Defamation, as it is commonly defined, is an oral or written communication that damages the reputation, character, good name, etc. of a person or entity. As its definition implies, defamation encompasses the torts of libel and slander. Slander includes false statements that are spoken, while libel includes false statements that are written.
In general, state law governs these types of defamation lawsuits, but the United States Constitution (and state constitutions) impose some limits. As you may know, the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech and the press. Therefore, the First Amendment has been interpreted as limiting the reach of state defamation laws. But whether the First Amendment constrains these laws and to what extent depends on the circumstances of each case.
For instance, among other requirements, when a potentially defamatory statement addresses a matter of public concern and the claim is brought against a media defendant, such as a newspaper or news media outlet like FOX News, the First Amendment requires the plaintiff to show the statement was not only false, but also that the media defendant was at fault. This degree of fault is left to the state to determine.
Defamation cases can be difficult to prove and require the plaintiff to overcome multiple legal defenses. At HORWITZ HORWITZ & Associates, our attorneys are able to represent plaintiffs in defamation cases across the country against news media companies, like FOX News. If you have been the victim of defamation by a news media outlet, then we urge you to contact our defamation attorneys at (800)-985-1819. The consultation with our office is always free, and we are happy to discuss the validity and practical impact of your case. Even if our law firm is unable to assist with moving forward, we may be able to set you on the right path for free.