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Do people actually manage to sue other people on minor issues?

Homestead, FL |

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?

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Attorney answers 5


Better to take something to court, than to take matters into one's own hands.


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.


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.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.


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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