Defamation is an all-encompassing term for false statements of fact that harm the reputation of another. Sometimes these cases are referred to as “defamation of character” or “disparagement,” and these terms are often used interchangeably with “defamation.”
Defamation plaintiffs allege that their reputations or their business’s reputations have been subject to ridicule, anger, or contempt as a result of the defendant’s statements.
Defamation defendants may assert that their remarks are protected by the First Amendment. This is a unique area of law, so it’s important for them to consult with a San Diego defamation attorney with knowledge and experience specifically related to defamation and free speech.
In California and San Diego, defamation comes in the form or either Libel or Slander. The distinction between these two terms is simple: Libel refers to written defamation claims, and slander refers to spoken defamation claims. Trade libel specifically refers to any form of defamation that has a direct impact on one’s occupation or business.
Determining the merits of a libel or slander case requires a review of the allegedly defamatory statement. The first question is whether this statement is fact or opinion—if the defendant stated a personal opinion and rather than a fact, then it is not defamatory.
This statement also needs to be false; stating a damaging but true fact is not considered defamation. This also relates to official reports—official statements made by or to the San Diego or California government are protected (or, privileged) and not eligible for defamation suits.
Contact The Law Office of Ryan T. Darby for an attorney experienced in defamation defense.