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16 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What are the elements of defamation?
1) defamatory language
2) of and concerning P
3) publication to a third party that understands it
4) damages to P's reputation
What is defamatory language?
Defamatory language is language that adversely affect's one's reputation. It must be based on specific facts, name calling is not enough
Is defamation re a dead person actionable?
What makes a statement "of and concerning P"?
A reasonable reader, listener, or viewer would understand that the defamatory statement referred to P
Note: extrinsic evidence may be offered to show that the statement refers to P if it is not clear on its face
What are the rules for group defamation
1) if the statement refers to all members of small group, each member can establish that the statement was about him
2) if the statement is about a large group, no one can claim defamation
3) if the statement is about some members of a small group, P must show that a reasonable person would view the statements as referring to P.
What is publication?
Communication of the defamatory language to a 3rd party, intentionally or negligently
What are defamation damages?
It depends whether the defamation is libel or slander
What is libel and what kind of damages are available?
1) Libel is written or printed publication of defamatory language.

2) P does not need to prove special damages and general damages are presumed
what is slander, and what are the available damages?
1) slander is spoken defamation.

2) P must prove special damages, unless it is slander per se
What are the slander per se categories?
a statement that:
1) adversely reflects one's conduct in a buiness or profession;
2) one has a loathsome disease;
3) One is or was guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude; or
4) a woman is unchaste
What if the defamation involves a matter of public concern?
To make a PF case, P must show all of the common law elements of defamation, plus:

1) falsity of the statement; and
2) fault on the part of D
If P is a public official or public figure, and the case involves a matter of public concern, what must D prove?
P must prove malice, which is
1) knowledge that the statement was false; OR
2) reckless disregard as to whether it is false
If the defamation involves a matter of public concern and P is NOT a public figure, what must he prove?
1) Fault
2) falsity
3) negligence re the statement
Note: if malice is involved, damages are presumed, if only negligence, actual damages must be shown
What are the defenses to defamation?
1) consent
2) truth
3) absolute privilege
4) qualified privilege
What statements are subject to an absolute privilege?
1) remarks made during a judicial proceeding;
2) remarks made by legislators in a debate;
3) by federal executive officials;
4) in compelled broadcasts;
5) and between spouses
What are the categories for qualified privilege?
Wherever there is a policy to encourage candor:

1) references and recommendations;
2) credit reporting
3) police investigation