Defamation & Anti-SLAPP


Defamation, Libel, & Slander–What’s the difference? 

At Dumas & Vaughn, we represent people who have been harmed by defamation, libel, and slander.  Under Oregon law, defamation is defined as a false statement communicated to another person that damages your reputation.  Libel is defamation by writing; slander is defamation by oral communications.  Defamation can take many forms and has proliferated in the internet age, when it is relatively easy to go “viral” by publishing untrue and hurtful things about someone.

It is important to recognize that true statements made about someone are not defamation.  Additionally, you generally have to be able to prove that you have been harmed by the untrue statements.  In some situations, like when someone accuses another person of rape or sexual assault, proof of harm is not required because that is considered “defamation per se.”


If you have been sued for defamation but were exercising certain free speech rights, you may be able to file what’s called an “Anti-SLAPP” motion (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) in Oregon to get the case dismissed early and force the other party to pay your attorney’s fees.  However, anti-SLAPP motions can only be used for certain types of conduct, and each case requires a fact-specific evaluation.

At Dumas & Vaughn, we often see defamation claims and related retaliatory claims filed against victims to try to “chill” or prevent them from speaking out against their abusers.  On the other side of the coin, defamation suits often arise when someone falsely accuses another of sexual assault or abuse.

We can help you set the record straight.

We are skilled at investigating such claims and handling cases with thoroughness and compassion.  We will advocate for your right to be heard and compensated.  As a boutique law firm in the Pacific NW, we maintain a manageable caseload so that we can provide personalized, detailed attention to each case and client.

If you or your child have been the target of defamation, libel, or slander, and you are interested in learning what options are available, please contact us to schedule a consultation.  All contacts are completely confidential.  We will handle your inquiry discreetly and with compassion.


The information in this post is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact a qualified attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed from this post nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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