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Nov 22 2009

Eddie Kritzer Cont’d Again

Retaining the fidelity of the font:

“Really how nice of her, all her comments (according to my attorney are libelous.”

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Excerpted from Expert Law:

The most important defense to an action for defamation is “truth”, which is an absolute defense to an action for defamation.

A defense recognized in most jurisdictions is “opinion”. If the person makes a statement of opinion as opposed to fact, the statement may not support a cause of action for defamation.

A defense similar to opinion is “fair comment on a matter of public interest”. If the mayor of a town is involved in a corruption scandal, expressing the opinion that you believe the allegations are true is not likely to support a cause of action for defamation.

A defendant may also attempt to illustrate that the plaintiff had a poor reputation in the community, in order to diminish any claim for damages resulting from the defamatory statements.

Under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1964 Case, New York Times v Sullivan, where a public figure attempts to bring an action for defamation, the public figure must prove an additional element: That the statement was made with “actual malice”. In translation, that means that the person making the statement knew the statement to be false, or issued the statement with reckless disregard as to its truth.

The concept of the “public figure” is broader than celebrities and politicians.

A person can also become a “limited public figure” by engaging in actions which generate publicity within a narrow area of interest. For example, a woman named Terry Rakolta was offended by the Fox Television show, Married With Children, and wrote letters to the show’s advertisers to try to get them to stop their support for the show. As a result of her actions, Ms. Rakolta became the target of jokes in a wide variety of settings. As these jokes remained within the confines of her public conduct, typically making fun of her as being prudish or censorious, they were protected by Ms. Rakolta’s status as a “limited public figure”.

While people who are targeted by lies may well be angry enough to file a lawsuit, there are some very good reasons why actions for defamation may not be a good idea.

The publicity that results from a defamation lawsuit can create a greater audience for the false statements than they previously enjoyed. For example, if a newspaper or news show picks up the story of the lawsuit, false accusations that were previously known to only a small number of people may suddenly become known to the entire community, nation, or even to the world. As the media is much more apt to cover a lawsuit than to cover its ultimate resolution, the net effect may be that large numbers of people hear the false allegations, but never learn how the litigation was resolved.

Another big issue is that defamation cases tend to be difficult to win, and damage awards tend to be small. As a result, it is unusual for attorneys to be willing to take defamation cases on a contingent fee basis, and the fees expended in litigating even a successful defamation action can exceed the total recovery.

Another significant concern is that, even where the statements made by the defendant are entirely false, it may not be possible for a plaintiff to prove all of the elements of defamation. Most people will respond to news that a plaintiff lost a defamation lawsuit by concluding that the allegations were true.

In other words, the plaintiff in a defamation action may be required to expend a considerable amount of money to bring the action, may experience significant negative publicity which repeats the false accusations, and if unsuccessful in the litigation may cement into the public consciousness the belief that the defamatory accusations were true. While many plaintiffs will be able to successfully prosecute defamation actions, the possible downside should be considered when deciding whether or not such litigation should be attempted.

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Everything I’ve written is either an opinion or Statements made in a good faith and reasonable belief that they were true and accurate portrayals of my encounters with Eddie Kritzer.  He is a public figure who has behaved badly in public space.  He has a terrible reputation, which I’ve established on this site.  This is a fair comment on a matter of public interest; it is my opinion that the other people publicly accusing him of mistreatment are being honest.

Obviously it is not possible for everything I’ve said to be libel, and since he will not be specific, I can only assume it’s because he is trying to bully me into not telling the truth.* *this is an opinion.

1 comment

  1. 1
    dobes

    I don’t think you should be taking this guy so seriously. The most important reason he won’t sue you (other than what you’re saying is the truth and more people would know about it if he sued) is that you most likely haven’t got ‘deep pockets’ – a lot of money for him to win. Clearly, money is his main objective in all that he does.

    Forget about him, hang up as soon as you hear his voice on the phone, don’t respond to any e-mails or comments in any way, and as soon as he realizes he won’t get money from you in any way, he’ll be gone.

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