If you have received a slanderous statement or video, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit for damages. If you believe the person responsible has done something illegal, you should know your rights under the Texas slander law. In order to file a lawsuit for slander, you need to prove that you were acting with actual malice. Actual malice is a legal standard that requires the person suing to know that their statement is false and recklessly disregard the truth of it. This standard is especially important if the person who made the statement was a public figure. Child psychologists, for example, are not considered public figures, but they can still face a lawsuit for defamation. Personal Injury car accident attorneys
In Texas, defamation of character is defined as "written or spoken statements that tend to harm a person's reputation." There are two types of defamation actions - per quod and per se - and each has a different standard of proof. If you are a public figure, you will need to prove that the person who made the statement intentionally misrepresented you. In Texas, this means that they knew you were liable, so they had an interest in defaming you.
Another type of public figure is a limited public figure. These are individuals who are not involved in a public issue but seek to garner attention for a particular purpose. In these situations, you need to establish actual malice. For instance, if a head football coach or athletic director says something about a high school athlete, the school may be considered a public figure. However, the judge may not find the statement to be defamatory if the person was a celebrity or a public figure.
Another thing to be aware of when filing a defamation lawsuit in Texas is the statute of limitations. In most cases, you will need to file the lawsuit within a year of being harmed by the defamation. If you fail to meet this deadline, your case will probably be dismissed without prejudice. Then, if the person who published the defamatory statement did not exercise reasonable diligence, you will be unable to file a lawsuit.
The Texas Supreme Court has also recently ruled on the case Hancock v. Griffin. The court decided that the statements circulated by the doctor to colleagues were not defamatory and did not injure the doctor's profession. Furthermore, the judge found that the doctor failed to provide proof of his statements during trial. Although you can file a lawsuit against a doctor who allegedly spread defamatory statements, you are unlikely to get a victory under Texas slander law.
Nevertheless, there are some exceptions to this rule. The defendant can rely on a neutral report privilege in certain cases, such as where the statement was written by a journalist in the public interest. In this case, the defendant should show that the statements are not based on false information or that the publication was done in the public interest. If they rely on the privilege, then they will be exempt from the Texas slander law.