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the world is upside down(14 posts)

the world is upside downDougSloan
Mar 21, 2003 2:00 PM
Consider this:

1. The world's best rapper is white;

2. The best golfer is black;

3. France claims the U.S. is arrogant; and

4. Germany doesn't want to go to war.

We're not in Kansas anymore.
Hey, all the proof you need. . .czardonic
Mar 21, 2003 2:07 PM
. . . is in the fact that that most of the land mass is collected in the Northern Hemisphere. Doesn't it make sense that it would sink towards the bottom?
Doug - need your direction - OTmoneyman
Mar 21, 2003 3:32 PM
Where can I find a legal definition of libel? Nothing to do with this board, btw.

Thanks.

$$
Doug - need your direction - OTNo_sprint
Mar 21, 2003 3:47 PM
I believe I used Torts by Prosser in law school.
net search came up with good stuffNo_sprint
Mar 21, 2003 3:57 PM
http://www.lectlaw.com/def/l032.htm
Thanksmoneyman
Mar 21, 2003 4:09 PM
I found that, but having no legal training didn't know if it was worthwhile or not. I appreciate your help.

$$
my definition off the cuffDougSloan
Mar 21, 2003 4:37 PM
Libel is a written published untrue statement of fact about someone, which causes someone damage.

Now, there are volumes written about the nuances, defenses, exceptions, and required proof. Have a specific scenario in mind?

Doug
Scenariomoneyman
Mar 24, 2003 8:41 AM
I am a private individual/business owner. We had a snowstorm where many businesses were closed. A local radio station was taking calls for weather related closures, and I called in to say that my office would be open. There were no requirements for people to stay off the roads, but they were encouraging people not to travel unless necessary. Keeping my business open and available to my clients, who happen to live all over the country, is what I would consider necessary.

A man who has taken issue with me in the past regarding funding for a bicycle path (me: in favor, him: opposed) called in to say that I was in effect breaking the law by opening my office. He also stated that I was foolish for doing this.

My business is based on trust, and if someone states or insinuates that I am a law breaker, it could have an adverse affect on my business.

I sent the man a letter referring to the three criteria stated in the lectlaw.com definition and how his actions fit each one. I suggested that he refrain from such characterizations in the future.

$$
probably not actionableDougSloan
Mar 24, 2003 8:56 AM
First of all, you'd need to prove that what he said was (untrue) fact and not opinion. When you talk about "someone breaking the law," it could be either. We'd like to think it is a matter of fact, but that would mean there is fairly clear cut criteria for truth; we have courts and juries to figure out these things, so that's some indication that we are really talking about opinion more than fact. There is probably some case law around that clarifies, though; this is just my intitial impression based upon general legal principles. Part of this is also based upon the vagueness of his comment, not indicating what you exactly did that was breaking the law. Insinuation is harder to go after, too, versus a clear statement.

Also, you would need to prove damage. That would be tough, to distinguish between loss of business based upon the storm and what he said, especially given your national presence.

Now, if he directly tells people you are a thief, a child molester, or something like that, you probably have at least a case for "libel/slander per se," which means you don't have to prove particular damage -- it is presumed. You might get $1 plus punitive damages.

His statement about your being "foolish" is meaningless. Remember that "truth is a defense," too. :-)

I would blow it off. It's sort of like "feeding the trolls;" let him know he got to you, and he'll probably be more incited to do it again.

Doug
Best rapper??? (nm)Spoke Wrench
Mar 21, 2003 3:39 PM
mm nmDougSloan
Mar 21, 2003 4:35 PM
Thanks. What's the best foot fungus? (nm)Spoke Wrench
Mar 22, 2003 7:09 AM
Best rapper??? = OxymoronPaulCL
Mar 22, 2003 8:43 AM
and I stress the "moron" part
ok -- "most popular" nmDougSloan
Mar 22, 2003 5:01 PM