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Is It “Libel” or “Slander?” It’s “Defamation”

Last week, my condo association owners meeting got really weird. Board members started yelling at each other, police arrested a board member for violating a restraining order against another board member, other board members openly attacked former board members … it was surreal.

At one point, an owner accused the board of dereliction of duty — specifically, failing to abide by the code of ethics set forth in the CC&Rs. She accused the board of publishing her complaint and libeling her in an email that outed her as the one complaining.

That got me thinking, is an email libel or slander?

In pre-Internet days, it was clear: Slander occurred when the false communication was spoken and heard. Libel occurred when the false communication was written and seen. The laws governing libel and slander, which are collectively known as defamation, are identical.

From what I can gather online, defamation in an email is libel. However, since I am not an attorney, I suggest anyone who believes they have suffered defamation should check their state law.

Until next time! Use the right words!


May 13, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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