Legal Memorandum: Elements of Defamation in NY

Issue: Under New York law, what elements are necessary for a cause of action for

Area of Law: Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Defamation; False statement
Jurisdiction: New York
Cited Cases: 851 N.Y.S.2d 68
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 02/01/2012

[T]he elements of defamation are: (1) a false and defamatory statement concerning defendants, (2) publication by [the defendant] of such statement to a third party, and (3) injury to [the plaintiff].  Facts pertinent to the defamatory statement, including the time and manner in which the statement was made, the identity of the person to whom the publication was made, and the particular words constituting the defamation, must be pleaded with specificity.  However, where the defamatory statement tends to cause harm in one’s trade or profession, the complaining party need not plead or prove special damages.

Constantin Assocs. v. Kapetas 17 Misc. 3d 1137(A), 851 N.Y.S.2d 68 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County 2007).


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