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Freedom of speech: can I talk to my friends about how my…

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Freedom of speech: can I...
Freedom of speech: can I talk to my friends about how my business partner has screwed me over? That he planned on messing with me? That he is a bad person? Where does freedom of speech begin and end?
I have to sign a confidentially agreement on the loan I need to give him.
But can i still call him a jerk?
Thanks!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Legal
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4/17/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 year ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

The answer to your question is yes, you can say these things. It's important to understand the distinction between Freedom of Speech and Defamation. Freedom of Speech does not apply to private individuals. It prevents the government from punishing you for speaking your mind. However, Defamation is a separate issue that you should be careful about. Defamation is a false and defamatory statement (i.e. it lessens the esteem of the person in the community) published to a third party (i.e. you told someone else) and it causes harm (i.e. it caused him a lost job opportunity or sale). On its face, if you say that he's screwed you over, he's messing with you, he's a bad person, and he's a jerk, then there is a case for defamation. However, opinion is a major defense to a defamation claim. So, if these things are your opinion, then you could assert that in the worst case scenario. In a defamation lawsuit, a jury will be instructed to look at all of the circumstances surrounding the uttering of the defamatory statement, including how well you knew the person defamed, how well you knew the person you said the allegedly defamatory statement to, how precise the allegedly defamatory statement was, and why you made that statement. Practically speaking, you should be okay to speak your mind about this.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Ok
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

Follow up questions are free so did you have any additional questions? If not, were you satisfied with my service today?

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

The answer to your question is yes, you can say these things. It's important to understand the distinction between Freedom of Speech and Defamation. Freedom of Speech does not apply to private individuals. It prevents the government from punishing you for speaking your mind. However, Defamation is a separate issue that you should be careful about. Defamation is a false and defamatory statement (i.e. it lessens the esteem of the person in the community) published to a third party (i.e. you told someone else) and it causes harm (i.e. it caused him a lost job opportunity or sale). On its face, if you say that he's screwed you over, he's messing with you, he's a bad person, and he's a jerk, then there is a case for defamation. However, opinion is a major defense to a defamation claim. So, if these things are your opinion, then you could assert that in the worst case scenario. In a defamation lawsuit, a jury will be instructed to look at all of the circumstances surrounding the uttering of the defamatory statement, including how well you knew the person defamed, how well you knew the person you said the allegedly defamatory statement to, how precise the allegedly defamatory statement was, and why you made that statement. Practically speaking, you should be okay to speak your mind about this.

To understand your rights better, click here and you can read up on it:-)

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

Hi, I noticed that we never had a chance to reconnect on this. I’m totally ready to help. Did you have any follow up questions for me or any other facts to add? If not, would you be so kind as to rate your opinion of my service?

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