Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Defamation meaning and definition

 Rule: Defamation (Tort)

Defamatory language is language that adversely affects a living individual (and sometimes a corporation's) reputation.  This may result from impeaching the individual's integrity, honesty, sanity, virtue, or the like.  To establish a prima facie case for defamation, a plaintiff must prove the following elements.
  1. Defendant created defamatory language;
  2. The defamatory language was “of or concerning” the plaintiff. In other words, the language must identify the plaintiff to a reasonable reader, viewer, or listener.
  3. The defamatory language was published by the defendant to a third person.
  4. The plaintiff's reputation was damaged

If defamation refers to a public figure or involves a matter of public concern, two additional elements must be provided in addition:
  1. Falsity of the defamatory language; and
  2. Fault on the part of the defendant.

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