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If u agree to not defame another party in settlement agreement this yr&commented on line abt them years ago,can they sue4slander

Dallas, TX |

agreed not to defame other party and commented on line about a similar issue a year prior to the settlement(that i don't view as defamatory). now they found the comment and said i violated the settlement agreement, even though they didn't specify anything in the past. sounds like double jeaopordy or intimidation tactic.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

The statute of limitations for slander is one year. So, it would appear that the statute has run on the on line comments.

But, you still have to bat down the settlement agreement argument. If the settlement agreement occurred after the on line posting, then you would not have breached the settlement agreement either. However, they could argue that you had some sort of duty to advise them that you had made the posting, and your failure to do so was tantamount to a fraudulent concealment. In my mind, that is pretty weak, but if they choose to harass you, that may be the best that they can do.

By the way, the truth is one of the defenses to slander. Also, you may have been privileged to make the statement that you did. It all depends on the circumstances of what happened and what specifically was stated.

Good luck.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Very thorough, concise,and well put-deserves 5 stars.

Asker

Posted

I clicked best answer but doesn't show-why?

Posted

I'm not real sure how you associate double jeopardy or intimidation to this, but settlement agreements are nothing more than contracts. The fact that the other party discovered a statement made prior to the effective date of the agreement does not make it as though the statement was made AFTER the agreement. Keep abiding by your agreement and move on.

This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Texas only, and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to Texas. This answer is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation, and is for promotional purposes only. You should never rely on this answer alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

Double jeopardy only applies to criminal charges. A settlement agreement is a civil law contract between the parties.

I wouldn't worry too much about the threat. Just make sure you're following the settlement agreement so the other party won't have much to go by in court if it ever comes to a lawsuit.

If the harassing continues, you may want to have a lawyer send a letter to the other party in an attempt to get them to 'back off.'

Disclaimer: This post does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This post is not a substitute for holding an in-person initial consult with an attorney.

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