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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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Is the following information accurate?: There are a few types

Resolved Question:

Is the following information accurate?:
There are a few types of statements that are, by their nature, presumed to damage a person’s reputation. This is called "slander per se". These classes of statements are considered so harmful to a person’s reputation, that monetary damages are presumed. In such cases, the victim of the slander does not need to prove specific damages, just that the statements were made. There are 4 types of statements that constitute slander per se:

1. A statement that a person has committed a major crime
2. Statements that a person has a "loathsome disease". This could include any disease which is serious and highly contagious. Modernly, it would probably also include sexually transmitted diseases.
3. A statement that a person is incompetent at their business or profession. This might include a statement that a soldier is cowardly, or that a lawyer is illiterate.
4. Statements of serious sexual misconduct. A public statement that someone engages in sexual behaviors that are generally considered perverse would fall into this category. It would probably vary between communities, based on their moral standards. A clear example that would apply in virtually any community is a statement that someone is a pedophile.

In a lawsuit for slander per se, all a plaintiff needs to prove is that the statements were made, and not that he or she suffered direct harm as a result. The statements themselves are considered to be the harm.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

JD 1992 :

Kind of. There are certain statements that could be "slander per se" but I think the courts are much less accepting of them now. Regardless, you would still have to prove damages. The court may presume that a statement is slanderous and harmful but the damages would still have to be proved.

JD 1992 :

There is a case back in 2005 that discusses slander per se at http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=16440043051928602134&q=%22slander+per+se%22&hl=en&as_sdt=4,44

Customer:

The statement claims that a slander per se does not have to be proved.

Customer:

I copied this from a legal Web site.

JD 1992 :

No, that's incorrect. You still have to prove various elements including the amount of your damages.

JD 1992 :

At least in Texas.

JD 1992 :

Slander per se is a very old concept that I suspect will not be around twenty years from now.

JD 1992 :

I think what may be confusing you is that the law may presume harm and damages, but not a specific amount of harm and damages. Proving the value is still up to the person bringing the lawsuit.

Customer:

In my case the proof is easy. This particular individual is a security guard at a local gated community that my company services. He told me directly that he is warning everybody about me that drives though the gate. The people he is telling me that he is warning are the homeowners of the community I service. He is causing damage to my business and possibly irreparable damage. His problem with me that he has expressed, is that when I drive by his security building he does not have time to write down my license plate number. It seems to me his admission of him warning the residents is admission of slander..

JD 1992 :

What is he warning them about?

Customer:

He did not make it clear considering all he said is that I am "zipping past his security facility without giving him time to write down my license plate number". I was like you regarding the confusing as to what he is telling the residents. I would assume from what he has told him is that I am a danger to the community because of my speeding. I really don't know exactly what he is saying. He was very angry at the time and could be just trying to scare me.

Customer:

I mean confusion, darn spell check LOL

JD 1992 :

I don't think that is going to be slander per se. If you read that case I gave you the link to it goes into what is regarded as slander per se and what is not.

JD 1992 :

If you don't get to slander per se then you don't have a presumption of harm and have to prove that as well as the amount of damages. In that case they mention someone being called a "crook" and state that is not per se.

Customer:

Would this be worth taking to a lawyer, and at least having him write a letter to the security company regarding the actions of the security guard and let them know that the company could possibly be liable in the future if the action of this security guard continues as is? I personally feel that if he is doing this to me, he is doing this to other service vendors that may own family business as I do and he could hurt them. I am sure there are other more appropriate ways to report a vendor that are built into his job description that taking it own his own to destroy their reputation.

JD 1992 :

Sure, you could have the lawyer send him a cease and desist letter as well as to the security company.

Customer:

This also is not fair to the security company. I have attempted to contact the owner multiple times regarding this security guard and he refuses to talk to me.

JD 1992 :

Then if he continued you could prove ill will on his part and it would reinforce any case that you might file later.

Customer:

Thank you very much. A cease and desist letter is a great idea. This has never been about monetary compensation for me. It has been about making things fair to the other hard working vendors along with myself. I appreciate that idea.

JD 1992 :

Glad to help. That is the best way to handle it and will almost certainly work.

JD 1992 :

Some Rent A Cops often have a very large chip on their shoulder for some reason.

Customer:

Yes, I agree. Thank you again. I know and that big head they develop entered my mind. This may also help him to be a better security guard and consider that his words could actually get him in trouble if he continues and it will help the security company to understand what is going on with this guy.

JD 1992 :

I think you are correct. Let me know if I can be of any more help in the future. If you start a new question and want me to answer it just begin it with FOR JD 1992 and I will pick up when I see it. I am online almost every day for at least a few minutes.

JD 1992 :

Please ask any follow up questions in this thread. When all of your questions have been answered, then I would ask that you give a Positive Rating (of course I'd suggest Excellent) since that is the only way I get credit for my work and also please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. When looking at the answer I ask you to bear in mind I can’t control what the law is and whether it helps you, I can only tell you what it says, and I assume you want truthful information. Also, issuing a positive rating keeps the question from “timing out” so you can return in the future if you think of a follow up.



However, please do not issue a rating of any kind until all of your questions have been answered and please use the Reply button to ask additional questions or to provide answers to my questions.

Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27117
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992
Dwayne B. and 12 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Since you are aware of what is going on. I assume that you have a law firm. How much would you charge is I go through your firm, to write a cease and desist letter? Would the letter also need to go to the HOA in the community that is paying for the services of the security company?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately the website expressly forbids any experts on here from taking any work that originates from the site. That is actually a good policy because it makes sure that no unscrupulous types give half answers to try and get business. You should be able to find a local lawyer that will send the letter for you with no problem.

I probably wouldn't send the letter to the HOA just yet. They tend to get real stubborn and you could end up having to sue them whereas if you just send it to the security company they will probably just shut the guard up rather than risk a lawsuit since it directly affects their profits.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27117
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992
Dwayne B. and 12 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

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