Reading the questions and responses on this forum of libel and harassment and slander and defamation, alot of the examples seem like daily living and populate most television sit coms. My question is are people actually able to sue other people over small issues- say like a comment made underneath a youtube video- successfully? If the law allows such thin skin for minor issues, what's going to happen when really major issues occur- murder?
Personal Injury Lawyer
Murder prosecutions and criminal cases in general are proceed as usual on the state and federal level. The prosecution of crimes bears no relationship to people asking questions about generalized, even if minor to you, concerns on a website. This is a legal informational and marketing website. I tend to agree that some of the queries do not present viable legal claims and can often be resolved in other ways, even if only by getting "thicker skin." But, people have a right to ask.
Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.
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Administrative Law Lawyer
The vast majority of the situations prompting questions here of "can I sue" for libel or slander will not support any legal claim at all, muchless one for defamation.
There is a curious fissure in the logic of human beings and it goes like this: "I should be able to say anything I believe. I have freedom of speech and I am entitled to my opinion in all circumstances. But the law should allow me to convert to cash any offense I feel about anything anyone else said about me. That was my private personal information. If the person who said that offensive thing doesn't have any money, then someone else should have to give me the money for my hurt. "
Even the best defamation claims, against defendants who have the financial resources to pay any judgement that might be obtained, are very difficult to bring to successful conclusion in our legal system. Claims based on neighbors and family members and bf-gf's all doing their very best to make each other suffer are simply worthless as legal cases. Very few attorneys get burned by taking such a case more than once.
But, yes, everyone has a right to ask.
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My experience on Avvo is that about 90 percent of people who post a question about whether they can sue for defamation, wrongful termination, or civil rights violations have no claim, and that is clear to any lawyer from the question itself. However, anyone can file a lawsuit- it's winning that is the problem.
My response to this question does not mean I agree to represent you in any proceedings. This information is also not subject to attorney-client privilege.
This is America and you can sue anyone, anytime for any thing. You just may not win.
Generally, all the law will let you do is recoup what you have lost. The difficulty with defamation cases is proving damages.
This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.
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