FORMERLY B RAO & K.S RAJAH ESTABLISHED IN 1987

Defamation

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DEFAMATION

There could be repercussions for not immediately seeking legal advice when you have been accused by someone’s defamatory statement or you were involved in defamatory content.

It is important to remember that it is always possible to escape the expense and stress involved with putting a case before court. Whether you are the defamer or the victim of the defamation, we will give expert guidance on how to negotiate a positive result and deal with your matter.

At Emerald Law, we understand the frustration involved when your reputation has suffered a blow from defamatory statements, be it said online or not. We also know that as a defamer, the victim will be demanding damages and such damages will not be a small sum. Whatever the case your instance of defamation may be, our lawyers are bred with the expertise to know how to put on the best case, to ensure the best outcome for you. We work hard to provide clear, effective, practical, and affordable solutions for our clients.

WHAT WE OFFER

Civil Law Services

Defamation

Protect your reputation with our expertise in handling defamation cases, whether you are the claimant or defendant.

Intellectual Property

Safeguard your innovations and creative works. We provide comprehensive services in IP protection, enforcement, and litigation.

Employment Law

Navigate employment-related issues with our guidance. We handle matters such as wrongful termination, workplace disputes, and compliance.

Contractual Disputes

Resolve disputes arising from contracts effectively. Our team ensures your rights and interests are protected in any contractual disagreement.

Corporate and Shareholders Disputes

Manage conflicts within your corporation. We assist with resolving shareholder disagreements and corporate governance issues.

Commercial and Contractual

Address all your commercial and contractual legal needs, from drafting agreements to resolving business disputes.

Commercial Fraud and Conspiracy

Combat commercial fraud and conspiracies. Our legal team is skilled in identifying, preventing, and litigating fraudulent activities.

Breach of Fiduciary Duties

Ensure accountability with our services for breaches of fiduciary duties. We help you hold parties responsible for failing to act in your best interest.

Debt Recovery

Recover outstanding debts efficiently. Our legal strategies are designed to maximize your chances of successful debt recovery.

Property, Landlord & Tenancy

Resolve property-related issues with ease. We handle disputes between landlords and tenants and other property matters.

Arbitration

Opt for arbitration as an effective alternative to litigation. Our team provides expert representation in arbitration proceedings.

General Disputes

Address a wide range of general disputes with our comprehensive legal support. We help you find resolutions in various legal conflicts.

Enforcement

Ensure compliance with legal judgments. We offer services to enforce court orders and legal decisions effectively.

PROFESSIONAL lawyers

OUR BRIGADE OF CIVIL LITIGATION LAWYERS

Keith Hsu JOINT MANAGING Director
Mohammad Rizuan JOINT MANAGING Director
Sharifah Ally Director

frequently asked questions

Civil Litigation FAQ's

Civil litigation refers to contentious court proceedings involving non-criminal streams of actions in law.

The term, therefore, covers a wide range of disputes such as legal proceedings involving:

  • Breach of contract
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Misrepresentations, fraud, and/or conspiracies
  • Defamation, libel & slander
  • Negligence resulting in property damage
  • Negligence resulting in personal injury or death

Commencing a civil suit starts as follows:

  • Filing a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim in the Singapore Courts.
  • Upon successful filing, the documents must be served on the defendant.
  • A proper service of the Writ of Summons is the means for notifying a defendant of a lawsuit. There are rules that must be complied with to ensure that the service of the Writ of Summons is considered effective.

Note that before commencing a civil suit, it is necessary to initially issue a legal letter such as a Letter of Demand to a would-be defendant.

Another way to commence a lawsuit is to file an Originating Summons in the Singapore Courts. This process is used when specifically required under the law or when the dispute in question does not involve any substantive factual dispute.

A Writ of Summons is a Court document that notifies a defendant to a lawsuit that legal proceedings have commenced against him, and that he will be required to enter an appearance if he wishes to dispute it.

A Writ of Summons is usually not filed by itself, but together with a Statement of Claim that sets out the material allegations a claimant intends to prove in Court. As such, most defendants would be served the Writ of Summons together with a Statement of Claim.

It should be noted that a defendant will generally have eight (8) days to file a Memorandum of Appearance upon being served with the Writ of Summons, and failure to do so can result in a default judgment being ordered against the defendant.

If you have received a Writ of Summons, it is essential not to ignore this and to seek a lawyer’s advice, as the repercussions of failing to take appropriate action may result in a default judgment being entered against you. Learn more about it here.

Proper service of a Writ of Summons is the means for notifying a defendant of a lawsuit. There are rules that must be complied with to ensure the service of the Writ of Summons is considered effective and valid.

A Writ of Summons must usually be served personally on an individual to be effective, and concerning a company, left at the company’s registered address. Where an individual or company is located overseas, different rules apply, and the manner of service will depend on where the said individual or company is.

