Libelous Statements Must Be Specifically Identified


Enough of the vague allegations that leave defamation defense counsel (like myself) wondering what you mean when you plead, for example, that "defendant made statements indicating that plaintiff is dishonest and is a liar." That is not enough to properly state a cause of action for libel or defamation!

“The general rule is that the words constituting an alleged libel must be specifically identified, if not pleaded verbatim, in the complaint. [Citations.]” (Kahn v. Bower (1991) 232 Cal.App.3d 1599, 1612, fn. 5, 284 Cal.Rptr. 244.)

Failing to specifically identify each and every alleged libelous statement may lead to serious consequences.

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  1. Duncan says

    Can a person be sued for libeling an internet handle or pseudonym, or “only” using the “first” name of the person who claims defamation, i.e. Bill, Bob or Steve? I hope you have time to answer Mr. Faccheti. Also, if a person libels someone on the internet, from California, can they be held accountable only in California or both states, if the suing party lives out of state? Thankyou. Mr. Fanchetti.

  2. Margaret Watson says

    Defamation in Criminal Memoirs and at the hands of Irresponsible Campaigning Journalist
    In this so-called civilised society, why should families of innocent murdered victims be forced to endure malicious falsehoods being published in criminal memoirs and at the hands of irresponsible journalist?
    Government Policy makers may not recognise the rights of innocent murdered victims not be unjustly maligned in the mass media, but these enlightened legislators have omitted to take into account the detrimental affect malicious falsehoods has on families who are have more than enough. Surly if a unfounded allegations is published about a murdered victim the family of deceased victim must have a legal remedy made available to rectify such malicious falsehoods. Families of the deceased would not be taking legal action for monitory gain, no, all families of the deceased would want is a published correction and apology on the same page as the offending article. A person’s good name and reputation defines who that person is or was in life.
    Scotland has taken to lead by publishing a consultation paper on defamation of the deceased. I am painfully aware that defamation of deceased may not be implemented in Scotland but at least the Scottish Government has acknowledged there is need for this issue to be addressed.

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