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Difference Between Libel & Slander

Consult Libel and Slander Lawyers in Virginia Beach

Explaining the difference between the types of defamation

People often confuse libel and slander, mistakenly using the terms interchangeably. Although they are both forms of defamation, they are unique concepts with different criteria of proof.

Founded in 1980, Jeremiah A. Denton III, P.C. reviews your case to determine if you have a cause of action based on either type of defamation. Our Virginia Beach lawyers guide you in pursuing justice against the perpetrators of untruthful and harmful statements.

Common elements of libel and slander

Libel and slander represent two distinct causes of action, but share elements in common, including:

  • The information was published to a third party.
  • The information was false.
  • The publication of the information resulted in damages to your reputation.

Both libel and slander face common challenges by the individual or corporation accused of making slanderous or libelous remarks. The truthfulness of the statement is an absolute defense. The defendant may also claim that the statements were merely opinions and not verifiable facts.  The First Amendment protects certain speech, and even though slander and libel are not a Constitutional right, the line can blur.

How libel and slander differ

The primary distinction between libel and slander is in the medium of publication. Slander refers to a statement that is communicated orally or through another ephemeral means, such as through a gesture or sign language. Libel involves a statement that is transmitted in a concrete form — including printed articles, Internet posts, text messages, videos or drawings. Our Virginia defamation lawyers pursue damages under the applicable theory of the law and collect evidence that supports your claim for slander or libel.

Damages caused by defamation

Both libel and slander have the effect of tarnishing your reputation or that of your business. A defamatory statement made about you personally can harm your standing in the community, affect your child custody rights, lead to your job termination or hinder advancement in your career. If the target is your business, it may experience lost profits and diminished good will. Proving how the defamation harmed you or your company is crucial to maximizing your damages award. Our attorneys think outside the box to gather evidence that shows your status, financial and emotional losses.

Learn the definitions of slander and libel from our lawyers in Virginia Beach

To learn more about the types of defamation, call Jeremiah A. Denton III, P.C. at 757-215-4818 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Virginia State Bar Disclaimer
Every Legal Matter Is Different. The Outcome Of Each Legal Case Depends Upon Many Factors, Including The Facts Of The Case, And No Attorney Can Guarantee A Positive Result In Any Particular Case. The Outcome Of Every Case Will Depend On A Variety Of Factors Unique To Each Case And Case Results Depicted Here Do Not Guarantee Or Predict A Similar Result In Any Future Case.
Prior Cases
  • "Jury awards $3 million in wrongful death murder trial. "

  • "Jury awards $1,200,000 in legal malpractice case "

  • "Denton recognized for two of Virginia's top million dollar-plus verdicts "

  • "WAVY ordered to pay $1.2m for defaming couple "

  • "Student scores $5m jury verdict for libel"

  • "Federal jury awards event planners $600,000 each "

  • "Attorney, firm hit with $420,000 verdict "


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  • "It's nice to know that there are still people like you in this world that are not afraid to go against the grain of society and are willing to stick there neck out for somebody else because of their belief in that person. "

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