Does Using The Term “Guilty” Connote A Crime?

Plaintiffs commonly assume that courts will interpret alleged defamatory words in a strict or literal sense. But such is not the case. For example, in one case, a political candidate in Orange County filed a defamation suit against his opponent for discussing the investigation and reprimand of plaintiff for sexual harassment by the state Assembly. […]

Defendants: How To Win A Defamation Case Without Filing An Anti-SLAPP Motion Or Going To Trial

As I sit here and enjoy another sunny day in Los Angeles, California, I think to myself, "man, I’m lucky." I get to litigate cases which intrigue me, and get to help people resolve their disputes without resorting to self-help (in most instances). But you’re not here to listen to my idle musings. You’re reading […]

Defamation By Omission?

I remember sitting in a church pew many years ago hearing the pastor speak about two different kinds of sin:  Sins of "commission" and sins of "omission." I understood very well as a teenager that you weren’t supposed to do bad things (commission), but it was always a bit more abstract and difficult to understand […]

Celebrity Defamation: Part II

I was at a Kiwanis club meeting the other day and the topic of Tiger Woods came up. Someone mentioned that Tiger was in deep trouble (an obvious observation) and began to rattle off the names of each of Tiger’s mistresses and then there was some generally commentary about Tiger’s "transgressions." All in good taste, […]

Truth Is A Defense To A Claim Of Defamation

Total read time: 2 minutes 49 seconds. "The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is." -Winston Churchill Truth is a complete defense to a claim of defamation.   It is the great equalizer in any libel or slander suit. It is what the plaintiff’s […]

Is Defamation Litigation Out of Control?

Many people believe that defamation of character litigation is out of control. They go on and on about how rising costs are encouraging defendants to settle "frivolous" cases and "abusive" discovery procedures are chilling free speech. But they don’t really offer any solutions to this so-called problem.  Instead, they just talk, talk, and talk, and […]