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Attorneys At Law, Representing Employees in Civil Rights and Employment Litigation

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Justice For Employees Is Our Business, Our Only Business

Greenberg & Weinmann has successfully represented California employees for over 25 years. In the process, we have provided guidance thoughtfully and obtained justice with steely resolve.

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Greenberg & Weinmann has aggressively pursued and obtained justice and dignity on behalf of employees since our first trial victory on behalf of a mistreated employee in Los Angeles Superior Court over 25 years ago.

We have achieved numerous six- and seven-figure results on behalf of our clients.

We pledge our loyalty and undivided attention to our clients.

If you are uncertain whether you have a case, please read our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). If you'd like to consult with us, please call us at 310-319-6188 or fill out our "Ready to Talk?" form.

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What Qualifies as Actionable Defamation: Fact vs. Opinion

The distinction between fact versus opinion is often difficult to assess, in part because language is susceptible to different meanings depending on the context. We ourselves had a case where an employer falsely stated that our client was terminated for “despicable conduct.” The court threw out our defamation claim before trial finding that “despicable conduct” was an opinion, but after we won at trial on other claims and cross-appealed to reinstate our defamation claim, the appellate court ruled in our favor and found that it was for the jury to decide whether there were defamatory facts implied by that statement. Clearly, our appellate court was right to conclude that such issues, which are highly fact-driven and context dependent, should be decided by the trier of fact, which in most cases means the jury and not the judge. This case illustrates just how close the issue is of whether a statement is a fact or opinion and how judges may differ on their interpretation of the law.

Making the distinction between fact versus opinion is not always easy and must be viewed under the totality of the circumstances. Some factors that courts consider in deciding whether a statement is a fact or opinion include:

  • The context upon which the statement is made                                                                                                                
  • Whether the statement is provably false                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • The precision and specificity of the statement                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Words of apparency (“in my opinion”)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • The medium                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • The intended audience                                                                                                                                 

The more a statement implies a definitive act that can be proven to be true or false the more likely it is to be a fact. On the other hand, the more a statement is couched in cautionary language making it clear the speaker is expressing his personal point of view, the more it is likely to be considered an opinion.  

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The information contained above is intended for purely informational purposes.
It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. 
Use of such material does not, in any way, constitute an attorney-client relationship; only an express signed agreement can create such a relationship.

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