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It’s Not All Fun and Games: Defamation Law

It's not all fun and gamesNot all individuals are treated equally under defamation law. Public figures like celebrities, business moguls, and public officials are more often in the public consciousness, and members of the press generally have more leeway when covering them. Public figures also have a greater ability to defend themselves in the public arena because of their access to media outlets, and thus are not extended the same rights granted to private individuals.

In 1960, the landmark defamation case New York…

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  • Defamation
  • May 10, 2017

“It Wasn’t Me”

It Wasn't MeEven if each of the previous factors has been established, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant is actually at fault for the defamation. The Supreme Court established this final factor as a safeguard against the chilling of the freedom of expression, while also encouraging responsible journalism.

Though the “fault” element can be at issue in private matters, it is most relevant to stories published by the press regarding controversial matters of public interest. It is not just the original source that can be…

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  • Defamation
  • May 03, 2017

No Harm, No Foul

Defamatory StatementsThe point of defamation law is to compensate a victim for unwarranted damages to his or her reputation. Therefore, if a defamatory statement does not cause any harm to the plaintiff, no viable defamation claim exists.

In some cases, a plaintiff may believe he or she has been injured by a false claim, and the plaintiff may even be correct. However, the damage must be to his or her reputation. Defamation law does not compensate a victim for emotional distress or hurt feelings; other branches of…

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  • Defamation
  • Apr 26, 2017

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