Torts - Speech Related Torts
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- To establish a prima facie case for defamation, plaintiff must prove D made a:
- 1) defamatory statement
- 2) of or concerning the plaintiff
- 3) publication to a third person
- 4) damage to plaintiff's reputation
What is defamatory language?
language that tends to adversely affect one's reputation
Damage to Plaintiff's reputation - presumed damages?
- 1. Libel: presumed damages
- (defamation permanently memorialized in a fixed format)
- 2. Slander: presumed, if slander per se, otherwise must prove damages.
- (oral/spoken defamation)
Slander per se
- 1. re P's business
- 2. P has committed a crime of moral turpitude
- 3. imputing a chaste woman
- 4. P suffers from veneral disease or leprosy
Defamation re: public stuff, additional elements?
- When defamation refers to a public figure or a matter of legitimate public concern, a plaintiff must prove two additional elements:
- 1) falsity of defamatory statement
- 2) fault by defendant (fault = malice for public figures, fault = negligence for private figures)
- malice = knowledge it was false, or reckless disregard of its truth
What is a public figure?
Someone who has acheived pervasive fame or notoriety, or someone who voluntarily assumed a central role in a particular controversy.
Invasion of Privacy by False light
- D invaded P's privacy by publishing facts that placed him in a false light.
- To prevail, P must prove:
- 1) publication of facts that put P in a false light in the public eye,
- 2) false light is highly offensive to a reasonable person
- 3) malice if public figure, negligence if private figure
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