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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 87576
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have a few questions related to a DEFAMATION/LIBEL case I

Customer Question

I have a few questions related to a DEFAMATION/LIBEL case I am handling "pro se". I need to communicate with someone well versed in the tort of Defamation
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply.

I would be happy to help you. What can I answer for you?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I have a defamation/libel case ongoing in circuit court. I am a pro se litigant and the defendant is also acting pro se. The defamation case was initiated by me against the defendant because of statements he has made about me being a phony and embellisher of my military records (separate federal case against government that is ongoing).


In 2010 the defendant defamed my be sending out an e-mail to several people calling me a phony, embellisher of my military records and he also placed false information about me on an internet site That case went on for over two years and was finally dismissed (still can't understand why). In 2013, he sent another e-mail out to several people stating the same things. In this e-mail however, he began by stating "In 2010 I informed you about this individual (my name) who is a phony, embellisher, etc.".


 


Question 1: By him including that first sentence in his 2013 e-mail, does that allow me to use the evidence I produced against him in the initial defamation case in the current case?


 


Question 2: Is information obtained via GOOGLE considered "credible" evidence in court?


 


Question 3: This individual (defendant) is basing his remarks about me on the "font" used in citations presented to me by the Navy Department (Marine Veteran). He is claiming that the font in the citations was not invented until 1994 and I was given the citations in 1969. His argument may be relevant in the federal case regarding my records but is is relevant in the current defamation case. I am supposing it goes to "falsity".

Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
I am sorry for the situation you find yourself in.

Question 1: By him including that first sentence in his 2013 e-mail, does that allow me to use the evidence I produced against him in the initial defamation case in the current case?

Yes. The 2013 email is then a "new" cause of action for defamation. It is not a "continuation" of the 2010 matter. So this may qualify as a fresh case.

Question 2: Is information obtained via GOOGLE considered "credible" evidence in court?

This depends on what kind of evidence it is. Normally, if you mean a website, then this should be printed out, and then can be introduced into evidence with you authenticating it as something that you pulled up. Yes, it would be credible provided it is proven as having been posted on a website.

Question 3: This individual (defendant) is basing his remarks about me on the "font" used in citations presented to me by the Navy Department (Marine Veteran). He is claiming that the font in the citations was not invented until 1994 and I was given the citations in 1969. His argument may be relevant in the federal case regarding my records but is is relevant in the current defamation case. I am supposing it goes to "falsity".

It does. In the end, it is subjective and is on a case by case basis. As you know, the following elements are necessary to be proven: (1) a party published a statement; (2) with knowledge that the statement was false and defaming to the other; or (3) with reckless disregard for the truth of the statement or with negligence in failing to ascertain the truth of the statement. Daniel B. Eisenstein v. WTVF-TV, News Channel 5 Network, LLC, M2011-02208-COA-R3-CV, 2012 WL(NNN) NNN-NNNN(Tenn. Ct. App. July 30, 2012).

In the end, it is all about whether or not what he stated was FALSE and misleading.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the reply button to keep chatting, or rate and submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Regarding question #1, I may have misunderstood. The new email in 2013 is enough for me to have opened my new case of defamation. That I did. However, I want to bring into evidence in the new case, evidence from the prior case that was dismissed. My question is, for my purposes, does the defendant's first statement in his latest e-mail, open the door for me to include evidence from the former case into the new case? We had a hearing yesterday and the judge postponed it and it was part of my answer to hm when he asked me why I waited so long to file a complaint. Obviously he had not read the case yet but was insinuating that the statute of limitations had passed. When I explained the details, including the previous case, I told him I was under the impression that the evidence from the former case could be used in this new case. His response was "not necessarily". That is not my take on how the rules of civil procedure are written. I believe that by the defendant mentioning the first e-mail in his second and latest e-mail, he opened the door for me to bring in the evidence I had against him in the initial case which is a lot more than I have for the new case other than the 2013 e-mail (including his sending a latter to my hometown newspaper with my photo included stating I was a phony and embellisher of my military records and several e-mails to websites accusing me of being a phony and actually bragging about sending the letter to the newspaper.

Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
F,

Ah, I see.

My question is, for my purposes, does the defendant's first statement in his latest e-mail, open the door for me to include evidence from the former case into the new case?

