Lupetin Law
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Lupetin Law
Brendan Lupetin

301 Grant Street- 36 Floor
Pittsburgh PA 15219
(412) 765-3800

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Lupetin Law

People in Pittsburgh, just like anywhere else, can be the victim of defamation. I know because I have successfully represented a number of defamed Pittsburghers.

The statutory definition of defamation in Pennsylvania is codified at 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 8343. So far as defamation laws go around the country, PA's law is fairly intricate.

Public or Private Figure?

The first unique aspect of PA defamation law that affects people in Pittsburgh is that it differentiates between public, limited public and private figures.

Some examples of individuals deemed to be public officials or all-purpose public figures by Pennsylvania courts include:

* police officers;
* public high school teachers and coaches;
* a school board director;
* a candidate for judge;
* a celebrity with access to the media; and
* a union official.

Some examples of individuals deemed to be limited-purpose public figures by Pennsylvania courts include:

* a locally known singer who posed for and was interviewed by Playboy magazine;
* an architect/engineer whose public building projects had been the subject of public controversy; and
* the president of an art foundation presiding over a publicized exhibit.

Some examples of individuals deemed to be private figures by Pennsylvania courts include:

* a member of the board of a non-profit organization;
* a dentist who received public state reimbursement for low income patients; and
* a host of a private party complained about by neighbors to a newspaper.

Why are these distinctions important? Because in Pennsylvania, a private figure plaintiff bringing a defamation lawsuit only has prove that the defendant was at least negligent with respect to the truth or falsity of the defamatory statements. This is a relatively easy standard for someone to establish.

But Public officials, all-purpose public figures, and limited-purpose public figures have a much higher threshold to meet. People in Pittsburgh deemed public figures must prove that the defendant acted with actual malice, i.e., knowing that the statements were false or recklessly disregarding their falsity. Establishing that a person or persons acted with malice in publishing defamatory statements is a very difficult burden to meet.

If you believe you may have been defamed by something someone has said or published about you, please contact me, Brendan Lupetin, Esq., to learn about your legal rights- Email: Phone: 412-765-3800.

Please Call: 412-765-3800

Please Call: 412-765-3800

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