Slander (real life)

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bissey
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Slander (real life)

Postby bissey » Thu May 12, 2011 7:21 pm

Story: my friend, A, (really, not me :D ) asked me about slander. His girlfriend's friend (call him C) said that he saw A making out with a girl (D) at a bar. A was definitely not and he can get D to verify. I don't think he has any other witnesses. But, since this would fall under slander per se (private party, private matter), it would be under common law so the burden of truth is on C anyway. In sum, it looks like A would win if he sued C for slander and wouldn't have to prove damages b/c you get presumed damages under slander per se. My question is, how much would he get? I know it goes to the jury so it would clearly vary, but does anyone know of a similar case and how much was awarded?

Edit: the problem, other than the obvious issue of being called a cheater, is that his gf is upset and their relationship is going sour. They haven't broken up but he says that she does mention it a lot and it causes him a lot of stress. I doubt he could get punitive b/c there's probably no malice b/c apparently C said he was sure he saw it but it's strict liability so doesn't matter other than that he wouldn't qualify for punitive damages.

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bissey
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby bissey » Thu May 12, 2011 7:42 pm

Sorry to keep adding things, but does reasonable belief play any role here? I can see the court saying belief is not good enough when you know the harm will be great, and it is strict liability for defamatory meaning, but maybe it'll be taken into account for damages? Idk...

maf70
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby maf70 » Thu May 12, 2011 9:45 pm

and why do you assume this is slander per se?

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bissey
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby bissey » Thu May 12, 2011 10:09 pm

b/c it's one of the 4 categories of slander per se- sexual misconduct

nickwar
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby nickwar » Thu May 12, 2011 10:14 pm

to my knowledge "private party, private matter" is not a slander per se category.

I believe the one you're thinking of (unless I'm wrong) is bringing into question a person's (particularly a woman's) chastity.

There's no way he would win this suit for slander. For one the category explicitly refers to questionining a female's chastity. It's a double standard, but it makes sense in our society.

There's also no real damages here other than "causing a relationship to start to go sour," in the case it's not slander per se (it falling into slander per se simply means you don't have to prove damages, not that you automatically win). Good luck convincing a judge/jury on that one.

Plus it's a ridiculous thing to sue for, anyway. Tell your friend to grow up and stop using litigation/the threat of litigation to solve every little problem he has.

A judge would likely throw this out of court.
Last edited by nickwar on Thu May 12, 2011 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bissey
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby bissey » Thu May 12, 2011 10:17 pm

i say private/private to indicate that it would be under common law.

and i thought it wasn't just women. never heard of that...

nickwar
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby nickwar » Thu May 12, 2011 10:18 pm

bissey wrote:i say private/private to indicate that it would be under common law.

and i thought it wasn't just women. never heard of that...



That's what the case law reflects and that's how it was taught to me. Maybe there's been a change in the past few years, but I doubt it.

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bissey
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby bissey » Thu May 12, 2011 10:22 pm

well defamatory meaning is if it lowers the party in the estimation of the eyes of the community, and this seems to fulfill that. and there's publication, and it's of and concerning. so it meets all the elements.

and there probably can be damages for stress and ruining a relationship...

i could be wrong of course.

maf70
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby maf70 » Thu May 12, 2011 10:38 pm

it probably wont be slander per se under the common law. generally the courts restricted the sexual misconduct to that of women. its a double standard but so what. look up the case law where you are if you care enough. read up on your torts.
bissey wrote:and there probably can be damages for stress and ruining a relationship...

i could be wrong of course.


and you probably would be. sorry your gf dumped you. there were probably other problems that compounded that she thought you kissed another girl. grow up.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby BeenDidThat » Thu May 12, 2011 10:45 pm

Solution: Tell C that his attempt at getting your girlfriend is ridiculous. Look nice and menacing when you tell him this. Take your girlfriend out for a nice dinner. Tell her C just wants to get in her pants. If she wants to play along with his games, then go ahead and dump your gf and hook up with D.

BOOM!

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bissey
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby bissey » Thu May 12, 2011 10:51 pm

haha ok... but again, it's not my gf (if it was, that would mean i'm lesbo).

and the reason i know the parties is b/c i know C and he's gay... so that also doesn't work.

maf- no need to be an asshole. at least attempt to be a human being on the interwebz.

as far as i know/knew, it was imputing serious sexual misconduct. it may not be as damaging for a man, but it still applies.

nickwar
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby nickwar » Fri May 13, 2011 2:19 am

Actually -- you calling him gay if he's not gay could be slander per se. So I suggest you get a lawyer. Or my number.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby I.P. Daly » Fri May 13, 2011 2:15 pm

Defamation Analysis

First, the statement in question was made to someone other than your buddy (to you, or another one of your friends), about your buddy, and it adversely affects your buddy’s reputation (the person is a cheater). Also, the statement is not merely an obscenity, insult, or other verbal abuse. Finally it is not a matter of public concern.

