Keep in mind that rewriting news items in a blog format will limit your ability to invoke the wire service defense. When you choose to modify and comment on the material, you will likely lose the ability to assert this defense.

Not all states recognize the wire service defense, so you should consult your state defamation section of this legal guide for more information.

Statute of Limitations

"Statute of Limitations" is a term used by courts to describe the maximum amount of time plaintiffs can wait before bringing a lawsuit after the events they are suing over have occurred. This time limit is typically set by state statute and is intended to promote fairness and keep old cases from clogging the courts.

Each state sets it own time limits for bringing a lawsuit and a court will typically apply the appropriate statute of limitations of the state in which the suit is filed. A relatively short limitations period is an acknowledgment of the importance of free speech principles, since a short time period reduces the potential chilling effects of speech-challenging lawsuits.

Because each state has its own statute of limitations for defamation claims, which vary between one and three years, you should refer to the State Law: Defamation section to find out what the specific statute of limitations is in your state.

Determining When the Statute of Limitations Period Begins

Generally speaking, the limitations period begins to run when a defamatory statement is "published" (i.e., communicated to someone other than the plaintiff).

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