In the years since this web site first put up a "Quick Tips" page on libel and slander, we've gotten thousands of emails from people asking for legal advice.

The stories are pretty horrible, and they don't just happen to the unlucky. We've heard from corporate executives who have been reduced to convenience store checking, young women in high school being slandered online by boys they refused, people denied promotions because someone else was after the same job, people in small towns who finally left town driven out by neighbors, ruined businesses and professional reputations, and – maybe still the one that bothers us most – people whose finances have been so battered they can't afford medical insurance anymore.

It's easy to laugh off slander at first. "No one will believe that," we think. "Only idiots would believe that," we tell ourselves. In fact, that's what we here at the web site did think, until we started reading the emails. Then we realized that a lot of slanderers keep at it, year after year; you become a hobby to them. Twenty years ago they would spread rumors that you were an embezzler; nowadays they spread rumors that you're a racist or a child molester. No one is exempt – we even hear from victims in schools and churches.

For a long time we recommended Bruce Sanford's Synopsis of Libel and Privacy. A very good book, if hard to find. But in the end we faced up to the fact that it's for newspaper reporters, not the average person. Thanks to reader feedback, we asked the author of Dancing With Lawyers to write Fighting Slander, a plain-English guide to defending yourself against defamation. Unlike the expensive lawyers' manuals that are about rich publishers' worries, this guide deals with the defamation ordinary people and businesses face: slander in the workplace, from former bosses, ex-spouses, competitors, and other situations found in daily life – including Internet libel, and defamation by business competitors.

More and more people are falling victim to slander and libel as we move into the information age. Most opt for one of two solutions: 1) Do nothing and suffer. 2) Write a $10,000 retainer check to an attorney who has never dealt with defamation. The first strategy always fails, and – all too often – the second strategy does no better.

Start With the Basics – Learn Your Legal Rights for $19.95.

The guide is applicable in all 50 states. Because most slander and libel law is a result of Federal appeals court decisions, or the U.S. Supreme Court, almost all of this book applies across the U.S. (though there are definitely variations in diffrent state's laws of what is and is not defamation).


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If you are not satisfied with the guide, you may return it for a full refund, no questions asked. If you lose the file – computer crash, whatever – anytime in the next year, we will replace it at no charge. (Our privacy policy is short: we don't sell information, and never have.)

Fighting Slander cover

Fighting Slander - Personal Edition – a 70 page guide in PDF format. $19.95.
   (A lot of research has gone into this guide. It would cost you several thousand dollars to reproduce it – or get it from an expensive libel lawyer.
Table of contents below.)

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Fighting Slander - Business Edition – a 78 page guide in PDF format. $24.95.
   This contains all the material in the personal edition, plus additional material – not listed in the table of contents below – about the particular problems businesses and organizations face with media exposure, competitors' slander, and whispering campaigns. It may also be useful for public figures, or those in the news a lot.

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The guide is fully printable and also readable on any personal computer, tablet computer, superphone, or recent Kindle or Nook. The download link will be emailed to you within minutes.

The charge will be billed through our parent company as "Hastings Research". Please note that the download link will arrive in an email from "Hastings Research" not (in case you have spam filters set up).

Fighting Slander Table of Contents
Fourth Edition, updated and expanded February 2012.

How To Use This Guide
The Law In Brief
Definitions of Defamation of Character, Slander, and Libel
    Defamation By the Press, and Defamation By Individuals
Elements of Defamation of Character, Slander and Libel
    Identifiable Victim
    Emotional Distress
Good Defenses
    Public Figure
    The Comments Were Invited by the Plaintiff
    He's Dead!
    Words Spoken In the Heat of Anger
Worthless Defenses
    "I only told one person!"
    "I was just repeating it."
    "I didn't give his/her name."
    "It was just a practical joke."
The Right to Privacy
    What Is a Public Figure, Anyway?
Statutes of Limitations – usually 1-2 years; act promptly!
Sizing Up Your Legal Situation
People Who Just Don’t Get It
The Middle Ground
Major-League Kooks
Special Situations
    Workplace Defamation
    Lawsuits and Criminal Charges
    Internet Libel – covers email, IM, forums, social media, and web sites
    Libel By the Mainstream Press
    Small Town Slander
    Privilege ("absolute" or "qualified")
    Courtroom Slander by Witnesses
Taking the Right Attitude
Before You Call a Lawyer
Getting the Facts
Private Investigators
Doing It Yourself
    Keeping A Log
Nailing Down Your Legal Situation
Learning Your State’s Laws
    Researching Defamation Laws Yourself
    A Warning About Precedents
How To Research Jury Verdicts Without Spending a Fortune
    Do It Yourself In a Legal Library
    Telephone Lawyers
    Jury Verdict Research
Actually Hiring a Lawyer
Finding a Slander Lawyer
Start With the Cheapest Solutions
    Cease and Desist letters – example, plus how to write and send them
Things You Should NOT Do
Backlash and Common Sense
Last Resorts
Jury Verdict Research Using The Internet
    Jury Verdict Companies
    Other Information About Research Jury Verdicts on the Internet
    Using Search Engines to Find Jury Verdicts
    Jury Verdict Data from St. Louis, Missouri, and surrounding counties
    Analysis of Jury Verdicts - Which Cases Win Damages, and Which Don't
Previous Employer Research Companies
Hot Button Words ("innocent" words that courts have found to be defamatory)

Up to Ordering Information

For customer service, please contact us at or  (415) 694–2112, 8 a.m - 5 p.m. Pacific Time. (But please, no legal advice! The person answering will know the guide well, but will NOT be a lawyer licensed to give advice.)