UNDERSTANDING DEFAMATION AND LEGAL RIGHTS ON DEFAMATORY CONTENT
The Definition of Defamation and How it’s interpreted by the law
Defamation is a false statement of fact against an individual’s character or reputation, either intentionally or negligently published to a third person, holding the defamed person up to ridicule, contempt, hatred, shame, or disgrace.
There are 2 general types of defamation: spoken and written. Regardless of the type of defamation the truth is an absolute defense to a lawsuit based on defamation. Accordingly, where it can be shown that the published statements are “substantially true,” the lawsuit will be defeated. This is also true where the statements are “pure opinion.”
CPLR § 3016(a) requires that a Complaint must set forth the particular words allegedly constituting defamation. The statute further requires that the Complaint also allege the time, place, and manner of the false statement and specify to whom it was made.
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