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How can you win a defamation of character case in civil trial?

Defamation Law Discussion Forum

How can you win a defamation of character case in civil trial?

Postby thom » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:42 am

My first trial for law class is coming up in a few months, the trial is about the plaintiff Jamie suing his former English teacher Drew which is my client. The plaintiff wrote an essay for a scholarship it was $80,000. The Drew posted that Jamie plagiarized his essay on a new website similar to Facebook, the scholarship committee saw this post and decided to revoke Jamie's $80,000 reward. So he sued Drew for the $80,000 my Evidence is the website posting from drew and the acceptance letter from the scholarship committee and a few witness testimonies. What can i do to win this case please help i really need it thanks alot
thom
 
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How can you win a defamation of character case in civil trial?

Postby josephus » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:50 am

"The Solution" is right about having to prove harm was caused ... and that is evident in that the scholarship was withdrawn.

You can't prove that something isn't plagiarized, you can only prove that something is plagiarized. The whole "impossible to prove a negative" thing.

You would have to question the defendant in the case and put the onus on him to prove his claim, thus proving he defamed his accuser ... or proving that the accuser did in fact plagiarize his essay.
josephus
 
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How can you win a defamation of character case in civil trial?

Postby jorel » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:52 am

"The Solution" is right about having to prove harm was caused ... and that is evident in that the scholarship was withdrawn.

You can't prove that something isn't plagiarized, you can only prove that something is plagiarized. The whole "impossible to prove a negative" thing.

You would have to question the defendant in the case and put the onus on him to prove his claim, thus proving he defamed his accuser ... or proving that the accuser did in fact plagiarize his essay.
The proof is all on the Claimant. You have to first prove that your client was "harmed" by the defendants actions. (which having his reward withdrawn would be considered harmful) That is the easy part.

Next you have to prove the claims of Plagiarizm are not true. That he did NOT Plagiarize. If, Jamie in fact stole Drew's work, it is Not defamation of character, because what he said was true.
jorel
 
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How can you win a defamation of character case in civil trial?

Postby trucker » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:54 am

You need to prove that the essay was in fact plagiarized. That's the heart of the case. If what the teaches posted on the website was the truth the plaintiff has no case. If it wasn't true and the teacher knew it he has no defense. In that case I would try to show that he reasonably believed that it was true and didn't tell a lie on purpose.
trucker
 
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How can you win a defamation of character case in civil trial?

Postby varik » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:56 am

Well, the only way you can win this case is by providing the plagarized essay. If he can't show that Jamie's essay was, in fact, plagarized, then he loses.
varik
 
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