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What is Defamation Per Se?

by | Aug 1, 2021 | Defamation

By living a moral life, you have worked hard to build your reputation in the community. If you are an entertainer, you may also have spent a fortune to develop your professional brand. Either way, a single written or verbal statement may make others look upon you poorly.

In Texas, individuals have a right to protect their reputations from libel and slander. Generally, private citizens must prove someone made defamatory statements negligently. For public officials and figures, the standard is one of actual malice. Sometimes, though, a statement is by its nature defamatory.

Defamation Per Se

With per se defamation, you do not have to offer proof of specific damages. Under Texas law, per se defamation includes any statement or writing that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm a person’s reputation. Generally, per se defamation falls into three categories:

  • Accusations of moral turpitude
  • Accusations of criminal conduct
  • Accusations of loathsome disease

Moral turpitude and criminal conduct

Moral turpitude is any conduct that runs counter to the law, good morals and honesty. For per se definition, it may include criminal behavior or behavior that most Texans view as reprehensible. Obviously, if someone makes untrue allegations about moral turpitude or criminal conduct, it is likely to damage your reputation.

Loathsome diseases

Loathsome diseases are those societies typically look down upon. These may include any medical conditions that individuals perceive to be disgusting or repulsive. Sexually transmitted infections may fall into this category.

Proving per se defamation is often easier than proving other types of defamation. Ultimately, if someone makes false attacks on your character, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for per se defamation.

Call A Texas Defamation Lawyer!

If you have suffered from defamation per se or had your reputation destroyed or tarnished as a result of somebody else’s words, then you need aggressive representation. Call a Houston Texas Defamation Lawyer at the Rose Sanders Law Firm will help fill out the contact form below.



Gavel and Defamation Law Book on Table with Glasses