Therefore, if a plaintiff brings a variety of claims against you based upon allegedly false statements, you might be able to rely upon both defenses to the particular claims asserted as well as First Amendment and state law defenses to defamation (whether or not the plaintiff actually includes a specific defamation claim in his complaint).

On the other hand, it is unlikely that defamation defenses would apply to claims based upon true speech, such as publication of private facts, or intellectual property claims, such as trademark infringement or violations of the right of publicity. However, these claims are not related to injury to personal reputation; rather, they involve revelation of private information (for a private facts claim), damage to a brand or business (for a trademark claim), or misappropriation of the commercial value of one's name (for a right of publicity claim). If it appears that a plaintiff is attempting to use one of these theories of liability to sue you for damage to his or her individual reputation from an allegedly false statement, you probably would have a strong argument that such theories are simply inapplicable. Rather, the plaintiff would have to proceed instead on a defamation claim (with all of the burdens placed upon the plaintiff in such a case).

Who Can Sue For Defamation

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