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Do I have an legal option to defend myself against slanderous behavior?

Frankfort, KY |

I recently did a simple, public google based background investigation on a person connected to my family from the privacy of my own home. When this person found out it angered them. In retort, this person sent a slanderous email to my employer which threatened legal action not only to me, but to my company as well. I was then approached by the CEO of my company, questioned, and stood to face possible termination pertaining to something that was completely personal and private in nature. This persons actions have cast doubt on my character, and dampened my standing within my place of employment. Do I have an legal option to defend myself against this type of slanderous behavior, or is it legal for a person to send private, falsified information and threats of legal action to my employe

Attorney Answers 2


  1. This question is nearly impossible to answer based on the fact that the underlying facts are absent. You may not want to post the facts on a public web site so I suggest that you consult with an attorney. Here is some general advice: Defamation requires proof that incorrect statements of fact, not opinion, were made to third parties and that it caused harm to you. Here is a link to a guide on defamation law to help you determine whether the law applies to your circumstances.

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/how-to-know-if-you-are-the-victim-of-libel-or-slander

    I truly wish you the best.

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    This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.


  2. In Kentucky, To establish defamation, a plaintiff must show (1) defamatory language, (2) about the plaintiff, (3) which is published, and (4) which causes injury to reputation. Columbia Sussex Corp., Inc. v. Hay, 627 S.W.2d 270, 273 (Ky. App. 1981). The words complained of must be of such a nature that courts can presume as a matter of law that they do tend to denigrate or disgrace the plaintiff, or hold him up to public hatred, contempt or scorn. See Digest Pub. Co. v. Perry Pub. Co., 284 S.W.2d 832 (Ky. 1955)
    This type of case will be very fact intensive. It is hard to give you a good answer without knowing what the email contained and the language used. You do not want to publish the email on an open forum such as this, therefore, you should seek the advice of an attorney so the email can be reviewed.