A form of publication which tends to cause one to lose the esteem of the community is defamation. This is injury to reputation. A person is liable for the defamation of another. In order to prove defamation, the plaintiff must prove:
• that a statement was made about the plaintiff’s reputation, honesty or integrity that is not true;
• publication to a third party (i.e., another person hears or reads the statement; and
• the plaintiff suffers damages as a result of the statement.
Slander is a form of defamation that consists of making false oral statements about a person which would damage that person's reputation. Defamation which occurs by written statements is known as libel. Libel also may result from a picture or visual representation. Truth is an absolute defense to slander or libel.
If a communication is made in good faith on a subject in which the party communicating it has a legitimate right or interest in communicating it, this communication may be exempt from slander liability due to a qualified privileged.