Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Dangers of Defamation

Jacob A. Stein wrote an interesting article in this months Washington Lawyer about several plaintiffs who gravely regretted filing defamation lawsuits.  The focus is primarily on Alger Hisss, Oscar Wilde and General MacArthur but it clearly has relevance for Roger Clemens (especially in light of his alleged relationship with Mindy McCready) in his suit against his former trainer.

The ultimate lesson for plaintiff's counsel is to remember--before filing suit--to make certain that your client understands that truth is a defense to defamation.  This would have been a good lesson for both Hiss and Wilde as they were each ultimately convicted based on information which came to light during their defamation suits.

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