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Slander Per Se

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Slander Per Se

Brien Roche

Defamation Includes Slander And Libel

Slander is a form of defamation. Defamation is any false statement which produces injury to a person.  Defamation in oral form is slander.  In written form it is libel. It is an intentional tort. That is different from a negligent tort. Negligence is what we normally think of as causing personal injury . Fairfax personal injury attorney Brien Roche handles both intentional and negligent torts.

Privilege

There are some defamatory statements that are privileged.  In other words they are protected. The privilege applies to statements within the employment relationship or part of a judicial proceeding. Also it applies to statements made in good faith where there is a duty to so communicate.  Those types of statements are covered by a qualified privilege. Therefore they would not be actionable. For instance you may have a duty or interest to report certain things to the police. In the course of making the report you make a false statement. However you believe the statement is true. You are probably protected by a privilege. The logic is that we want people to report things to the police.

Provably True or False

Defamatory statements must be statements of fact.  A statement of fact can be proven true or false.  In contrast are statements of opinion. For instance saying someone is too verbose is an opinion. That an employee is unwilling to accept feedback from supervisors is an opinion. That the employee’s conduct detracts from the team attitude is an opinion.  They are not actionable. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Slander Per Se Defined

An element of any defamation claim is damage.  Certain types of statements are defamatory or slanderous per se. For instance saying someone committed a crime. The crime must involve lying, cheating or stealing. That is defamation per se. There is no need to prove damage. Damage is part of the statement.

A statement that a person is infected with some contagious disease is a per se statement. Likewise that a person is unfit to perform the duties of his employment. Also words which prejudice a person in her profession or trade is a per se statement.  For instance, calling a lawyer a shyster. That is actionable per se. The lawyer does not have to prove any damages.  The damage is presumed.  In those actions that are not per se the plaintiff must prove “special damages”. These are medical bills or loss of income as a result of the statement.

The Virginia Supreme Court reported a case involving a school official. In a student newspaper he was described as “director of butt licking”.  Certainly the statement was offensive However it was rhetorical hyperbole. It was not actionable.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more information on slander see the pages on Wikipedia.

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Slander Per Se

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Slander Per Se

Brien Roche

Defamation Includes Slander And Libel

Slander is a form of defamation. Defamation is any false statement which produces injury to a person.  Defamation in oral form is slander.  In written form it is libel. It is an intentional tort. That is different from a negligent tort. Negligence is what we normally think of as causing personal injury . Fairfax personal injury attorney Brien Roche handles both intentional and negligent torts.

Privilege

There are some defamatory statements that are privileged.  In other words they are protected. The privilege applies to statements within the employment relationship or part of a judicial proceeding. Also it applies to statements made in good faith where there is a duty to so communicate.  Those types of statements are covered by a qualified privilege. Therefore they would not be actionable. For instance you may have a duty or interest to report certain things to the police. In the course of making the report you make a false statement. However you believe the statement is true. You are probably protected by a privilege. The logic is that we want people to report things to the police.

Provably True or False

Defamatory statements must be statements of fact.  A statement of fact can be proven true or false.  In contrast are statements of opinion. For instance saying someone is too verbose is an opinion. That an employee is unwilling to accept feedback from supervisors is an opinion. That the employee’s conduct detracts from the team attitude is an opinion.  They are not actionable. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Slander Per Se Defined

An element of any defamation claim is damage.  Certain types of statements are defamatory or slanderous per se. For instance saying someone committed a crime. The crime must involve lying, cheating or stealing. That is defamation per se. There is no need to prove damage. Damage is part of the statement.

A statement that a person is infected with some contagious disease is a per se statement. Likewise that a person is unfit to perform the duties of his employment. Also words which prejudice a person in her profession or trade is a per se statement.  For instance, calling a lawyer a shyster. That is actionable per se. The lawyer does not have to prove any damages.  The damage is presumed.  In those actions that are not per se the plaintiff must prove “special damages”. These are medical bills or loss of income as a result of the statement.

The Virginia Supreme Court reported a case involving a school official. In a student newspaper he was described as “director of butt licking”.  Certainly the statement was offensive However it was rhetorical hyperbole. It was not actionable.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more information on slander see the pages on Wikipedia.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation