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Top 5 Defamation FAQ

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. It's not just good social advice from mom; it can also be good legal advice from an attorney.

While the First Amendment protects free speech, it doesn't protect all speech. And certain negative speech can get you sued. Here are some of the biggest questions regarding defamation law, and where you can turn for answers.

1. Can I Sue for Libel in Small Claims Court?

Maybe the defamatory comments weren't that serious, or you'd rather not go through a full-blown trial. If you're looking at filing a defamation case in small claims court, here's what you need to know.

2. Can I Sue a Website for Libel?

On the one hand, many people are still using pseudonyms on the internet and few take online comments too seriously. On the other hand, the reach of defamatory speech is now worldwide. So are websites liable for libelous comments they make or libelous content on their sites?

3. Is It Worth Suing for Defamation to Protect Your Reputation?

It's a natural, knee-jerk reaction to want to sue the pants off anyone who impugns your good name. But could a lawsuit actually make things worse? Remember, part of winning a defamation lawsuit is proving that the statements were false, which could involve quite a bit of digging into your personal life.

4. Is There Liability for Publishing Fake News?

Who knows if that thing your crazy aunt linked to on Facebook is real? Living in the age of "alternative facts" could mean taking any statements with a grain of salt. Does that mean fake news can't be defamatory?

5. Is the President Immune From Defamation Lawsuits?

Our president says a lot of things; many of them in direct contravention of previous statements he's made. And while all presidents enjoy some immunity from lawsuits in the discharge of their official duties, do those protections extend to defamatory statements made before he was sworn in?

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