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Frederic Prince Von Anhalt, one of at least four contenders for Anna Nicole Smith’s baby, is suing Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox broadcast network over O’Reilly’s remarks that Von Anhalt was “a fraud” for claiming that he fathered young Dannielynn. A suit claiming defamation of character has been filed in Superior Court in Santa Monica. The suit is for the hefty sum of $10 million dollars.
Defamation of character is written or spoken injury to a person or organization's reputation. Libel is the written act of defamation, vs. slander, the oral act of defamation.
You often hear "Truth is the perfect defense against libel." A curious notion, not entirely supported by what goes on in the courts. Truth is a very good defense. It may prove an unshakable defense if you have $50,000 for lawyers to defend against a defamation lawsuit. If you don't feel like being on the frontier of legal theory, you should build a somewhat better defense. Add on these concepts:
Avoid the impression of malice.
State the facts, and then state your opinion separately. This is a legal defense - and also keeps things clear in your mind.
All wrong: "My neighbor John Smith is a stinking lush." This is wildly defamatory: an unproven, judgmental ("stinking" and "lush" instead of "alcoholic") statement about a private individual.
Getting better: "Governor Smith consumed 14 glasses of whiskey last night at The Watering Hole Bar. In my opinion he's an alcoholic." The proof is a bit hazy - getting drunk once does not prove alcoholism - but a governor is a public figure with less protection than John Smith, you have clearly separated fact from opinion, and there is no particular evidence of malice.
Pretty safe: "Governor Smith consumed 14 glasses of whiskey last night at The Watering Hole Bar. I wouldn't be surprised to learn he's an alcoholic." This is entirely fact, with no clear evidence of malice, about a public figure.
What defamation is not.
Generally, a statement made about an undefinable group of people or organizations cannot be defamation. Take, "Real estate agents are crooks." It's defamatory enough, but there is no identifiable victim.
"Most of the agents at Smith Real Estate Company are crooks" is getting dicier, but it is still hard to define the victim.
"Smith Real Estate Company is a crooked company." Wham! You have a victim: Smith Real Estate Company.
Title VII prohibits not only intentional discrimination, but also practices that have the effect of discriminating against individuals because of their race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. National Origin Discrimination * It is illegal to discriminate against an individual because of birthplace, ancestry, culture, or linguistic characteristics common to a specific ethnic group.
Originally posted by Frankidealist35
reply to post by Scarcer
Yeah it's not in the bill of rights.
The bill of rights are our inalienable rights... it's not something that stuff is added to.
You're thinking about our system of laws or whatever. Maybe a supreme court ruling?