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  1. #1
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    Apr 2005
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    6

    Default slander

    I am a teacher who has been slandered and defamed by a student. I have a witness who can support me against this slanderous statement made about me to my superior. I want to sue this student(age 21)for defamation of character as the statement does impune my reputation.Should I?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
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    28,626

    Default Defamation Suits

    I tried to outline the considerations which weigh against filing a defamation suit in this article.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2005
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    6

    Default

    While I understand the negative aspects of filing a lawsuit for defamation or slander , I also believe that a college student who chooses to defame a professor, for totally unfounded and false allegations, should not be allowed to "get away with this". Am I wrong?

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    Default Defamation Suit

    That's really more of a question you need to answer for yourself, based upon the facts and circumstances. Will this college student have any resources to pay a damages award, in the event that you are successful in a suit?

  5. #5
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    Apr 2005
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    Default

    This student was accompanied by her father in her visit to my superior to make the slanderous statement. Therefore the suit would be filed against her father as well as she, since he obviously supported her in her slanderous statement. My reputation is impecable at this University and to allow one student to defame me with what is false statements for which I have a witness on my behalf is the perverbial "bitter pill". I, however, do not wish to have this bandied about thus providing fodder for the rumor mill. Is it very difficult to win a lawsuit for defamation when you have a witness that will discredit the statement?

  6. #6
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    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    Default Defamation Suits

    I discussed some of the difficulties in bringing a defamation suit in the article linked above.

    It is unlikely that you could bring a suit against her father merely for being there, even if he supported the student. You also have issues of damages, if the complaint was made to only one person (who presumably did not believe the allegations).

    If you wish to have your situation reviewed for the viability of your defamation action, I suggest you track down a lawyer near you who handles defamation lawsuits and schedule a consultation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    6

    Default

    My situation with the student who defamed me has now escalated to the point that my job may be in jeopardy. It appears that the higher administration "just wants her to go away" therefore they have thus far met all of her demands. Why? Because the University is so afraid of a lawsuit by a student (which she treatened albeit all of her evidence is falsified). The administration has chosen not to allow me to provide evidence on my own behalf but did allow her to provide " so called "witnesses on her behalf.
    I feel that I have been remiss in not giving you more background info on the situtation,so if I may I will explain what led up to this. My student worker and I were in my office when the student in question came into the office. A conversation ensued between the student worker and this student that soon escalated into name calling, threats,"I'm going to kill you",etc. 99% being said by the student, not by my worker. When the student got in my worker's face (approximately 10" away) and stuck her finger in her face,I had to intervene. I demanded that the student leave my office which she did not respond to. I then stepped between her and my worker and took the student by the elbows and guided her out of the door and closed it. I returned to my office, called Campus Security who told me that they could not come at this time but since the student had apparently left, they would like my student worker to come to the security office and file a report on the next day, which she did. Two days later I was informed by my superior that this student and her father had come to his office with a complaint that I had manhandled her. She also acccused my worker of calling her names that she most certainly did not do.
    One of the demands made by this student was that my student worker be fired and it was done. My worker was not allowed to defend herself or provide evidence or witnesses, as was I. My feeling is that within a few days I will also be terminated as I do not have tenure at present. This University is so frightened of lawsuits that this student was able to lie about the circumstances surrounding the events in my office, and in order to avoid her threat of suit, my administration gave in to her demands.
    Do you ,as an attorney,still feel that I should not persue slander and defamation?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,626

    Default Defamation Suit

    Nobody here has told you not to sue. You asked what the downside was, and you received information on the possible downside.

    If you wish to have your case evaluated for its possible merits, you should have your situation reviewed by a defamation lawyer in your state.

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