March 18, 2022

What are defenses to defamation?

Houston Defamation Defense Lawyer

If another person makes a false statement about you that ends up causing damage to your reputation and other areas of your life, you may have a defamation claim. However, you should know that simply because someone defames your character does not mean your case will automatically be successful.

The defendant in your case has a right to defend him or herself. Charles Sanders, Houston/Dallas/McAllen Defamation Lawyer explores the most common and viable defenses to defamation allegations.


Truth is an absolute defense against defamation allegations. Defamation is a tort that stems from false statements of fact. Therefore, if a statement is true, it is not, by legal definition, defamatory.

Conditional privilege

In some cases, a person may make a statement that is absolutely damaging to another person’s reputation. However, the courts recognize that sometimes, the person making the statement has every right to do so because of his or her personal relationship and/or first-hand experience with the defamed person. The law refers to this as a qualified privilege. Statements for which qualified privilege may apply are as follows:

  • Statements made to warn others about a potential threat or harm
  • Statements made during official government proceedings
  • Certain statements made by former employees to potential future employees
  • Certain statements made by former employers to potential future employers
  • Published film or book reviews

Absolute privilege

Absolute privilege is almost as strong of defense against defamation as truth. Absolute privilege means a person has the right to make a statement at the time of making it, regardless of its defamatory nature. Absolute privilege typically applies when a person makes a defamatory statement during judicial proceedings, to his or her spouse, or during a political speech or broadcast. The law also typically grants immunity to high government officials and legislators for defamatory remarks.

Defenses to defamation do exist, and some are stronger than others. If you are the victim of defamation, it is crucial that you understand the common defense strategies and how to overcome them

Call a Houston Defamation Lawyer at Rose Sanders Law Firm

When another person or entity defames your character, you may have defense. Get the help you need to seek justice against the at-fault party and restore your reputation. If you have been a victim of defamation per se, call the Houston Defamation Defense Lawyers at Rose Sanders Law, PLLC at (713) 221-3773

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