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What is Defamation?

Defamation in Plain English

Defamation is a false statement of fact with a defamatory meaning published to others that causes harm to a person's reputation.  In many states, the false statement is so egregious that no proof of damages is required.  Such statements are those accusing another of a crime, engaging in sexual conduct that did not occur or statements that tend to hurt one's professional reputation. This is something that even most attorneys do not understand.  Often, the worst person to consult regarding defamation is a general practitioner because of the unique nuances of defamation law.

Preparing to Meet With Your Defamation Attorney

Before meeting with your attorney, it is wise to prepare information relating to your legal matter. This includes copies of all defamatory content.  Your defamation lawyer will need to scrutinize very word in order to determine whether the statements are legally actionable.  

What is not Defamation

Defamation is not a statement of opinion.  Thus, name calling is not actionable.  Defamation is not a false statement lacking a defamatory meaning.  Thus, falsely attributing positive characteristics or achievements to someone is not actionable.