If someone damages your reputation by way of slander or libel, you may have grounds to sue for defamation. “Slander” is the crime of making a false, spoken statement damaging a person’s reputation. “Libel” is a false published, written statement damaging a person’s reputation. Some states combine libel and slander claims under the umbrella term “defamation.”
Other states still distinguish between the two, requiring the appropriate civil suit for the respective offense. Defamation cases are notoriously difficult to win since the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove that a statement is defamatory and damaging. Even if a statement is defamatory, many cases (such as cases involving someone who is a public figure) require proving actual malice. Learn how to help your case if you are considering whether you have grounds to sue for defamation.
Defamation – Defamation is a false and unprivileged statement of fact that is harmful to someone’s reputation, and published “with fault,” meaning as a result of negligence or malice. State laws often define defamation in specific ways. Libel is a written defamation; slander is a spoken defamation.