37

Yes, as long as it is clear that this is fiction. It is utterly common for fiction set in the current world to mention real institutions and people, and have them do and say things that they never really did or said, to fit the plot or just to provide background. Busman's Honeymoon by Sayers included quotes from the (London) Times about Lord Peter Wimsey's ...


26

The tort for this kind of activity is called public disclosure of private facts, and almost every U.S. state recognizes that this tort is invalid under the First Amendment in the absence of a legal duty not to disclose of the type existing between an attorney and client, or a psychotherapist and a patient, or a contractual non-disclosure agreement, that does ...


22

In addition to the other answer which, correctly, notes that the publisher is more likely to be in a position of being able to pay any damages awarded, there is one other good reason to sue the publisher rather than the journalist... The journalist cannot print a retraction or correction with the same reach as the original article - only the publisher can ...


19

Actually, he has been libelling you which is defamation in writing - slander is verbal defamation. Notwithstanding, if what he has done has or is likely to cause damage to your reputation and is a statement of fact that is not true then it is actionable. Neither name calling nor his opinion that you "are the worst person in the world" are statements of ...


19

That's the danger of doing legal research on the internet. That Forbes article quotes several different attorneys, and they all make the point of saying that those disclaimers are meaningless copy/pasta that is all over the Internet, and they won't protect for a few different reasons. You can either take their advice, or the explanations here on Law SE; or, ...


19

Yes. Making statements in a legally protected confidential context is not publishing them, and in most jurisdictions, defamation must be published to create a cause of action. In such a case the patient might well have a cause of action against the therapist for violation of patient confidentially, and a complaint to the relevant authority could get the ...


18

The purpose of that disclaimer is not to prevent reprimands or legal action. It's really as simple as it appears -- it's to inform the readers that the tweets in fact contain the opinion of the person who wrote them and are not intended to be understood as the official position as that person's employer. This is especially important for people who ...


17

The definition of defamation, itself, doesn't change. What may change is whether certain kinds of false statements are "so bad" that it is not necessary to prove that the person was actually damaged by the statement, i.e. is defamation per se. In California this is Charges any person with crime, or with having been indicted, convicted, or punished ...


15

No. Spoken defamation about a person is slander; written defamation would be libel. In either case, the defamation is a tort against a living person, with the remedy pursued by the allegedly harmed person in civil court. If a person is dead, courts have held that he or she has no reputation to harm -- and no ability to sue you for damage. Despite another ...


15

English Law answer: Both the newspaper that published and the individual who wrote the defamatory statement may be sued for defamation. You may choose to sue one or sue both as co-defendants. The most common reason to sue the publication over the individual writer is because the publication is more likely to pay damages.


13

Defamation is a false statement. If the police have arrested you or charged you with a crime, then a press release stating that you have been arrested or charged is a true statement, and not defamation. If the agency falsely stated that you were guilty of the crime then you'd have a case for defamation. If the police did not actually have probable cause for ...


13

Assuming that the documents were either true, or Manning reasonably believed that they were true, there would be no cause of action for defamation. Many of the documents disclosed would have been confidential in some sense, but usually a violation of a confidentiality statute has a criminal sanction associated with it, but does not carry with it a private ...


11

False statements are generally protected by the First Amendment. If the video was an obvious gag or work of fiction, in which a reasonable person would understand that you were not truly endorsed, your false statement would almost certainly be protected by the First Amendment. But many false statements are not protected, typically because of their negative ...


11

is it legal to state a newspaper wrote an article when in fact it never did? He looked at the newspaper on the table. The Chicago Tribune featured an article that read, "Hank Reed sentenced to 20 years in prison." That is not defamatory with respect to the newspaper, which is what I gather you are asking. A fictional title of that type does not ...


10

While @jqning is absolutely correct in stating that truth is always an "absolute defense" to a claim of defamation, keep in mind that truth can be a subjective thing. What is one person's version of the truth, may not be another's, even with regard to the same exact experience. Also, while "statements of opinion are not defamation" is typically regarded as ...


