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What is the difference between an opinion and a judgement?

Riverside, CA |

This topic actually got a lot of us debating this difference among the water cooler at work. Is there a difference having an opinion on something or being judgemental towards someone? This is just a light topic for any attorney to have fun with answering. Please don't get upset if this isn't your standard legal question. But be happy that we are introducing an entire office to AVVO maybe future people will turn to this site when they have personal legal issues. We would like to post an answer to this question ....the difference between having an opinion and being judgemental is ........?
We figured an attorney could give a good response to this.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Thanks for your interest!
In the law, they are very similar. An opinion is somebody's subjective position on an issue. You cannot be sued in defamation for having an opinion, because you are not stating fact. Being judgmental is essentially the same thing; it is your opinion about someone. Your judgment about someone may be based on fact, but your opinion may be as well. Without stating the supportive fact, they remain the same thing, subjective opinion.However, more generally, someone is apt to say it is "just their opinion" because it is just the way they feel, whereas in usage, one is much more likely to say I have a judgment about that person and it is based upon the following facts.

No information provided in response to these questions can be relied upon in any way without further personally consulting with Attorney Kerrigan and Attorney Kerrigan consulting personally with you regarding your specific legal situation.

Posted

With respect to defamation, an opinion or being judgmental is not defamation which requires a false statement of fact

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Thank you !!!!!

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In the legal world, an "opinion" more often than not is referred to for the writing of a Judge explaining his/her holding or decision in a legal proceeding. For example, a Judge could say I find "this" or "that", or I hold "this" or "that" and then write an explanation (for lack of a better reference) as to why or how that holding or decision was come to. A "Judment" is technically the Order or directive of a court on a legal matter or issue before it, ie- a Judgment of Divorce; a Judgment that defendant owes plaintiff X dollars, etc. It is the paper upon which a legal dispute can often be considered finally resolved (one way or another). The term "opinion" is also used in the law of Defamation, to distinguish between a statement of fact, which might b actionable to sue upon if other requirements are met, and a person's personal "views" on something or someone, which may not be actionable. In the real world, we all have opinions, and everyone who doesn't like our opinion will call us "judgmental"; ah, the vagueries of the English language, if not the human psyche. Now, if you want more, you should consider signing up for a philosophy course.

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Thank you all geesh I had to read these a few times thanks for taking time out of your day going to share all answers Friday..

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Blah.

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Bah humbug to you ... We people who work in public relations have a need to know this information so it was great ongoing topic to learn from in a fun light way ... Thanks to those who have real advice letting everyone know according to Avvo attorneys etc

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