What arguments should the defendants make in an effort to avoid defamation liability? Should Jones win his case? Your initial response should be a minimum of 200 words without the questions
Defamation occurs when an individual makes a false statement that harms the reputation of another person and the alleged defamatory statement should involve malicious intent (Magin, 2019). These are several defenses that the defendant can use in this case. First, truth is ab absolute defense to defamation. If the statement made against Jones could be substantiated or confirmed as accurate, then it wasn’t defamatory.
Second, the defendant can retract the allegedly defamatory statement that can serve as a defense to any defamation lawsuit, especially if they also offer apologies. The defendant may also ride on the conditional privilege if they can show that the writing was in good faith and the public interest. The First Amendment considers public discussion a political duty. “Good faith” means the writer believed their comment was true, without recklessly failing to discern its falsity.
Jones should not win the case. To prove prima facie defamation, Jones must show four things. First, a false statement purporting to be faced. Second, publication or communication of that statement to a third party. Third, fault amounting to at least negligence. Fourth, damages or some harm emanating from the statement.
Disregarding potentially qualified privilege in this case for the defendant, it is almost impossible for Jones to falsify the statement made in the writing. The terms “powers”, “hatchet” and “pulls the strings” may not count as defamatory. Finally, the sentence “leading Smithville to destruction” is indicated as the author’s question, which does not in any way say Jones is indeed leading the area to destruction.
Magin, E. (2019). The Risks of Defamation: An Analysis into the Driving Factors Determining the Outcome of Commercial Defamation Cases. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.15767.93602/2