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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49827
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Myself and a few others are being accused of defamation by

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Myself and a few others are being accused of defamation by the president of our rugby club
whom has taken offence when questioned on the setting up of a ltd company and possibly handing our assets over to the company. We only asked to see the documentation of the formation of the structure of the new company before being signed which he refused to do. So, under the constitution of our club we called an egm believing that papers to be signed imminently. He promptly resigned along with his solicitor.We wanted our honest opinions to be heard on the situation and we felt morally obliged to have our say. He has issued a threat of litigation for slander. What do you think our actions should be and what do you think is our position within the law.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What exactly are the alleged slanderous comments you made?
Hello, not sure if you saw my initial query above - What exactly are the alleged slanderous comments you made?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry I have not contacted you earlier but expected an email type response on a different computer then saw money was taken and came back to original computer ad saw reply. Answer, Our opinion was that not all was well and felt our rugby club assets were going to be stripped
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can I elaborate, the comments made were open honest opinions the presidents solicitor was working on the documents to be signed and was also on the board of directors appointed by the president without any membership input. At stake is rather a large amount of money which will be forthcoming to the rugby club if a local development takes place the plans have already been drawn up for a sports complex costing 5 million pounds. We were not against this but felt we needed to see any paper work being drawn up before the trustees signed over the club to the was not forthcoming and it was then things like asset stripping were mentioned and this loose talk got back to him when the egm was called and then he resigned.
Whilst this may appear to be a potential case of defamation (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form), such claims are extremely difficult to pursue. Many people are intent on suing for defamation without having any appreciation of the law behind them, so I will try and clear things up for you now. First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are: 1. The statement has to be untrue.2. It must directly identify the complainant.3. It must have been published, usually communicated to at least another person.4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.5. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant. Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has occurred, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is extremely complex and expensive. As this goes through the High Court, you would need the professional help of specialist defamation solicitors and the costs are undoubtedly going to run into the thousands right at the outset. Also there is no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally. So when you hear about defamation claims being made, these are usually pursued by big corporations or celebrities who have a public image to protect. You must also consider whether you can defend the claim. Even if he can satisfy the criteria to prove the statement was defamatory it could be defended on a number of grounds, including by providing evidence that the statement was substantially true or an honest opinion. At this stage I suggest you clearly protest your innocence, that the comments do not really meet the criteria to amount to slander and that in the unlikely event they did, you can defend them by showing they were an honest opinion. I would hope he is just making threats rather than serious thinking about suing. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ben thank you for your answer. The number three It must have been published usually communicated to another person. Does this mean it had to be In writing to the other person including email?
Hello, publication does not need to be in writing. For example slander is oral defamation, which can arise simply from verbal comments, whereas libel is written defamation which arises out of written comments. So by publication, the law means communication. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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