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Defamation, Defamation per se, Libel, and Slander
Defamation, sometimes referred to as Libel if written and Slander if spoken, is when a person makes a false statement against another person, that false statement is published, and it causes damage.
The elements of defamation are:
- False and defamatory statement by defendant concerning the plaintiff;
- An unprivileged publication to a third person;
- Fault, amounting to at least negligence; and
- Actual or presumed damages.
Defamation per se is when the false statements are of a kind that are, by their nature, presumed to cause actionable damage.
If the defamation tends to injure the plaintiff in his or her business or profession, it is deemed defamation per se, and damages will be presumed.