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Location: Selma, Alabama Is there any way I can sue the church or the Pastor for Defamation of Character, libel, ect.?

Selma, AL |

Late Oct. 2010 I began playing for a church as a musician. I was hired verbally with no contract. In Mid Dec. I had a run-in with the Choir Director about her inability to perform her job adiquately (She blamed me for all of her mistakes). This prompted the Pastor to issue me a contract. Terms: 1 Year Obligation and that I could be Terminated with or without cause. Like a moron I signed the contract (trusting the pastors integrity). Now here it is May 2011 and the Pastor decides to suspend me for 2 weeks without pay. He says that my performance has been poor. However this is because other musicians do not come to practice and the choir director is incompitent in her area. He is blaming me for everyone else mistakes. I am at every practice and perform well on sunday. PLEASE HELP ANYTHING!!!

Attorney Answers 2


  1. I don't see any grounds to sue. First of all, it's not defamation unless something bad has been published to a third party. There is no indication of that here, and, even if there was, suspending you for a short period of time due to ostensible poor performance does not constitute defamation. Nor do I see it as actionable in any other way, with the possible exception of breach of contract. I say "possible exception" because I have no idea what were the terms of your written contract.

    Good luck to you.

    Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as legal advice can only be provided in circumstances in which the attorney is able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather appropriate information.


  2. You cannot sue someone for defamation based on their opinion.

    Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.

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