What is Defamation?

Defamation is the legal term for a false statement that harms another person. It covers both slander (spoken defamation) and libel (written defamation). To win a defamation case, a plaintiff must prove three things:

  1. Falsehood: you made a false statement of fact about them
  2. Fault: you were at fault when you made the statement
  3. Harm: they suffered specific harm as a result

We’ll take a detailed look at each of those elements (they’re more complicated than they sound) and finish by reviewing some other laws you should be aware of.


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