Personal Injury Law

Other Torts

What are common defenses to defamation claims?

The best defense is truth. Other defenses may include a privilege (legislators have a privilege when they speak on the legislative floor), fair report, rhetorical hyperbole, libel-proof plaintiff doctrine, or a retraction statute. The fair report privilege generally applies to a defendant who reports on the deliberations of a public body, such as a city council meeting. Rhetorical hyperbole applies to certain language in certain contents (editorial/opinion column), when it is understood by the readers to be figurative language not to be interpreted literally. The libel-proof plaintiff doctrine applies to a person who has no good reputation to protect.


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