10

I know nothing about the law. What I have heard from others (that also know nothing) is that in some countries/states it might be illegal to record audio/video without the recording party being present. The exact location (public/private/bedroom/bathroom) of the recording might also make a difference. (for example) Illegal: Someone hides a running ...


10

In most cases you can't defame the dead, but there are exceptions. In Rhode Island, there's a law about libeling the dead in their obituary: Whenever a deceased person shall have been slandered or libelled in an obituary or similar account in any newspaper or on any radio or television station within three (3) months of his or her date of death, and the ...


10

If a factual statement is implied, rather than explicit, it can still constitute defamation. "T looks like a thief" may be an expression of opinion ("I think that T might be a thief") or it might be a slightly oblique way of saying "T is a thief". That would ultimately be a matter for the finder of fact, often a jury in the ...


8

Possibly Qualified privilege is a defense in defamation. The statement would have to have been made without malice, be made in an appropriate situations and for a reasonable cause. If making the mistaken accusation, under assumptions of confidentiality, is reasonably related to the therapeutic goals of your sessions with the psychologist, it could be. The ...


8

Scott seemingly has a viable claim of defamation per se. If the matter has caused him concrete losses (typically in the form of losing employment, business, or prospect thereof), he could also sue for defamation per quod. The matter of defamation per se will require him to prove the defendant's mental state known in defamation law as actual malice. That ...


8

No They do not commit the necessary actus reus by ignoring, or not even reading, a defamatory post. To be guilty, one has to act: by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation


8

Changing social norms don't change the definition of defamation, but they do change the definition of defamation per se. Just such a change is going on now, as courts consider whether it is necessarily defamatory to say that another person is gay. The definition of defamation Social norms do not change the definition of defamation. Broadly spealking, ...


7

No, it doesn't protect the employee from reprimand or legal action, however, it does give the employer a stronger defence to legal action. The employee is stating that they are "on a frolic of their own" and a plaintiff could not rely, as they normally could, that the acts on an employee are the acts of the employer. Of course, this would only be one piece ...


7

Yes. This is legal. The only possible liability for a truthful and accurate disclosure of fact is a defamation action (in the absence of a privacy clause in the contract) and this is truthful so it would not violate anyone's legal rights. Credit reporting agencies routinely collect such information and court actions to collect unpaid debts are also a matter ...


7

As always, the answer depends on jurisdiction. A cause of action for libeling a dead person existed under Roman law, and -- as far as I know -- still exists in France, parts of Canada, Germany, and maybe Louisiana. Under the Anglo-Saxon system, the rule is the opposite. From Hughes v. New England Newspaper Pub. Co., 312 Mass. 178, 179, 43 N.E.2d 657, 658 (...


7

What kind of recourse can OP pursue to swiftly clear their name? The OP's "recourse" is to prove the truth - that he is not a convicted or accused (by a prosecutor) sex offender - to those who defamed him, who are presumably the bar owner(s), who instructed the bouncer to remove the OP because he was a sex offender; and possibly the bouncer, who may have ...


7

In the United States, a website that is labeled as parody and that a reasonable reader would, upon reflection, recognize as not stating true facts is protected under the First Amendment, so no liability will attach. The key case on this point is Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988). At the time, Campari Liqueur was running an ad campaign in which ...


7

Is it acceptable for person A (representing themselves) to refer to person B as "their neighbor" instead of by their name, or would that cause the suit to be dismissed? Omitting the neighbor's name in the pleadings & proceedings cannot singlehandedly cause the dismissal of a defamation suit. The matter would result in dismissal only if the ...


6

Statutes of limitations (hereinafter "SOL") vary from jurisdiction-to-jurisdiction. If it is only one-year in New York (I've not confirmed this) that would not be surprising. SOLs exist for all civil matters and nearly all criminal matters. I'd just like to point out that your question is not really limited to defamation or to the time frame for which the ...


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