Today, because defamation is a civil tort, the burden lies with the plaintiff to prove his case by a preponderance of the evidence, i.e. he must be able to convince the jury that it is more likely than not that the speech was in fact defamatory. Libelous speech refers to defamatory speech that appears in print, while slanderous speech refers to defamatory speech that is spoken verbally.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, distinguishing whether speech is defamatory may be quite difficult. There are traditionally two types of defamation claims: defamation…read more >