The Seattle Writing Workshop:
Yet every fiction writer bases characters on real people. Memoirists and nonfiction writers identify people by name. How can writers use real people in their work without risking a lawsuit? First, a simple rule.
For instance, you may thank someone by name in your acknowledgements without their permission. If you are writing a non-fiction book, you may mention real people and real events. However, if what you write about identifiable, living people could be seriously damaging to their reputation, then you need to consider the risks of defamation and privacy and how to minimize those risks.
I am not talking about portraying your mother-in-law as a bossy queen bee; I am talking about portraying your mother-in-law as a drug dealer. Common sense and a cool head are key. The laws of other countries are more favorable to the targets. Defamation To prove defamation, whether libel for written statements or slander for spoken ones, a plaintiff target must prove all of the following: False Statement of Fact.
If a statement is true, then it is not defamatory no matter how offensive or embarrassing. Parody is not defamatory if the absurdity is so clear no reasonable person would consider the statements to be true.
Of an Identifiable Person: A defamatory statement must contain sufficient information to lead a reasonable person other than the target to identify the target. Typically, the target must be a living person, but companies and organizations have sued for defamation.
Oprah Winfrey was sued by a group of Texas ranchers after saying she had sworn off hamburgers because of mad cow disease. Oprah won the case. One person other than the target must read or hear the statement. The statement must be more than offensive, insulting, or inflammatory.
If the target is a public official or a public figure, then the plaintiff must prove the statement was made with actual knowledge that it was false or with a reckless disregard for the truth.
If the target is against a private individual, courts generally require some fault or negligence by the defendant. Invasion of Privacy Claims Even if you publish the truth, you may still be sued for invasion of privacy if you disclose private information that is embarrassing or unpleasant about an identifiable, living person and that is offensive to ordinary sensibilities and not of overriding public interest.
The target must have a reasonable expectation of privacy.Having a number of character references written and presented at court is very important. It is sometimes the most important piece of evidence for a defendant. This webpage is for Dr. Wheeler's literature students, and it offers introductory survey information concerning the literature of classical China, classical Rome, classical Greece, the Bible as Literature, medieval literature, Renaissance literature, and genre studies.
A writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate their ideas.
Writers produce various forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays, screenplays, and essays as well as various reports and news articles that may be of interest to the public. Writers' texts are published across a range of media. The practical guides and resources in this section will help you deal with your legal problem or represent yourself in a court or tribunal.
You will find step-by-step guides for going to court, as well as sample forms and answers to your frequently asked questions. A character reference letter for court is very important.
There are templates and examples further down this page.
Getting character references right is an important part of a lawyer’s job. Step by step guide to writing a letter of recommendation. Employment recommendation Whether you are laid off or leave your job on your own accord a letter of recommendation from your employer can be a valuable tool for finding a new job.