Illinois Law: They have a comprehensive understanding of Illinois defamation laws, including crucial defenses such as the substantial truth doctrine. This doctrine, upheld in several Illinois cases, states that a statement can be considered substantially true if its gist or sting is true, even if not every detail is accurate. This defense is vital in libel cases as it protects free speech and prevents minor inaccuracies from overshadowing the essential truth of a statement.
  3. Defense Strategies: Lubin Austermuehle can employ various defense strategies in libel cases. These include the innocent construction rule, where a statement can be interpreted innocently and thus not considered defamatory, and the blurring of distinctions between fact and opinion under the First Amendment, which recognizes that opinions can sometimes include false factual assertions.
  4. Personalized Approach: Every libel case is unique, and Lubin Austermuehle provides a personalized approach to each case. They work closely with their clients to assess the merits of the claim, develop a tailored defense strategy, and advocate vigorously on their behalf.
  5. Client Support: Defending against a libel claim can be a stressful process. Lubin Austermuehle offers compassion and understanding, ensuring that you have a trustworthy partner to guide you through the legal proceedings.

In conclusion, choosing Lubin Austermuehle for your libel defense in Illinois means you will have a skilled and experienced legal team committed to protecting your rights and interests. With their deep understanding of defamation law and strategic defense approaches, they are well-positioned to provide you with the best possible outcome in your case.

Call our Illinois and Chicago area libel, defamation and slander defense lawyers for a free consultation at 630-333-0333 or contact us online.