Defamation / Slander / Libel

So you’ve built yourself a nice, full, upstanding portfolio, filled with integrity, character, honor, wholesomeness, and general moral fiber. Then someone holding a grudge comes along, and decides to slice your time-tested community status to shreds.

What to do.

Well, if that individual has attacked and/or assaulted your interest (IE; invaded your well-built reputation and good name), defamation may have occurred. Defamation is divided into two categories, depending on how the defamatory statement was delivered: Slander (oral communication) or Libel (written communication).

An act of defamation must include the following elements: the alleged defendant (a) published a statement, (b) about you, (c) producing harm to your reputation, (d) with a requisite degree of fault. The defendant must have also acted with (1) negligence, regarding the truth of the statement, if you are a private individual, or (2) malice, if you are a public official/figure.

One important note regarding the above prerequisites: the “published” statement need not be in print. The statement simply needs to be communicated to someone other than you.

And of course, First Amendment issues (Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press) will inevitably come into play.

Somebody tossing around falsehoods and fabrications about your reputation? Give us a call.

Setterberg Law Office