Libel Essay

745 Words 3 Pages
Libel

When involved in the running or managing of a business, one must always be mindful of the mistakes and wrongdoing that could possibly occur, and how the business will ultimately be affected. There are two areas of the law which deal with these types of problems, consisting of tort and criminal law. A tort is a civil wrong, which does not arise from a contract, and involves injuries to particular persons or property, whereas a crime is considered a public wrong, which is punishable by the state. In tort law, there are three different kinds of torts, including intentional, negligent, and strict liability. An intentional tort requires that the defendant meant to do a certain action, but not necessarily to harm a person or
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There are three things necessary in order to prove defamation, including (1) a false statement, (2) harm to the victim's reputation, and (3) publication of the statement, which must reach someone other than the person being defamed. Defamation can occur toward any living person or organization, but public figures must also prove malice, which generally requires a showing of actual knowledge of the falsehood or reckless disregard for the truth. Although a person is usually required to show actual harm in a case of slander, sometimes the statements are so innately damaging that the person need not show actual damage. Statements of this kind include allegations of serious sexual misconduct, commission of a serious crime, professional incompetence, or having a loathsome disease, and are called slander per se. Libel also does not generally require a showing of actual harm. This area of tort law is exhibited clearly in a St. Louis Post Dispatch article by Michael White. The article, titled "Brown & Williamson fights movie depiction," is about a cigarette maker attacking Wlalt Disney for distorting the truth in recent film. Brown & Williamson accuses Disney of falsely claiming that the life of former B&W executive Jeffrey Wigand was threatened by the company. There were two particular scenes in the movie that B&W are worried about - Wigand finding a bullet and threatening note in his mailbox, and Wigand being followed by someone. The cigarette
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