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Defamation: Libel and Slander

Defamation is the airing of a statement that makes a false claim, either expressly stated or implied to be factual, that can cause a negative image toward the following:

  • Persons
  • Businesses
  • Product
  • Groups
  • Governments
  • Nations

Slander is a malicious, false, or defamatory statement or report while libel refers to any malicious, false, or defamatory statements that are written or printed.

The majority of jurisdictions allow civil legal actions in an effort to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliation against groundless criticism. An issue which is related to defamation is the public disclosure of private facts. This occurs when a person reveals information which is not of public concern and its release offends a reasonable person.

The origins of defamation suits lie in the torts of slander and libel. Each of these torts gives a common law right of action. Slander is a harmful statement in a transitory form, particularly speech. Libel is a harmful statement in a fixed medium, such as writings, a picture, sign, or electronic broadcast.

“Defamation” is a general term used internationally. It can also be used when it is not necessary to distinguish between “slander” and “libel.” Libel and slander both require that a statement be publicized. The fundamental between libel and slander lies only in the form in which the defamatory matter is published.

If the offending material is published in a fleeting form, it is slander. Forms include:

  • Spoken words
  • Sounds
  • Sign language
  • Gestures

If the statement is published in a more durable form, it is libel. More durable forms include:

  • Written words
  • Film
  • Compact discs
  • DVDs
  • Blogging
  • Websites

Contact a Lake Geneva Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been the victim of defamation, contact the Lake Geneva personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-275-1729 today.