by Tina Seymour Demoran, Esquire
Many people get the terms libel and slander confused, so here’s a quick definition for each:
Libel and slander are types of defamatory statements.
Libel is a written defamatory statement, and slander is a spoken or oral defamatory statement.
What are the elements of a cause of action for libel or slander?
The elements of a defamation suit; whether slander or libel, are:
1. A defamatory statement;
2. Published to a third party;
3. Which the speaker knew or should have known was FALSE;
4. That causes injury to the subject of the communication.
Remember that TRUTH is an absolute defense to libel and slander.
If the statement is true…especially if it can be backed up by written proof (ex: text messages, other written communication, phone logs, etc.), then the other party will not only win, but will also most likely be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and the costs of defending the case you filed against them in court.
In other words, you will not only lose, but you will end up paying the person you sued quite a bit of money for wasting their…and the court’s…time.
Also, you must prove that you actually have been injured.
Not just hurt feelings.