Defamation Lawsuit Guide – Privileges and Defenses in Defamation Cases

In a defamation case, the defendant can raise different range of defenses including slander or libel. Defamation normally occurs when some party broadcasts or publishes wrong information or statements about any other party that may cause an injury or harm one’s reputation. Today, Internet is being used widely, so online defamation is also on rise.

To help you understand a bit more about defendant, slander, libel, and other such terms, the following article will help you in that. After all, it is always better to familiarize yourself with elements of slander and libel. The common defenses to both of these terms are summarized in following sections.

Defamation Lawsuit Guide

When can the statements be termed as defamatory?

The common law presumed that if the plaintiff successfully proved that the comment or statement was defamatory, then it is definitely false. However, under the modern defamation removal law, the plaintiff who is a public figure or public official should prove falsity as one of the most important prerequisite for the recovery. Some of the states have now even provided that the falsity is an important element of defamation that the plaintiff should prove to recover.

The statement doesn’t need to be true for the defense to be effective. The courts need that the statement is true for the defense to apply. It implies that even if defendant states some facts that are wrong.

Absolute privileges

Some of the defendants have been protected from liability in defamation action that is based on defendant’s status or position. These privileges are often termed as absolute privileges ad can even be considered as immunities. In this case, the defense isn’t conditioned on nature of statement or on intent of actor in making false statement. The absolute privileges normally apply to the circumstances and proceedings listed below.

  • Legislative proceedings
  • Judicial proceedings
  • Publications needed by law
  • Publications between the spouses
  • Some of the executive publications and statements

Conditional privileges

When attorney Aaron Minc interviewed Cleveland News 5, he discussed that other kind of privileges that arise from some particular occasion during which the specific statement was made. These kinds of privileges are termed as conditional or even qualified privileges. In this case, the defendant isn’t entitled to conditional privilege without proving that defendant meets the conditions that are established for privilege.

For the privilege to apply, the defendant should believe that the statements are true and have reasonable ground to believe that they weren’t having acted recklessly in ascertaining either the falsity or truth of statement. Conditional privileges apply to following types of the communications.

  • The statement that is made for protecting common interest
  • The statement that is made to assure well being of some family member
  • The statement made by inferior state officer that isn’t yet entitled to absolute privilege
  • The statement that is made for protecting of third person’s or publisher’s interest
  • The statement made where the individual making communication believes that public interest needs communication of statement to some public or other official.

If you have any further queries regarding online defamation, you can contact the most professional and reliable personal injury attorney. He/she will help you greatly.