Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

Can I be sued for libel for this email?

My ex-boss, ''Joe'' is being sued by an indepedent contractor that worked for him, ''Dan''. About 2 weeks before I quit working for Joe, Dan sent me an email wishing me well at my new job. He mentioned that he was going to take Joe to court soon for the non-payment of Dan's invoices. I replied saying that I didn't blame Dan for taking him to court; Joe was always agreeing to pay vendors and then backing out and not paying, or trying to pay less than the amount due. Needless to say, I was ery frustrated at that point with Joe, and couldn't wait to leave this awful job (Joe really does not have much moral character. Anyway). I realize it was dumb of me to put this in writing and let emotion get the best of me. Now Dan is using this email correspondence as part of his case against Joe, saying that my statement establishes a pattern of non-paying behavior on Joe's part. My question is, can Joe sue me for libel? Or anything else? This is not truly libel, b/c the statement I made about Joe is very true. But I don't have any physical proof that it's true, since I no longer work there and don't have access to the files or my old emails. Please help!

Asked on 4/17/08, 10:16 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Lowell Houghton Law Offices of Hagop Chopurian
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Re: Can I be sued for libel for this email?

You can be sued. If the statement is true it's not libel. To make a suit worthwhile you must prove damages and you need a defendant that has insurance or assets. Very few libel claims are worth purshuing because of this.

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4/18/08, 12:49 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless
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Re: Can I be sued for libel for this email?

Whether he can or not doesn't matter, it's whether he does or not. Anybody can sue anybody for anything. Winning is different. IF he does, or threatens to, feel free to contact me for the legal help you'll need. At that point it may be possible to convince him he doesn't really have a case. Truth is a defense for you. Plus, your 'hearsay' statements can't be used as evidence.

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4/18/08, 1:12 pm

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