An issue sometimes arises when attempts to effect personal service on an individual may be unsuccessful. In such situations, the Court can order alternative means to be allowed. For example, a common method would be the Court allowing service to be effected by pasting the Writ of Summons on the defendant’s door. In more recent times, the Court has even allowed service to be effected through electronic means such as emails, WhatsApp messages, and posts on social media.

Although a lawyer is not always necessary, legal disputes can be a complex and time-consuming process that may be challenging to handle effectively without the assistance of a lawyer.

As such, when deciding whether to engage a lawyer, consider conducting a cost-benefit analysis.

By engaging the services of a lawyer, you will be advised on how strong or weak your case is. It will help you decide how best to proceed with your case and the various strategic options available to you. Effective lawyering may also greatly improve your chances of success in the dispute as skill and experience are required to draft legal documents such as a Statement of Claim and to present your case effectively.

You should note that lawyers may have a variety of solutions to fit the size of your dispute. While you would probably want to engage a lawyer each step of the way for a complex dispute involving a large sum of money, you might only need your lawyer on a more limited basis for other matters.

As service providers, we understand that the size of the solution must fit the problem. As such, when you present us with a legal issue, we will always try to find legal solutions that would make sense for you.

Before you commence a lawsuit, you may wish to consider the following:

  • The strength and complexity of your case
  • The likely cost involved in pursuing your claim
  • Whether the would-be defendant has sufficient assets to satisfy your claim

For a more detailed rundown of things to consider before commencing a lawsuit, find out here.

In Singapore, there are a few different Courts in which your matter may be heard.

  • Claims valued at under S$20,000 shall be heard in the Small Claims Tribunal.
  • Claims valued above S$20,000 and below S$60,000 will be heard in the Magistrate’s Court in Singapore.
  • Claims valued above S$60,000 and below S$250,000 will be heard in the District Court in Singapore.
  • Claims valued above S$250,000 will be heard in the High Court in Singapore.

It is important to note that lawyers are not allowed to represent parties in the Small Claims Tribunal. However, this does not prevent you from seeking advice from lawyers on how to best present your case.

The overall cost to pursue legal proceedings against another person depends on a variety of factors, but will largely be determined by how complex and time consuming a matter is. This is largely because lawyers typically charge based on how much time they spend on any given matter. For example, the cost to pursue a simple and straight-forward matter will be less than pursuing a matter that is complex and time-consuming.

It should be noted that legal fees will generally be higher if a matter is heard before the High Court as opposed to the Magistrate Court, as the size of the dispute usually impacts how hard a matter is fought between parties.

In factoring in the cost of commencing a lawsuit, you should also consider that the total amount you will have to spend will ultimately depend on how long the dispute takes to be resolved and how far into legal proceeding parties’ take it. For example, a case that is only resolved after a trial will be far more costly than one that is resolved during mediation. In this regard, it should be noted that a vast majority of all cases are settled before a matter goes to trial, which is something you should factor in when considering the cost.

To obtain a quote from our lawyers, contact us today.

A Statement of Claim concisely lays out all the material allegations that a claimant intends to prove in Court, which, if proven, entitles him to relief under the law. It is a crucial Court document that will be consistently referred to by the Court throughout proceedings. It is essential as it sets the tone for the rest of a lawsuit and helps set out the scope of a dispute.

It impacts the rest of the proceedings such as discovery (i.e. disclosure of documents) as well as what would be considered relevant witness testimony, etc.

For this reason, it is vital to consider what content should or should not be included so that a Statement of Claim is persuasive, satisfies all legal requirements, and is consistent with a good litigation strategy.

The consequences of a poorly drafted Statement of Claim can sometimes be very dire. A claim can sometimes fail even if it goes to trial, if the Court finds that a Statement of Claim is defective. A claim can also be struck out before trial especially if a lengthy Statement of Claim still lacks details. Irrelevant allegations may make a claim unclear and unpersuasive and may also result in the Court striking out irrelevant parts. The Court will also likely order the claimant to pay costs to the defendant in these situations.

For the above reasons, it is always beneficial to have a lawyer with a strong background in legal knowledge, litigation strategy, and experience to assist you in drafting a Statement of Claim.

A claim can be said to be small if it falls within the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Tribunal. While lawyers are not permitted to represent you in the Small Claims Tribunal, we can through a paid consultation assist you to review documents and provide advice on how you can present your case to get the best possible result.

We understand that if your claim amount is small, you may decide to abandon your claim without consulting a lawyer. While we agree that legal costs are dependent on the gravity of a dispute, it may be premature to simply abandon a claim without first considering your options.

Engaging a lawyer on a limited basis can be beneficial for you in understanding the strength of your case and knowing whether a cost-effective solution is available for you. For example, sometimes it may be pressuring to have a lawyer issue a letter of demand to compel a would-be defendant to settle your claim. Although, it may be worthwhile as it gives you at least an opportunity to succeed in your case. If the dispute cannot be resolved by way of correspondence, you may then wish to consider pursuing your matter in the Small Claims Tribunal.

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