However, the only slander per se category that this statement could fit under is “a woman is unchaste,” but I’m not even sure that the accused in your story is a woman. Was the statement about the bf cheating on the gf, or was it that the gf was cheating on the bf? Further, unchaste is defined as “being characterized by sexual suggestiveness, transgression, or excess; lascivious; bawdy.” In today’s society, I’m not even sure if “making out” with someone other than the bff is enough to fit the definition of unchaste.

So, if the stmt in question is not slander per se, you’ve gotta prove special damages, which are defined as a specific and measurable loss, which must be alleged with sufficient particularity to identify actual loss and be related causally to the alleged tortious acts. Tough to do under the circumstances here. I don’t see any specific loss.

Even if the stmt is slander per se, the bff must still prove general damages. A victim of defamation is entitled to recover only for the proven, actual harm caused by the defamatory statement. Still a tough burden to meet here. How would you quantify the actual harm caused? Did the statement even end the relationship?

So, even if your buddy has a legit claim for slander or slander per se, the court costs and attny fees probably far outweigh the potential damages.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby holdencaulfield » Fri May 13, 2011 11:56 pm

This thread reeks of an episode of Gossip Girl or 90210. Xoxo

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PKSebben
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby PKSebben » Fri May 13, 2011 11:58 pm

nickwar wrote:Actually -- you calling him gay if he's not gay could be slander per se. So I suggest you get a lawyer. Or my number.


actually this is no longer true

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bissey
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby bissey » Sat May 14, 2011 1:10 pm

Per se means you don't need to prove damages.

I guess it just comes down to if slander per se only applies to a woman's "chastity". I was not aware that it was only for women. In my torts book, it says "serious sexual misconduct" so if that is the case, then he can go to court. If it's just for women, then he doesn't have a case.

Can anyone answer FOR SURE which it is. B/c I googled it and I found it to be both ways. Links please if you can show it.

I.P. Daly wrote:Defamation Analysis

First, the statement in question was made to someone other than your buddy (to you, or another one of your friends), about your buddy, and it adversely affects your buddy’s reputation (the person is a cheater). Also, the statement is not merely an obscenity, insult, or other verbal abuse. Finally it is not a matter of public concern.

However, the only slander per se category that this statement could fit under is “a woman is unchaste,” but I’m not even sure that the accused in your story is a woman. Was the statement about the bf cheating on the gf, or was it that the gf was cheating on the bf? Further, unchaste is defined as “being characterized by sexual suggestiveness, transgression, or excess; lascivious; bawdy.” In today’s society, I’m not even sure if “making out” with someone other than the bff is enough to fit the definition of unchaste.

So, if the stmt in question is not slander per se, you’ve gotta prove special damages, which are defined as a specific and measurable loss, which must be alleged with sufficient particularity to identify actual loss and be related causally to the alleged tortious acts. Tough to do under the circumstances here. I don’t see any specific loss.

Even if the stmt is slander per se, the bff must still prove general damages. A victim of defamation is entitled to recover only for the proven, actual harm caused by the defamatory statement. Still a tough burden to meet here. How would you quantify the actual harm caused? Did the statement even end the relationship?

So, even if your buddy has a legit claim for slander or slander per se, the court costs and attny fees probably far outweigh the potential damages.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby pleasetryagain » Sat May 14, 2011 1:18 pm

de minimis non curat lex

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PKSebben
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Re: Slander (real life)

Postby PKSebben » Sat May 14, 2011 3:38 pm

bissey wrote:Per se means you don't need to prove damages.

I guess it just comes down to if slander per se only applies to a woman's "chastity". I was not aware that it was only for women. In my torts book, it says "serious sexual misconduct" so if that is the case, then he can go to court. If it's just for women, then he doesn't have a case.

Can anyone answer FOR SURE which it is. B/c I googled it and I found it to be both ways. Links please if you can show it.

I.P. Daly wrote:Defamation Analysis

First, the statement in question was made to someone other than your buddy (to you, or another one of your friends), about your buddy, and it adversely affects your buddy’s reputation (the person is a cheater). Also, the statement is not merely an obscenity, insult, or other verbal abuse. Finally it is not a matter of public concern.

However, the only slander per se category that this statement could fit under is “a woman is unchaste,” but I’m not even sure that the accused in your story is a woman. Was the statement about the bf cheating on the gf, or was it that the gf was cheating on the bf? Further, unchaste is defined as “being characterized by sexual suggestiveness, transgression, or excess; lascivious; bawdy.” In today’s society, I’m not even sure if “making out” with someone other than the bff is enough to fit the definition of unchaste.

So, if the stmt in question is not slander per se, you’ve gotta prove special damages, which are defined as a specific and measurable loss, which must be alleged with sufficient particularity to identify actual loss and be related causally to the alleged tortious acts. Tough to do under the circumstances here. I don’t see any specific loss.

Even if the stmt is slander per se, the bff must still prove general damages. A victim of defamation is entitled to recover only for the proven, actual harm caused by the defamatory statement. Still a tough burden to meet here. How would you quantify the actual harm caused? Did the statement even end the relationship?

So, even if your buddy has a legit claim for slander or slander per se, the court costs and attny fees probably far outweigh the potential damages.


Let's not give legal advice here, people.




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