Slander, Libel, and Defamation
The July 2014 settlement for Jessie Ventura against the author of “American Sniper” brings up common questions about these kinds of lawsuits. The terms used in defamation cases are defined as follows: slander is spoken, libel is written or printed, and defamation is the damage that slander or libel causes.
A personal injury attorney can help you determine if you have been the victim of libel or slander. In order to determine if you have a case, you will need to keep in mind a few general rules about libel and slander cases. As these cases they can be difficult to prove in court, you should prepare your case before going to see a lawyer. You will have some convincing to do.
- You have to prove a loss. Whether it’s lost wages, lost business, or a lost opportunity, you have to put a dollar amount on the damage done.
- The statement must be false. Half-truths and innuendo do not count. You must know exactly what was said, and you must have proof that the statement is false. “He’s a mean person.” isn’t sufficient for a case. “He took $15,000 from his last employer.” is a sufficiently damning statement that can be presented as a falsehood.
- Someone in the public must have seen or heard the statement. An e-mail from one employee to another inside of a private company may not be considered public.
In today’s world of Facebook and Twitter, slander and libel have become more common. Many people have been defamed on these kinds of social media outlets. But always keep in mind — proving a loss in slander and libel cases can be very difficult to show.