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Old 08-08-2010, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,240 posts, read 13,952,850 times
Reputation: 6062

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Looks like my fight to get our local animal control to pass some humane policies has now turned into a major battle. I awoke this morning to find the "journalist" for our small town local newspaper has slandered the hell out of me. I'd told her before she'd better be very careful about what she said as everything she says about me she ties to our rescue group. Well, I gave her one pass but this morning she did an entire slanderous article about me and the rescue.

I have no intention of allowing the rescue to suffer or to allow the county to win and not pass any laws on how they must treat the animals in their shelter. I'm not sitting back and taking it. I'm looking for a good, viscious pitbull type lawyer in the Nashville area that likes to fight. I plan on filing suit against the journalist, the local paper and the national company that owns the paper as I had contacted them early last week about her and asked someone to call me and they totally ignored me.

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,419 posts, read 41,164,797 times
Reputation: 81440
If it's in a news article, you mean libel, not slander.

The problem is that libel is VERY hard to prove. The burden of proof is on you, and you have to prove that what was printed is false or was intentionally meant to harm your reputation.

Your best first step is to immediately write a letter to the editor defending what you think was libelous in the article. If you think it is false, you can demand a retraction.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,240 posts, read 13,952,850 times
Reputation: 6062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
If it's in a news article, you mean libel, not slander.

The problem is that libel is VERY hard to prove. The burden of proof is on you, and you have to prove that what was printed is false or was intentionally meant to harm your reputation.

Your best first step is to immediately write a letter to the editor defending what you think was libelous in the article. If you think it is false, you can demand a retraction.
Proving it won't be a problem. I've even called the company that owns the paper and they won't contact me back.

The girl that interviewed me lied about what I said immediately. I called her before she even put out the article and corrected her. She published the article but used everything I said in a twisted context. Then the article she did yesterday that came out in the paper today was just an out and out attack. There's no way around that.

Slander / libel whatever. It may be difficult to prove, but I'm still hiring a lawyer and still fighting this. The paper has been so corrupt, as has been the town, and they've gotten away with it far too long. This is just insane and I won't sit back and have them ruin our good name and the hard work we've done to do good things. I'm furious.
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
957 posts, read 3,320,417 times
Reputation: 432
How much are you willing to spend? A good lawyer will cost dearly and since there will probably be no monetary damages awarded, the lawyer won't take it on a contingency basis.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:46 PM
 
3,907 posts, read 9,530,306 times
Reputation: 3077
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
Proving it won't be a problem. I've even called the company that owns the paper and they won't contact me back.

The girl that interviewed me lied about what I said immediately. I called her before she even put out the article and corrected her. She published the article but used everything I said in a twisted context. Then the article she did yesterday that came out in the paper today was just an out and out attack. There's no way around that.

Slander / libel whatever. It may be difficult to prove, but I'm still hiring a lawyer and still fighting this. The paper has been so corrupt, as has been the town, and they've gotten away with it far too long. This is just insane and I won't sit back and have them ruin our good name and the hard work we've done to do good things. I'm furious.
How did you know what she was going to print before the article came out?
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,240 posts, read 13,952,850 times
Reputation: 6062
Quote:
Originally Posted by akm4 View Post
How did you know what she was going to print before the article came out?
As soon as she hung up the phone with me, she called my shelter cordinator and told him the lies. I was on my way to their house at the time to meet up with them because the news crew was on their way to their house to interview them. When I got there they asked me if I'd said what she said I did. I said no and called her immediately to clarify my statements to her.
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
957 posts, read 3,320,417 times
Reputation: 432
I remember a lawyer friend back in the eighties handled a libel case for a guy that was acquitted of 2nd degree manslaughter. He shot a guy point blank and killed him. He guy was trying to rob him and his family. He had the guys daughter at knife point and started to cut her throat. Her father pulled a gun and shot the guy in the head.

The prosecution said it was an execution style shooting. Fortunately there were witnesses and doctors testimony as to the severity of the daughters wounds. The guy was acquitted of all charges.

After it was all over, some dirt bag reporter interviewed him. He went over the entire incident. He said that he did kill the guy, regretted doing it and given that his daughters life was in imminent danger, he would do it again.

All that made it to the news article was a depiction of a heartless murderer who admitted doing the crime and would have no problem doing it again. No mention of his daughter at all. No mention that the robber was armed. They lost the libel case because the everything that the reporter "quoted" was actually said even though what was said was arranged by the reporter to suit his agenda and set the mood of the article. They wouldn't even print a retraction.

In this case they actually did prove that what was printed caused physical harm. The guy was assaulted by someone who knew the criminal who got shot. It was also proven that he was denied employment based on what was printed.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:42 PM
 
147 posts, read 286,985 times
Reputation: 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossc View Post
All that made it to the news article was a depiction of a heartless murderer who admitted doing the crime and would have no problem doing it again. No mention of his daughter at all. No mention that the robber was armed. They lost the libel case because the everything that the reporter "quoted" was actually said even though what was said was arranged by the reporter to suit his agenda and set the mood of the article. They wouldn't even print a retraction.

In this case they actually did prove that what was printed caused physical harm. The guy was assaulted by someone who knew the criminal who got shot. It was also proven that he was denied employment based on what was printed.
I realize what I'm about to say is a broad generalization, but that is why it is best not to talk to reporters unless you absolutely have to. They can edit whatever you say and take it completely out of context to fit however they want to in their story. Now I'm sure most of them don't do this for moral and ethical reasons, but of course there are those that do.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:37 PM
 
4,740 posts, read 8,751,601 times
Reputation: 4071
mrs1885 - can you provide a link to the article in question?
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Gallatin, TN
3,733 posts, read 6,995,319 times
Reputation: 2872
If I needed a lawyer, I'd go call Bass, Berry, and Sims or Baker Donelson. Both firms with deep ties and long histories. I don't know any specific lawyers there, though.
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