My question involves defamation in the state of: Florida.
I read your caveat on why it is not a good idea to file a defamation action.
I have such a situation where the negative publicity generated by a defamation lawsuit would be worse that the already significant damage I have suffered to my ability to earn a living. I rely on word-of-mouth advertising, and as a result of these libelous attacks, many of my former clients and prospective clients are not contracting with me, citing "personal reasons."
Along with the tangible damages to my reputation, livelihood, and loss of my First Amendment rights, comes the mental anguish that I suffer as a result of it.
However, what are the alternatives?
In the face of inaction, this person will have no cause to stop in his public attacks against me. The only other legal recourse I can envision right now is to file a Restraining Order against him to prevent him from causing me any more harm. Formal requests from me to stop these attacks have fallen on deaf ears, and appeals to his "better nature" are just as useless.
I have no desire for any "revenge" or to engage in any retaliatory action as a way to vent my anger, but I am willing to take whatever legal steps are necessary to end this harassment. Because this public harassment has included specific ethnic slurs as well -- I am wondering if it pushes beyond the envelope of "defamation" and into the realm of a Hate Crime.
Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated