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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13753
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I am a certified English teacher with a master's degree from

Customer Question

I am a certified English teacher with a master's degree from Columbia. Tonight I went to a wedding, very low cost, for my bartender and his wife, her 3rd marriage. Although I do not know how many people bought them gift, I gave them two days ago $150 in Waterford Crystal. The wedding happened and the part happened...and somewhere along the line I ran in the bride's daughter by a previous marriage. I know her daughter from previous encounters. I have said to her daughter, you have such a beautiful face. Unfortunately, her daughter is morbidly obese. I said tonight...and this is all I said..."If you want to lose weight, I know how you can do it." The reason I said this is because I was once heavy and I lost weight. Sometime later, I was accosted by an employee of the establishment who informed me that I was cut off and could no longer order any more drinks. As I as leaving, the bride informed me that I had reduced her daughter to tears. I am rather attractive, well-to-do and popular. I sense that it was out of jealousy or a class issue that motivated the bride to have me cut off. == I am not taking this lightly and I would like to sue for defamation of character. What do you think?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
A defamatory statement is a false communication that tends to harm the reputation of another; to diminish the esteem, respect, goodwill or confidence in which the plaintiff is held; to deter third persons from associating or dealing with (him/her); or to excite adverse, derogatory, or unpleasant feelings or opinions against (him/her).
Statements claimed to be defamatory should be given their ordinary meaning, which is the same meaning that people of common and reasonable understanding would give to them in the context and under all the circumstances that were present at the time they were made.
To establish a case of defamation, the plaintiff must prove the following:
the defendant published a defamatory statement to a third person;
the defamatory statement identified the plaintiff to a third person; and
the plaintiff's reputation suffered injury as a result of the statement.
Publication means to make a statement to another orally, in writing, or by some other means of communication. The publication of the defamatory information can be done intentionally or negligently, so long as it is done in a manner such that in the ordinary course of events it will come to be communicated to a third person.
I assume you are saying that the bride (or her daughter) told the bartender to stop serving you drinks because you were intoxicated (which was false) -and this is the defamatory statement. Correct me if I am wrong.
The problem I see with proving a defamation claim is establishing that your reputation was harmed as a result. I can imagine being horribly embarrassed by what you were told. I would imagine you would be very angry as well - I would be too. However, these are not things that a court can compensate you for under the law. You would have to prove that you suffered some form of significant damages to your reputation. That is why public figures like celebrities often sue tabloids--because the false statements made result in the loss of offers for movies, television, endorsements, etc. There is significant financial loss, in other words. You do not have significant harm to your reputation here, and in my opinion, would not have a successful claim for defamation.
I am sorry I could not give you better news, but it would be unfair to you and unethical of me to tell you something that I do not believe the law would support.
If you need any clarification or further information, please use the REPLY feature and I'll be happy to assist you. Thank you.