What Are the Forms of Defamation in San Diego and Los Angeles?

Section 44 of the California Civil Code defines Defamation in two forms. Libel is the written form (including photos and other permanent writings, such as an Internet-defamatory statement). Slander is oral defamation. California Civil Code Section 45 defines Slander as “a false and unprivileged publication, orally uttered, and also communicated by radio or any mechanical or other means which: Charges …

Minimum Contacts: In Los Angeles or San Diego, Can You Sue Someone Posting on the Internet From another state for Libel or Slander?

Many prospective clients ask me a very reasonable question. “I’m in Los Angeles. Can I sue an Internet poster of damaging, defamatory statements about me who lives in Chicago? In 2015, a California Court of Appeals responded. The court considered a California plaintiff suing Illinois defendants for libel based on public Facebook statements. The court ruled: [An Illinois resident] “…posting …

What Happens in Los Angeles and Orange County When the Actual Words of Libel or Slander Are Innocent and Only an Inference Defamatory?

Recently a client, a Defendant, asked me why a completely innocent, allegedly libelous statement by itself (without explanatory information) was defamatory when someone had to infer as much, i.e., read libel into it. What makes innuendo or an inference defamatory? California courts have consistently ruled insinuation can be actionable defamation. One court put it this way. “A person may be …

In San Diego and San Francisco, if the Statute of Limitations Has Passed on a Defamatory Publication, are All Similar Publications Time-Barred?

The general rule states any repetition of libel or slander is a separate defamatory publication and generates a new cause of action. Several years ago, the California Supreme Court put it this way. “In general, the repetition by a new party of another person’s earlier defamatory remark also gives rise to a separate cause of action for defamation against the …

The Litigation Privilege: When Does It Shield Pre-Litigation Defamatory Statements in San Diego and Los Angeles?

Prospective defamation clients sometimes ask about what lawyers commonly dub the “litigation privilege.” Civ. Code § 47(b). This privilege affords wide immunity from libel and slander claims to a person defending or suing for those torts. Notably, this broad protection is also generally thought to protect pre-litigation communications (such as a demand letter). That is not always true. Lawyers pleading libel and slander can …

How Does a Defamed Person in San Diego or Del Mar Prove Actual Malice When the Publisher of Libel or Slander Denies Hatred and Ill Will?

The law treats defamation with actual malice more harshly than that committed negligently. The victim’s evidence required to show such malice must be clear, unambiguous, and very convincing — a much higher standard than that governing most civil cases. The law also provides a qualified privilege to defendants who stand accused of defamation with actual malice.  In cases – usually …

What Happens in San Diego and Rancho Santa Fe if a Libel or Slander Per Se Defendant Asserts No One Believed his or her Statements Defamatory?

Because the law presumes damages for defamation per se, plaintiffs need not show anybody believed the libel or slander. Similarly, the law requires no plaintiff to prove changes in anyone’s impressions of, or conduct toward, him/her/it. Approving 1956 case law, a court recently confirmed, “ ‘it is not necessary that anyone believe [defamatory statements] to be true, since the fact …

When Do You Know There is a Breach of Contract in San Diego and Encinitas?

Here in San Diego and throughout California, a breach of contract is a serious matter. Breach occurs when one of the parties fails to perform a promise made in the agreement. Sometimes one party notifies the other it (or they) are unable or unwilling to fulfill their part of the agreement. The consequences of such a violation for both parties …

San Diego Real Estate Disputes Require an Attorney with Experience and Expertise

The value of San Diego real estate heightens the stakes of local real estate disputes. Successful resolution requires a balance of experience and expertise from your real estate attorney. Real property contests — a boundary dispute, performance of a commercial lease, purchase and sale problems, or hidden defects, among others, — can grow expensive for both parties, especially if the …

Considerations In California If the Statute of Limitations Has Expired on a Libel Claim

Defendants, those accused of libel, need to know the general legal rule that every repetition of a defamatory statement is a separate publication and creates a new cause of action. In October 2014, a California appellate court reaffirmed the rule. Sanctioning earlier law without citing its language, the court endorsed earlier case law (See Schneider v. United Airlines, Inc., 208 …