Slander Public Figure
When someone slanders a public figure, the defendant must prove actual malice. This element is a common element of other crimes involving the public, such as arson. However, if a public figure is not involved in public policy, the defendant may not be liable for defamation. A judge must determine whether there was malice in a defamation case in order to uphold a defendant's First Amendment rights. Car Accident Lawyers near me
Gertz's definition has been challenged, however. It does not define a public figure and does not include the persuasive power of influence or involvement in public events. This has caused courts to struggle with articulating a uniform standard for measuring public involvement. Many courts and studies have found inconsistent results when applying the Gertz standard. The court is currently evaluating the case. Until the Gertz definition is finalized, this standard remains a source of controversy.
The defendant must prove that the statement was made with actual malice. Actual malice means reckless disregard for the truth of a statement. For example, if one man points a gun at Jenny and drags her to her apartment, that person has acted with actual malice. Whether the statement was slanderous or not is dependent upon the state of the defendant's criminal history and reputation. It may be possible to sue an individual without malice, though this practice isn't permitted in all states.
Libel cases against public figures must be proven by actual malice. The standard of proof is based on a seminal Supreme Court case, new york times v. sullivan. In this case, the Court held that a public figure can't recover unless it can show that the writer intended to hurt someone's reputation. This has caused a controversy in the courts, but it has allowed private persons to sue the media.
To sue an individual for defamation, the plaintiff must prove that the defamatory statement is true. Moreover, the plaintiff must prove that the statement was meant to harm the plaintiff's reputation. Generally, a plaintiff needs to show that the defendant had actual malice and acted with malicious intent. This is difficult to prove if the reporter used a hostile source to obtain information about the plaintiff. Therefore, a plaintiff should be careful to choose the best attorney to handle the case.