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To Have Defamation, You Need…

Defamation may seem simple, but when it comes to present day American defamation law, there are five requirements a statement must meet in order to be considered defamatory in court. Though we will cover each element in more depth in the following posts, let’s start with a brief overview.

First, the statement at issue must be false. Because the First Amendment’s protection of the right to freedom of speech is fundamental to American democracy, a true statement cannot be considered defamatory no matter how offensive or injurious.

Second, the…

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  • Defamation
  • Jan 11, 2017

Defamation, Let’s Begin

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 per…

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  • Defamation
  • Jan 05, 2017

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