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Welcome to Heckler Law Office's new legal blog. This blog will provide our followers with a forum to ask legal questions and receive answers from a licensed attorney. We will also post updates about developments in Michigan law that might be of interest to our followers. If you have a legal question or a topic that you would like Heckler Law Office to cover, please let us know. 
 


Comments

02/12/2015 6:35pm

i have a question regarding slander. Not sure where I'm supposed to ask the question. Lol.

Reply

Thank you for your inquiry.

Slander is spoken or oral defamation; whereas, libel is written defamation. According to the Michigan Court of Appeals, “[a] communication is defamatory if, under all the circumstances, it tends to so harm the reputation of any individual that it lowers the individual’s reputation in the community or deters others from associating or dealing with the individual.” However, a statement of opinion may not be defamation if it is reasonably understood to be an opinion. For example, if some calls you "terrible" that is not actionable as slander because it is understood that calling a person "terrible" is a statement of opinion. On the other hand, if someone tells others that you have been convicted of a crime when such statement is untrue you may have an actionable claim.

Generally, the plaintiff can recover only actual damages based on injury to property, business, trade, profession, occupation, or feelings. MCL 600.2911(2)(a). However, a private person (as opposed to a public figure or celebrity) can only recover damages for loss of reputation or feelings if he or she proves actual malice. If a private person can prove only negligence, he or she is limited to recovery of economic damages, including attorney fees."Actual malice" means knowledge of the statement’s falsity or reckless disregard for its truth or falsity.

Therefore, a plaintiff in an action for slander must generally prove all of the following:

The defendant made a statement concerning the plaintiff.
The statement was false.
The statement was not privileged.
The statement had the tendency to harm the plaintiff’s reputation.
The defendant published the statement to a third party.
The defendant acted negligently or with actual malice in making the statement.
The plaintiff suffered damages as a result.

If you have a more specific question, please feel free to call me at (810) 227-1700.

Reply
Denise M
02/17/2015 12:45pm

I fell into the "90 Day Grace Period" TRAP unknowingly in 2014 I feel because I wasn't legally or properly informed. I believe the insurance company did not properly provide a lot of my information and reach deadlines to do what they did send.

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Christine Heckler
03/24/2015 1:30pm

Dear Denise:

Unfortunately, you have not asked a question. However, I would be happy to speak with you if you would like to call my office and provide more details.

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    Christine M. Heckler is the founder of Heckler Law Office and a licensed Member of the State Bar of Michigan

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