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What are the chances of winning a defamation case against a newspaper?

Akron, OH |

What state in the US has the best plaintiff case law in defamation lawsuits against newspapers.

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Attorney answers 3


It's all extremely difficult. Generally speaking, all of the law is the same as it's based on the 1st Amendment and federal interpretation thereof. The United States has the freest press in the world, as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. American journalists are generally free to pursue their reporting wherever it may take them, and to cover topics, as The New York Times motto puts it, “without fear or favor.”

But that doesn’t mean reporters can write anything they want. Rumor, innuendo and gossip are things hard-news reporters generally avoid (as opposed to reporters on the celebrity beat). Most importantly, reporters do not have the right to libel the people they write about. If you are a public figure, you have to show actual malice- purposeful intent to hurt. For the average person, the standard is higher than merely untrue. It has to be pretty gross, involve certain protected categories and generally cause tangible damage.

No attorney-client relationship is established and responses here are general first impressions. You should consult with a lawyer about your problems.


I would suggest that you consult with a local lawyer who handles these types of cases. A lawyer who does a lot of this type of work will investigate further to determine whether you have a meritorious case. I don't believe I've heard of anyone handling there one slander/libel/defamation case successfully without counsel. So, I think a very good lawyer would increase your odds substantially.


Slim to none likely, but have a local lawyer investigate.

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