Defamation: what a good lawyer does BEFORE any lawsuit is filed

He warns off the guy claiming he was defamed by laying out the defense case in two powerful pages. (Indeed, I’d guess that Trump’s lawyer warned him why he should not file this lawsuit.)

How many times have I repeated this adage from a terrific lawyer I worked for? “Anybody can sue anybody for anything” at any time.

And any big mouthed litigious character can threaten to sue anybody for anything at any time. But before this particular threat could be actuated–if it ever will be–the New York Times’ lawyer wrote a model squashing letter to Trump’s lawyer, tacitly laying out the Times’ case why this putative lawsuit would probably be dismissed almost right off the bat:

This is the letter David McCraw, vice president and assistant general counsel of The New York Times, wrote in response to a request from Marc E. Kasowitz, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, to retract an article that featured two women accusing Mr. Trump of touching them inappropriately years ago, and issue an apology.

Source: The Times’s Lawyer Responds to Donald Trump – The New York Times

The Times letter is an excellent reminder of an important facet of defamation lawsuits. The person claiming to have been defamed must prove that his reputation has been damaged by the alleged libel. I’d guess Mr. McCraw had fun laying out why it wasn’t the Times that damaged Trump’s reputation: it was Trump himself.

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