Defenses to Libel and Slander Lawyers

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What Are Libel and Slander?

Libel and slander are the two main types of defamation, which is the making of false statements about another person or business that causes injury.  Libel includes statements made in a printed publication and slander includes spoken statements.  Because of the First Amendment rights of free speech, it can be much more difficult to win a slander or libel case in the United States than in many other countries.

What Are the Defenses to a Charge of Defamation?

There are several defenses that prevent liability for slander or libel.

Public figures bringing lawsuits for slander or libel must establish that the statement was made with knowledge that it was false or with a reckless disregard for the truth.  This creates a higher standard of proof for public figures.  It is because of this requirement for public figures that most defamation cases in the United States involve normal local stories and not high profile stories.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you think that you have been a victim of libel or slander, an experienced attorney can advise you of your rights under the law and help you with the often difficult process of filing a lawsuit.  If you have been charged with libel or slander, an attorney can help you determine any defenses that might be applicable.  An attorney can also represent you in court.

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Last Modified: 03-19-2010 03:08 PM PDT

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