Under the group defamation rule, a member of a defamed group may not recover unless the defamatory statement can be reasonably understood to refer specifically to that individual. The predominant approach in making the determination of whether a member has an actionable claim places heavy emphasis on the distinction between large and small groups. While that distinction is defensible, the imprecise underpinnings of the approach has left it vulnerable to criticism and to periodic proposals for other standards that do not serve the rule’s purposes as well. This article offers the certainty principle as a central justification of the prevailing standard for group defamation issues and explains how the principle operates in a number of distinct settings where the group defamation problem arises.
- group defamation,
- certainty principle
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nat_stern/3/