The childhood nursery rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” is not true. Malicious, false or defamatory words can cause tremendous, irreparable damage to their intended targets.
Founded in 1980, Jeremiah A. Denton III, P.C. is well known in the Virginia Beach community for our commitment to our clients, justice and success. Just as our attorneys worked hard to earn our reputation, we know that you strove to build your own. For that reason, we are determined to hold slanderers responsible for the damage caused by their disparaging remarks about you.
Slander refers to oral statements that are false and damaging to a person’s reputation. To prevail on a slander claim, you must show all of these elements:
Common defenses to slander include that the statement is true or that the words expressed an opinion, rather than a verifiable fact. Although slander and libel are different causes of action, they can both cause significant harm. Our Virginia libel and slander lawyers explain the difference between the two types of defamation and under which principle you should pursue damages.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to free speech — including unpleasant and disturbing speech. This amendment protects a person’s fundamental right to express opinions about issues of public concern.
Slander is not protected speech. Even a slanderous statement directed at a public figure is not protected by the First Amendment, although the case does involve the additional requirement of proving actual malice. Yet the Constitution is often cited as a defense to a slander claim. Our determined lawyers challenge the assertion that the maligning comments made about you fall under protected speech, and we pursue your maximum compensation for damages caused by the slanderer’s actions.
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