Author Topic: A Legal Question  (Read 1390 times)


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A Legal Question
« on: April 28, 2006, 10:53:08 AM »
In writing a sensitive biography or autobiography, how does one protect themselves from being sued for slander, defamation of character, or libel? Does the same apply to government officials? Iíve heard that they arenít as protected as civilians are. Any thought?

Offline Sondra

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Re: A Legal Question
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2006, 11:16:39 AM »
I will be interested in hearing the answer to that as well.


Offline Alisa

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Re: A Legal Question
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2006, 12:27:15 PM »

Speak the Truth

Whether you are writing your government representative or speaking on an issue of public importance, always make sure your statements are factually correct. If your letters, reports, pamphlets, or other written documents are accurate, there will be no factual disputes later on. You may want to keep copies of all background materials and note sources of facts and figures quoted so that you can show where you obtained the information.

Understand that there are differences between statements of fact and statements of opinion. You may be legitimately sued for false statements of fact, but not for statements of opinion. Be careful. You will not be protected for stating, "In my opinion, Senator Squelch is a liar and a thief," unless, of course, your statement is entirely true. If your words contain an assertion of fact that is capable of being proven true or false -- i.e., that Squelch is or is not a liar and a thief -- you can be sued if it is shown that your statement is false, even though you tried to qualify the statement as "opinion."


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Re: A Legal Question
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2006, 08:36:49 PM »

Thanks for the tips and the web site, Alisa. I have some homework to do. ~ Sherry