Yes, provided it has relevance to the 2013 case. So if one is introducing the evidence to establish a pattern and to show that the 2013 email is more likely to be authentic, then yes.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the reply button to keep chatting, or rate and submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Excellent! So the way I understand it, the evidence from the prior case, in that it is relative to the newer case would not be considered "hearsay" but is admissible evidence? Can you provide me the TN "Code" or at least let me know what I need to look for when going through the TN Codes. I get the impression from the judge, unless I furnish a TN Code showing the information is relevant and not hearsay, he will rule against it so a code to refer to would be helpful. If you don't know it or can't come up with it, can you at least tell me what portion of the TN codes I would look under?


 


Further what you are saying is that the defendants GOOGLE information that the font used in my citations was not invented until 1994 would be considered credible?


 


And finally, I cannot object to the relevance of the font evidence from Google in my defamation case because it goes to me proving the falsity of his accusations. Please note howeveer that I do have other evidence the will show that his accusations are false but I am concerned that if I object to the relevance of the GOOGLE information in the defamation case, since it is actually relevant to the federal case, the judge may look upon that as I am trying to avoid the issue of the font, even though I have other evidence of the falsity of the defendant's statements. Just trying to clarify and I will not hold you up any longer.

Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
Excellent! So the way I understand it, the evidence from the prior case, in that it is relative to the newer case would not be considered "hearsay" but is admissible evidence? Can you provide me the TN "Code" or at least let me know what I need to look for when going through the TN Codes. I get the impression from the judge, unless I furnish a TN Code showing the information is relevant and not hearsay, he will rule against it so a code to refer to would be helpful. If you don't know it or can't come up with it, can you at least tell me what portion of the TN codes I would look under?

Right. I cannot predict what the other party would argue, so I am uneasy at predicting what specific sub-statute this would fall under, etc. However, TN's hearsay can be found here, rules 801 through 803.

Further what you are saying is that the defendants GOOGLE information that the font used in my citations was not invented until 1994 would be considered credible?

Credible is subjective. Every piece of evidence is decided on by the Judge or Jury themselves. I cannot tell you whether or not it would be convincing or not... I am sorry. I am merely stating that it is credible on its head unless impeached (challenged) successfully with doubt.

And finally, I cannot object to the relevance of the font evidence from Google in my defamation case because it goes to me proving the falsity of his accusations. Please note howeveer that I do have other evidence the will show that his accusations are false but I am concerned that if I object to the relevance of the GOOGLE information in the defamation case, since it is actually relevant to the federal case, the judge may look upon that as I am trying to avoid the issue of the font, even though I have other evidence of the falsity of the defendant's statements. Just trying to clarify and I will not hold you up any longer.

Do not worry about holding me up - this is what I am here for! So ask away, okay?

Here is what I can tell you. And this is true with attorneys as well. However you think this will happen, it will happen differently. You are attempting to plan out what the other party will say/object to, and how you will respond, and how they will respond, etc. Honestly, it simply does not happen this way. Often, the Judge interjects, or the evidence is not even challenged, or there is some other unforeseen nuance.

YOU CANNOT PLAN FOR WHAT CAN HAPPEN at trial. What you CAN do is know the rules and react accordingly at whatever situation occurs.

But planning out chess moves ahead of time in a suit... any second year law student will tell you "that's just futile because it will no work out like you think it will..."

Gentle Reminder: Please use the reply button to keep chatting, or rate and submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Thank you Ely for your candor and advise. I am a recent law school graduate, except it was an on line program. It was a full program and took me four years to compelte but I never intended to take the Bar exam. I spent over 30 years in law enforcement and have always been interested in the law. I am retied and began the progam at the age of 62 and completed it at 67, however I have no litigation experience. I try to do my best pro se but I have learned that judges do not care too much for pro se litigants as they believe they clog up the system. I cannot afford an attorney, that is if one can be found. I am amazed at the responses I get when I do attempt to find an attorney. I am told, "I don't handle defamation cases". Same in the federal case I have ongoing. when I think it is finally time to enlist an attorney to fight all the technicalities the defense brings up, when I speak to an attorney about handling a "federal" case, they look at me like I just came from outer space. Finally, the fact that every single state and every jurisdiction in each state has its own set of rules outside the FRCP is just perplexing to me. As I move from one county to the next because of venue issues, the new judge tells me I did not follow the proper procedure. My experience in law enforcement and investigations and dealing with the courts over thirty years and then studying law and then attempting to litigate pro se, tells me that the American Jurisprudence system is in dire need for overhauling. Thanks again and I know you must be the last to respond so when I receive your final response, I will include a tip. Your advice has been very helpful and I will definately give you an excellent rating. Frank

Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
Congrats on your program completion and while I did not get to say it earlier, thank you for your service.

Good luck, of course.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 87576
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

no more questions at this time. thank you

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