Legal Help:
Can I Sue For Defamation?

Defamation is a downer. And when disparagement strikes, suing may seem like the best option. But before stepping into the litigation ring, ask yourself two questions:

1) Can I sue for defamation?
and
2) Should I sue for defamation?

Can I Sue For Defamation?
Plaintiffs Must Prove...

The United States has the most defendant-friendly defamation laws in the Western world. To win, plaintiffs must prove material loss, not just hurt feelings. In fact, most slander and libel claimants must satisfy the four pillars of defamation: falsity, identity, harm, and neglect.

Falsity

Under U.S. defamation law, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. That means the party that files the lawsuit must prove that the defendant publically told a lie.

Identification

It may seem unnecessary to say, but you'd be surprised at how many judges toss defamation claims because plaintiffs can't prove their defendants' statements referenced the claimants.

Harm

Harm is a huge element of slander and libel law. To win, plaintiffs must show that defendants' statements caused material or reputational injury.

Negligence

And last but not least, defamation plaintiffs must provide evidence that defendants acted either negligently in making the statement, or with reckless disregard for the truth.

If the Person Isn't Lying, Tread Carefully

The most important thing to remember about U.S. slander and libel standards is summed up in an old adage: "It isn't defamation if it's true." If defendants support statements with proof, nine times out of ten they'll win. So, before moving forward with a lawsuit, ask yourself: Is the statement at issue true? If it is, consider pursuing another legal avenue, like public disclosure of private facts.

Can I Sue For Defamation: Case Studies

One of the best ways to determine if you have grounds for a case is to read about other cases. To that end, below is a compilation of slander and libel cases that recently made headlines.

eBay Defamation Case Study: Jeweler v. Buyer
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Daniel Warner Wins Defamation Appeal
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internet law blog: board of directors defamation legalities
Case: Board of Directors Defamation
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Texas defamation news and lawyer contact information
Texas Defamation Roundup
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Banker Won Millions In Defamation Case
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Internet law blog: International online harassment case study
We Helped Crack an Int'l Internet Law Case
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