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The Facts about Defamation Slander Lawsuits

The Facts about Defamation Slander Lawsuits
The Facts about Defamation Slander Lawsuits
Report #: 8517 - 0 Comments
Date Reported: Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Status: Active and Ongoing
Severity: Moderate - Public Bullying
Primary Weapon: Other
Specific Location: Central Mass
City/Local Area: Worcester / Central MA
State/Territory: Massachusetts
Region: United States

*The Facts and Reality of Defamation Lawsuits:

I am a Law-Professor in New England with 27 years of teaching experience. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and I enjoy challenges that force my analytical brain into high gear.

How many times have we heard a person say "I will sue you for ruining my good name"? Most people who make threats such as these do so out of anger and in reality the person knows very little about what is involved in a complex suit when it comes to Defamation and Slander.

First, you must understand the difference between Defamation and Slander. A person can openly defame another by word of mouth. In addition, a person can also defame/slander another by putting their accusations into print. One is the Spoken word of defaming another and the other form of slandering ones reputation is by putting the accusations into print. Weather Slander or Defamation occurred it is still quite challenging to successfully win a Lawsuit.

Truth be told, unless it is an unusual circumstance Lawsuits of this kind are usually pursued by the wealthy and of course by the Hollywood "Rich & Famous" elite.

Lawsuits of this kind are time consuming, extremely costly to litigate and certain standards must be met in order to win. I tell all my students, live a clean life, keep your private life private and try to live by a code of morals & ethics. A reputation is quite valuable and you must protect it at any cost.

We all make mistakes, however sometimes a serious mistake can have a profound effect on our lives. For example, if a married man decides to cheat on his spouse with a prostitute, he may be placing his entire future at risk. Maybe the person really loved his wife but just made a dumb mistake.

If this prostitute gets arrested and decides to blab to police (hoping for a reduced sentence) many lives of her past/current clients may be ruined or seriously damaged. Her statements to authorities may end up in the local newspaper and eventually to the Internet.

Ramifications of such public information may result in wives filing for Divorce from an unfaithful spouse, the male client of the prostitute losing his job and may also lead to the disintegration of relationships with family and friends. The person may be shunned by the public for years to come.

Keep in mind, who is to blame? the Prostitute or the client? Very simple, the client that paid the hooker for services is clearly at fault. Therefore, a Defamation suit would not be successful in this situation simply because the person caused their downfall by getting mixed up with a Prostitute to begin with. The person made a conscious decision to make contact with the Prostitute.

Also, if the persons reputation was damaged so badly that they were unable to secure employment or reestablish himself as a respectable member of society, he really has no recourse. With out a doubt, this person caused his own misery through some very bad decisions. In addition, because the accusations of infidelity and securing services of a prostitute are true and can be proven, no Defamation action would be successful.

The truth is always a defense to defamation. However, if someone for whatever reason made up "False" and "Damaging" statements about another person which had dire consequences, then a strong possibility of a successful Defamation suit exists.

Defamation suits are extremely difficult. Even if a person was legitimately defamed, they could still lose the case or they could technically win the case but receive no monetary reward. Even if Defamation or Slander is proven, the next issue that comes into question is How was the person damaged? You normally get no money award for claiming pain and emotional distress. Money awards are only given to the Plaintiff if it can be proven that "economic loss" was suffered due to the untrue statements made about the person. If your life is destroyed because of statements or rumors that have a degree of truth, then unfortunately you have 'no grounds' for legal action.

People are misled into thinking they can sue someone for spreading vicious rumors about another person even if the rumors are true. It's not true--true statements no matter how damaging weather spoken or in print are not actionable.

People tend to forget, no matter how damming accusations against another person may be, if there is any truth to what has been spoken or placed in print, the person has no legal ground for a lawsuit. Unfortunately, the person will have to live with the ramifications and pain their actions may have caused themselves. That is why I "stress" be cautious make moral and sensible decisions especially if you are in a career that requires heavy public interaction. One careless and dumb mistake can change your life in a heartbeat.

To recap what was discussed here: Statements made verbally or statements placed in print that damage ones reputation but can be proven "True" have no basis for legal action. Unfortunately- the person is left to live with the negative consequences of whatever it is they did.

However, if damaging statements are made and they can be proven "False"-then the person damaged may have an actionable case. Even if it is proven that you were defamed due to lies and false statements, it is no guarantee you will win the case. There are degrees in which a person can be defamed. The case is even more difficult when monetary damages are being sought. Even if you were wrongfully defamed, you may still never collect a dime for your pain and anguish. If the person that Defamed you has no money or assets, you may find it impossible for an attorney to even take the case. Because in the end no one will gain any financially from the case.

In conclusion, exercise morally acceptable behavior and never place yourself in a situation that could make you target to the rumor mill. Think before you act. Following these few simple steps can preserve your good name for your entire life. One very bad "Decision" can change one's life dramatically. I found it best to remain a private person. When you disclose too much of your personal business to the wrong people it can eventually spell 'DISASTER'! Yes--spreading rumors weather true or false is simply exercising bad taste and it's a sign of ignorance, but that certainly doesn't stop the gossip monger's out there.

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