Virginia Libel & Slander Questions & Answers

Q: I want to go back to work after this workers comp injury is healed. I hired an attorney. Was I wrong for doing that?

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Libel & Slander and Workers' Compensation for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 26, 2018
Daniel P Leavitt's answer
Your attorney should be able to guide you through this process and advise you. Good luck.

Q: If my husband babymother (child he had iutside our marriage) is always talking bad about me /our kids what do we do?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Communications Law, Internet Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Oct 15, 2018
Daniel P Leavitt's answer
I don't actually see a question here just a statement. I would recommend you document everything and keep your cool but document everything the best way you can and if they break the law or threaten you, you can contact law enforcement. If you have a question regarding custody rights, etc, then you can ask a question under family law and get a family law attorney to answer your questions.

Q: My husbands ex wife has recently accused me of “stalking her neighborhood”, I haven’t, what should I do, if anything?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Jul 10, 2018
Bryan J. Jones' answer
If you feel threatened by her, you may be able to get a protective order against her. The requirement to get a protected order is that she has placed you in imminent fear. That may be difficult if the only thing she is threatening is criminal charges. You should also avoid any contact with her.

Q: I am trying to find out if I someone can sue me after I sold them a car?

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander and Contracts for Virginia on
Answered on May 23, 2018
Steve Miyares' answer
Who has title to the car? That person is the owner and is the one with authority to sell it. If you are not the legal owner if the vehicle, then you did not have legal authority to sell it. You should consult privately with an attorney to review all the facts and circumstances of your situation and advise you on the best course if action for you.

Q: My mother died and left my only sibling, a "deed of trust" which reduced me to 1/3 of estate. How can I contest this?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Libel & Slander and Probate for Virginia on
Answered on May 4, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
It certainly sounds like you need a lawyer. What I don't read in your story is a question. Let me infer that you are asking how to find a good estate litigator. I suggest you visit Avvo.com. Navigate to Find a Lawyer. Type in the county where your mother resided at time of death. Type in "probate" for type of law. Read the client reviews and endorsements. Ignore the ads.

Q: I was asked to take down my review because it was libelous, but I only spoke the truth to warn others, what should I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Apr 24, 2018
Lee E. Berlik's answer
You can find a quick summary of Virginia defamation law at https://www.virginiadefamationlawyer.com/2013/02/defamation-of-character-libel-and-slander-law-in-virginia.html. You'll see that falsity is a required element of any defamation claim. This means that if, as you say, everything you wrote was 100% true, it is not "libelous" and you should be fine. In response to the second part of your question, you should assume that if there is a court case, the plaintiff will probably be able to prove...

Q: Can I be liable for what others state on Facebook if I'm a administrator or moderator of a group?

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Apr 9, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
Generally...no. If you did absolutely nothing else to "re-publish" the statement, then there's almost no possible way that the plaintiff can allege you engaged in any wrongdoing. It would only be wrong if you know that information posted is wrong, and defamatory (impugns on the reputation of another), and you take actions to "re-publish" that information to others (ex: re-post the information yourself; re-open a closed discussion on the topic; etc.).

If you are already being sued by...

Q: I know Va is an at will state, but I was just fired without warning based on false information.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Employment Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 16, 2018
F. Paul Maloof's answer
You certainly can file a lawsuit but you have the burden of proof so get your evidence and witnesses together since those will be required to support your claims.

Q: My ex-girlfriend is posting horrible false stories about me on social media.

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 5, 2018
Lee E. Berlik's answer
If you have a valid libel case, then yes, you can still sue her regardless of whether Facebook takes the posts down. The only effect Facebook's actions would have on your libel claim is that your damages (i.e., the harm caused by the defamatory posts) would be reduced due to the shorter time the public was exposed to the statements. To get a general idea of whether you have a valid libel case against her, see this blog post I wrote a few years ago:...

Q: Can I file harassment charges if someone calls my office and makes false accusations about me that get me in trouble?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 19, 2018
Susan Fremit's answer
You can go directly to the Magistrate's office in the county where you live and file a complaint. That way, you aren't involving the police at all since you say they won't help you.

Q: Can I sue a car dealership for filing criminal charges on me and for wrongful dominion control over car

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander and Personal Injury for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 7, 2018
Mr. Beau Correll's answer
Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. You need to consult with an attorney that specializes in defamation cases. The wrinkle in your case may pertain to whether the statements were legally privileged or not.

Q: single occupant bathroom is it unlawful to record audio of person inside without consent from other side of closed door

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander, Criminal Law and Employment Law for Virginia on
Answered on Sep 12, 2017
F. Paul Maloof's answer
My law practice does not cover unauthorized recorded conversations. Sorry.

Q: I posted a review for a company and it was an honest review but not favorable and now he wants to sue me.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Aug 22, 2017
F. Paul Maloof's answer
That is unfortunate. I sympathize. You can defend yourself in court. The party bringing the lawsuit has to prove liability and also prove damages. You can attack his claims of liability and the damages he claims were suffered. You should probably have a lawyer present you as the case will be detailed and technical in a court room.

Q: Hello, A background check on me provided false information re: a sexual assault conviction. Can I sue?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Jun 9, 2017
F. Paul Maloof's answer
In Virginia, there is no cause of action for "misidentification." If you have evidence and can prove that SSCI intentionally defamed you, you may have a cause of action for that issue. Then you will need to show how you were injured and what was the monetary damages. This will be an uphill battle.

Q: I would like to know when u r arrested for duid and they put in the paper I used profanity what can I do ?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Apr 10, 2017
Susan Fremit's answer
Slander is when someone announces something that is not true which has negative financial consequences. I am a criminal defense attorney and your question deals with civil issues. However, it does not appear that you have a case of slander. You can speak to a litigation attorney for second opinion.

Q: How frequently is social media content and other forms of electronic communication such as, text messages used in cases?

1 Answer | Asked in Communications Law, Libel & Slander, Personal Injury and Employment Law for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 9, 2016
Gary D. Godman's answer
It's used quite often in many different types of cases. If the messages are relevant and overcome any hearsay objections, electronic communications can make or break a case. If you are in a case reliant on what was said on social media or in text, work with an attorney to plan for the appropriate manner to introduce any necessary communications as evidence.

Q: undue influence

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Sep 8, 2016
Gary D. Godman's answer
This post is intentionally vague, which may be appropriate, given the subject matter. It sounds like you need to speak with a local family law attorney to give the full details of what's happening in a private consultation.

Q: why is it that the VA Code § 18.2-417 only speaks of females in context? do slander and libel laws not protect males?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Sep 1, 2016
Gary D. Godman's answer
They do. You have to break down the reading of the statute in this way that skips over the language specific to females by paying particular attention to the use of "or":

"Any person ... who shall falsely utter and speak, or falsely write and publish, of and concerning another person, any words which from their usual construction and common acceptation are construed as insults and tend to violence and breach of the peace ... shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor."

I am not...

Q: if you accidentally mark wron box on concealed carry app do they have a perjury case against you

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Jul 28, 2016
Gary D. Godman's answer
It is possible; consider speaking with a criminal defense / gun rights attorney in your area to discuss if it would be prudent to bring the error to the court's attention. Best to consult sooner rather than later. Good luck to you.

Q: Person A is arrested and being charged with a felony because Person B said they stole car keys. Can person A countersue?

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Jul 8, 2016
Peter Munsing's answer
Only if it can be shown they didn't--apparently person A had the keys or the car.

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