Libel, Slander and Defamation
Defamation: is the legal discipline associated with an intentional or reckless statement that is false and injures another person’s reputation. More specifically, Defamation is the all encompassing term used for the statement that actually hurts someone’s reputation.
Two common forms of defamation are libel and slander. Libel is defamation which is written while slander is: spoken defamation. Attorneys frequently receive inquiries about defamation actions from people who are in conflicts with their neighbors or other members of their communities, and have become the subjects of what amounts to vicious lies.
Defamation involves the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer some kind of harm. The harm could be physical, but in most cases its not.
Typically, the elements of a cause of action for Defamation include:
- A false and defamatory statement concerning another
- The publication of the statement to a third party (somebody other than the person defamed) that was not consented to
- If the defamatory matter is of public concern, fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher
- Actual damage to the plaintiff. (loss of reputation, loss of job, etc.)
A statement is deemed “published” when it is made to a third party. It’s important to note, that the third party cannot be the actual person being defamed. In addition, the term does not mean that the statement has to be printed in some kind of media. All that is required is that the statement be told to a third person orally, or through some kind of written media. Damages are typically to the reputation of the plaintiff, but depending upon the laws of the jurisdiction it may be enough to establish mental anguish.
Defamation can be defended, by using the following:
- Truth – an absolute defense to a defamation action.
- Privileged – certain privileges allow one to be absolved from a defamation action.
- Public Figures – require a greater threshold in order to be considered defamed.
- Lack of Intent – without intent, one lacks the knowledge and willful conduct required to be liable for defamation.
The Law Offices of Douglas C. Anton, Esq. prides itself on having great insight and knowledge in areas such as tort law, personal injury law, law of negligence and many other legal areas that govern the existing legal obligations people owe each other and to society at large. Attorneys specializing in Defamation law must be able understand and comprehend a system of complex situations, cause of actions and defenses which seek to regulate peoples conduct and behavior towards one another.
Please contact the Law Offices of Douglas C. Anton, Esq. for a case evaluation and to schedule an appointment.
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