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Questions on Defamation Law

What is defamation? Defamation occurs when one person makes a claim that is implied as truth against another person in a negative manner. Slander and libel are two types of defamation. Slander is spoken remarks made about another person, while libel is a written statement. Below are a few of the more commonly asked questions regarding defamation that has been answered by Experts.

How do I go about a issue were a Co-worker has done Defamation of my character and threatened me?

A person may be liable for defamation if they make untrue statements about another person. There are two types of defamation; slander and libel. Slander is the act of voicing defamation while libel is writing the defamation. Also, anyone who repeats defamation in a negligent manner can be held liable for liability. In order to prove defamation, a plaintiff will have to show:

1. The defendant made a statement about the plaintiff to a third party;
2. The statement was false;
3. The statement caused harm to the plaintiff (monetary loss, loss of a job, public humiliation)

Generally, when a person wants to deal with this type of activity, an attorney will draw up a letter that demands the defendant recant (take back) the untrue statements, the defendant cease the defamation, and include an amount of compensation for the harm that the defamation has cost the plaintiff in which the defendant will pay to the plaintiff. In the event that the other person doesn't agree or comply with the demands, your attorney can proceed with a lawsuit.

Making threats towards another person's well being or safety is usually considered a crime and the threats can be turned over to the police. Once you report the threats to the police, they can pursue charges if they consider the threats criminal.

How can I sue my ex-husband for defamation of character? He is making untrue statements about me and this can hurt me profoundly.

The first thing you should do is hire an attorney. This is not a lawsuit that can be taken care of in small claims. If your ex-husband is lying and making false statements that could hurt your reputation, this is defamation of character. Defamation is an act of making untrue statements about another person to a third party that results in harming your reputation. This act can be committed in two ways. Libel defamation is by writing or by photo, and slander, which is oral defamation. Keep in mind, there is a difference in one person speaking an opinion about another person and a person telling partial facts with false pretenses. For example, person A can say Tom is a thief. This would be considered defamation because it is a statement, however if person A tells person B that person A doesn't trust Tom, this would be an opinion; therefore it wouldn't be considered defamation.

However, if person A says to person B, I don't trust Tom; I think he is a thief, person A is edging toward a statement of fact. It is all in how a person words a statement that will determine if the act is defamation.

A former coworker is suing me. The summons said defamation of character, libel and slander. They are suing for half a million dollars. This is all based on an anonymous posting where I ranted about a situation where he lied to the owner of the company we worked for and maliciously got me fired. He is claiming that he lost work and suffered emotional damage due to my comments, yet he was working there well after I was fired.

A case like this will generally go away on its own. Your attorney will probably file a Motion to Dismiss based on the fact that the other person cannot justify the claim. In order to have a strong case against you, the other person will have to show that you intentionally defamed his/her character and they suffered from the defamation. This means the other person will have to show that because of your actions, other people believed you and the outcome cause the other party to lose their job, home or that your actions damaged the person's reputation.

Defamation can cause a person undue stress as well as a monetary or social injury. Many people are unaware that a simple statement about another person can land them in court with a defamation lawsuit. Before you make statements about another person, you should understand the legal ramifications that could be placed against you for such an act. If you have questions concerning defamation, you should ask an Expert to assist you.
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