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Our firm has developed recognized expertise in litigation concerning press offenses (defamation, insult, privacy, image rights).

In this capacity, we are accustomed to legal actions for defamation and insult, both as plaintiffs and defenders of public figures, politicians, writers, actors, but also company directors and commercial companies in numerous media cases.

The particularity of press law lies essentially in its procedural rules, which are both derogatory and rigorous, and failure to observe them will invalidate the action taken.

We are seasoned in this field and have the expertise to handle these rules and guarantee the validity of acts and proceedings, so that legal proceedings can be brought to a successful conclusion.


Defamation, a frequently prosecuted offence

Defined as “any allegation or imputation of a fact which is prejudicial to the honor or consideration of the person or body to which the fact is imputed”, the prosecution of defamation is subject to a strict derogatory regime which implies responsiveness and rigor.

Whether you wish to assert a right of reply or take legal action, you must act within a short period of three months from the date of publication of the comments, failing which your action will be inadmissible.

Thanks to our experience, we will be able to advise you on the appropriateness of prosecution and ensure the validity of the action taken (complaint with civil party status or direct summons).

In the Caravaggio case, for example, we helped secure the conviction of a media group that had broadcast defamatory remarks against an art expert. In view of the seriousness of the remarks, we obtained from the Court a live reading of the decision on the 8 o’clock news on a major national channel (a rare occurrence), in addition to the payment of compensation.

Such defamation suits are regularly brought by the firm, and have been successful in high-profile cases.

If, on the other hand, you are prosecuted for such acts by a third party, the Firm will endeavor to use all legal means to obtain the nullity of the proceedings and/or your acquittal (exception of truth, good faith).


Insult, a less frequently prosecuted offence

Unlike defamation, insult does not involve the imputation of any specific fact. It refers to “any outrageous expression, term of contempt or invective”.

Its regime is just as demanding, and its prosecution is also subject to a three-month limitation period.

Thanks to its experience, the firm will be able to analyze the contentious facts that you present to us, and will guide you towards the most appropriate action to put an end to the insult and enable you to obtain compensation for your damages.


Invasion of privacy and image rights

“Everyone has the right to respect for his or her private life“, as stated in the French Civil Code, and confirmed by article 8.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

If you are the victim of a violation of your privacy, the firm is competent to obtain the immediate cessation of the violation and compensation for your damages.

Familiar with this particular procedure (article 9 of the French Civil Code), the members of the firm will also be able to defend publishers and authors who have been wrongly prosecuted, by asserting their freedom of expression and right to information, enshrined in article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

As an attribute of personality, the right to one’s image is protected whenever the person concerned is identifiable. The victim of such an infringement can take civil action (article 9 of the French Civil Code) or criminal action (article 226-1 of the French Criminal Code) – if his or her image, taken in a private place, is captured and distributed without his or her consent

The firm will work with you to obtain the removal of the images causing you damage and fair compensation.

Last but not least, image rights, in their patrimonial sense, can also be the subject of contractualization and economic exploitation: we will be able to advise you and best defend your interests in this context.

The members of HUGOT & ASSOCIES would welcome the opportunity to support and accompany you, and invite you to contact them for further information and advice.