Defamation Defense: Consent

A less common but no less important defense to a cause of action for defamation is the defense of consent. If the defendant can show that the plaintiff consented to the publication of the alleged defamatory statement or statements, it operates as a complete defense. In other words, defendant wins. Under what circumstances has the […]

Defamation Defense: Qualified Privilege

 The last several posts have focused on absolute privileges. Today we’re going to talk about the qualified privilege, which is a lot more common than you might think. A qualified privilege essentially means what it appears to mean. It allows the publisher/speaker to make a statement that would otherwise be defamatory without being held liable for making […]

Defamation Defense: Legislative Proceedings

Continuing on in our series on the defenses to a cause of action for defamation relates to statements made in a legislative proceeding. Like statements made in judicial proceedings, statements which are made in legislative proceedings are absolutely privileged pursuant to Civil Code section 47(b). This defense applies to statements made by participants in state […]

Defamation Defense: Judicial Proceedings

Continuing in our series on defamation defenses, today we’re going to cover the defense of statements made in a judicial proceeding, also known as the litigation privilege. A publication made in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding is absolutely privileged.  Civil Code § 47(b). This means that  you cannot prevail in a libel or slander case […]

Defamation Defense: Discharge Of Official Duty

An absolute privilege exists for statements made "[i]n the proper discharge of an official duty" under California Civil Code section 47(a). An absolute privilege is defined as a "privilege that immunizes an actor from suit, no matter how wrongful the action may be, and even though it is done with an improper motive."  Black’s Law […]

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 […]