To 15 Defamation Defenses by Attorney Steve®

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all right hi welcome back

Tony Steve Andre and welcome to another

exciting video we are talking in this

video about defamation hope you guys are

having a great Saturday but we're gonna

go over the top 15 defenses attorney

Steve's top 15 defenses this is by no

means an exclusive list but I think

these are some of the main ones you need

to know if you or your company is

getting sued for defamation so without

further ado let's head to the attorney

Steve litigation white board here we go

okay so we were talking about defenses

to defamation I got 15 of my top

beauties here okay these are things I've

learned over the years see a lot of

people think defamation is well you know

somebody said something that upset me so

I've got a defamation claim or they're

not being totally truthful so I got a

claim so well you got to think about it

okay so the general definite definition

of defamation is a false statement of


of and concerning the plaintiff public

hated to a third party which tends to

ridicule or scorn somebody injure their

reputation and cause damages okay so

that's one two three that's a lot of

different elements that need to be

proven if a plaintiff cannot prove each

and every element they can be subject to

losing their case and even a potentially

an anti slap case which would allow a

defendant to seek their attorney fees

and we'll talk about that in a second

but let's go take a look at the board

here so I have whoops I have written

this out here for you so basically there

are two types of defamation there is

oral defamation that's saying yeah that

guy's an axe murderer he's an axe


okay well that's oral that's spoken that

is slander spoken slander spoken slander

the written type this is when you go and

you write something on ripoff report and

you say this company is fraud

they're a total fraud they ripped me off

okay writtens

written and this is electronic this is

digital defamation written is libel that

how I remembered that in law school was

libel is like a label a label is written

so do what you got to do to

understand that but that's how I

understood it so you have oral slander

written libel these are both defamation

this is what they from defamation

consists of either one okay so as I

mentioned you need to - the defamation

needs to put someone into scorn hatred

ridicule disgrace contempt all these

nasty words where you say like oh my god

this is like you've just ruined that

person's reputation oh my god this is

insane we've got to go to court so a lot

of people go to court in my opinion

without a good defamation case that's

why I'm doing a video on the defense's

okay so let's go over here so let's

start here I've got a lot we're gonna

just check them off my list publish book

refuse or film reviews so somebody's

saying something about a film already

there's there's public policy of

exceptions different qualified

privileges things like that you're

making honest book reviews and this ties

into over here opinion okay so I'm just

gonna tie those in your opinion if you

just have an opinion about somebody in

my opinion he's the worst lawyer in the


okay well that's an opinion so you're

entitled to your opinion if you're

dealing in government agencies that's a

First Amendment protected that's

constitutionally protected right of free

speech but it has to be a real opinion

if you're trying to get fancy and couch

it in terms of in my opinion this

company is fraudulent you got to be

careful because the jury could look at

all the circumstances and find that

that's not actually an opinion but

opinions are protected opinions are a

defense to a defamation claim put book

reviews film reviews those are usually

opinions Citizen testimony during

legislative proceedings so you're there

at a zoning Harry zoning hearing and you

say this councilman is a scoundrel he's

worse in the world you know have him


okay well that's somebody participating

in our governments and our civics that's

probably not gonna go down as a

defamation case okay plaintiff already

has a poor reputation this is one of the

things is so the plaintiff has to show

that they were held out that their

reputation was harmed and injured but

what if their reputation was already

what if somebody said that woman is a

and in fact that's she is a

and that's what she does for a living a

prostitute so you got to be able to show

that your reputation was actually harmed

okay so that's another potential defense

statements to large groups if you

remember my definition

it said oven concerning the plaintiff

it's a false statement of fact

oven concerning the plaintiff so what if

it's made to a group like all NRA

members are are scoundrels cheaters and

they cheat on their tax returns and

they're they're all felons okay well you

may be making a statement to a large

group a lot of the members of the group

may be offended but you're not it's not

even concerning an identifiable

plaintiff okay so bear that in mind what

do we have down here wage and working

conditions so employees get a lot of

protection employee current employees

former employees that talk about working

conditions the way the law is in the

United States is we want to encourage

people to say you know this is a

sweatshop or this one isn't so those

kinds of statements while they may be

true are also gonna fall into here and I

forget what law it is there's a law I

don't do employment law but there's

something in here that protects

whistleblowers people that are talking

about wage and hour and I just can't

remember the law right now but that's

gonna get some protection now here's the

biggest one everybody always talks about

they say well you defame me you went on

ripoff report and you said that I charge

$1,000 for to put a screw in your

automobile and say well that's what you

charge me that's the truth you say well

makes me look bad

well but it's the truth this is what

you're doing you're charging a thousand

dollars for a little screw okay and it

took you five days to do it I'm telling

the truth

when you're telling the truth that is a

defense in a defamation case this is a

big one okay these to me are the two big

ones here's another one no publication

if I send a defamatory letter to one

person and I send it to two Joe Schmo

when I say Joe Schmo you

or the most rottenness smelliest

stinkiest most corrupt individual I've

ever met in my life you are a fraud you

are a disgrace you are the worst person

that was ever born if I'm just telling

them and not public hating it to other

parties or on you know orally where

other people are listening or written

libel that's going on the internet

somewhere there's chances are there's

not gonna be a libel because there's no

publication you have to have a

publication to have something be liable

ok libel I should say public figures so

this is your bloggers writing about your

political figures of the day your movie

stars you get extra leeway you get extra

First Amendment protect protection when

you're talking about our movie stars our

politicians you know maybe famous

lawyers and things like that you're

going to get an extra level of


the New York Times standards is the case

New York Times versus Sullivan I have it

right here this is what we call the

actual malice standard you will not be

held liable for defamation unless you

