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Do I have any recourse for being defamed and then libeled by former church attenders?

Little Rock, AR |

I have a family who left my church, they are well known and connected in this small town. They are calling people in my church and through out the community that I was fired from two churches, one because I had an affair and the other for sexual misconduct with a fourteen year old. They are actively seeking to get people to leave and keeping people from ever coming to the church. I have never been released from any church I have pastored over the last 20 years nor have i ever been accused of sexual misconduct. Do I have any recourse?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Defamation lawyers typically want a 5k retainer, and the case could cost up to 30k, so unless you sustained a significant monetary loss, the case could cost your thousands more than you recover. However, it's your money to spend how you like. Avvo has a great "find a lawyer" tool.

  2. Defamation cases are expensive and difficult. Consult with an attorney who is not a parishioner who does this kind of work. Have no comment about anything to anyone about this until you have spoken to a lawyer. Post no more about this on any social media and take down anything you have posted up to now. Good luck!

    The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

  3. It seems like there was a similar question asked along the same lines. You can certainly talk to an attorney and should but be aware, these are expensive cases. It's not likely it will be done on a percentage basis.

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