have actual malice in your heart just

actual malice you had serious doubts we

call the serious doubts tests you have

serious doubts about the truthfulness of

the article and you printed it anyway

you just really cross the line you

weren't afraid you just said I don't

care I'm gonna get this out there I'm

gonna get famous everybody's gonna know

me I'm gonna make a name for myself well

you could find yourself in a lawsuit

against the public figure usually public

figures have a little bit of money deep

pockets and they might take you to court

I know Donald Trump has sued a lot of

different people for defamation so this

is something that you have you get extra

leeway but it doesn't mean that you're

immune but this can be a defense in a

defamation case consent if somebody

consented to the publication and you say

well you know we're gonna write a

negative review about you okay well I'm

okay with that you can speak your mind

then you post it and they say what what

I don't know was gonna be that bad well

maybe you consented to it so that may be

a defense in a defamation case let's

check the box

retraction apology letter this is really

important if you're innocent and you've

just made a mistake sometimes you you

know things are not being reviewed

properly you have an editorial process

it's not being reviewed properly and it

comes down you say you know geez we just

made a mistake there do a retraction as

early as possible apologize those kinds

of things this would at least help you

mitigate and get to the issue of whether

or not there was harm remember part of

the cause of action is you have to show

you're injured you're the injury to your

reputation okay so retractions can

always help you out for innocent

mistakes what else I have here let's go

to statute of limitation California one

year from the date of the communication

one year from the date of the

communication so you don't have a lot of

time to sit on your rights and wait

around if you think there's something

that really caused serious reputational

damage you need to file you need to sue

you need to get it going you don't have

a lot of time this is California now

every state is gonna be different

they're gonna have different rules

there's different tolling statutes so

different things to look at so this is

general information only now here's

another one

litigation privilege judicial proceeding

so I did another video about can a

lawyer to fame you lawyers have

incredible leeway you know in the

litigation process if we're involved in

litigation we're allowed to make

accusations we're allowed to throw

things out there some people might say

oh my god they're accusing me I didn't

do that that's so wrong it's defamatory

well in as to lawyers in the litigation

privilege there's a lot there's a very

wide leeway if it's in in the pursuit of

litigation okay and now there's

different ways to interpret that maybe

it's outside the litigation context

maybe it's in the hallway of a courtroom

there's different things that could

affect that but litigation privilege

lawyers judges have a significantly way

in judicial proceedings here's another

one we're getting down to the end here

political broadcasts and speeches you

hear this all the time

sometimes with Trump you know this

person's a criminal a person's crooked

Hillary right crooked Hillary you can

call her that and it's like wait you're

suggesting I'm a criminal I've never

been adjudicated a criminal those kinds

of things are just they just they're not

actionable they're just not actionable

okay and here we have dead what does

that mean you can't defame the dead if

somebody's already died yeah you say

well maybe I had a old bait eight old

baseball coach and he was the worst

coach in the world but he's dead now

you could write anything you want you

know you can say though he was the worst

son-of-a-bitch coach I ever played for

you know he was he was doing this he was

doing that so those kinds of things you

cannot defame the dead

that's the rule okay now finally I have

up here the anti slap statute and what

this means is if you're engaging in

protected free speech truth opinion

you're over here in one of these

categories you know if you have like a

lot of these defenses you in the plane

of Sue's you you may want to file what's

called an anti slap motion and say you

know judge all they're trying to do is

limit my free speech my my strategic

participation the participation the

public participation and they're trying

to prevent me from conversing on things

that clearly fall into these privileged

areas and so an anti slap is something

you can do to stop these defamation

cases in their tracks you can seek your

attorney fees and I had one case where I

knocked it out I knocked it out with

attorney fees somebody bring in

something trying to trying to get rid of

my lawsuit I was on the plaintiff side

of this case didn't work so I got my

attorney fees on that finally defamation

per se remember I talked about one of

the the items that you need to show as a

plaintiff is harm the injury you need to

show the scorn hatred ridicule disgrace

contempt injury to the reputation so

there are some categories and let's just

say that there's four okay there may be

more this is just kind of the general

law school 101 stuff four categories of

what we call den of defamation per se

the damages are presumed presume damages

so you don't have to necessarily prove

your damages but you want to always have

damages you don't want to get it like

one dollar award that's no no fun but

here they are the four categories

serious crime you say that person is an

embezzler and there's no and there's no

truth behind and it's not it's not an

opinion because you don't it's not

you're actually saying something

negative about them so serious crime is

one loathsome disease that person has

you know AIDS or syphilis or herpes

those kinds of things loathsome disease

business trade slander this is happening

all the time ripoff report all kinds of

websites you know reporting negative

things people in their trades can be a

big victim of this okay and finally

unchaste like saying well she's a

she's a not a virgin or she's unchaste I

think is the word so but anyway so

though there are four categories where

damages are presumed these might be a

little bit easier to bring especially if

you have real damages pain and suffering

emotional damages you may be able to get

punitive damages in in a very egregious

type of case that's a precious

oppressive or malicious or fraudulent

under California law but that's it

that's a general overview so when people

are bringing a case of defamation this

is not an exclusive list but go take a

look I mean there's lots of little lots

of little holes where you have actually

valid defenses against a defamation

claim so we can help plaintiffs if you

have a legitimate claim we can help

defense in defense of these kinds of

cases but you know where to find us I

hope this has been an informative video

for you you can find us on the web at

attorney Steve comm the first name in

legal services so I gotta run I just

wanted to get this out there to you

today was on my list some people been

asking about defamation what are the

defenses there you go who's answering

the call you got the questions I got the

answers okay terney Steve thank you for

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