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Defamation is sometimes termed “defamation of character,” and occurs when someone issues either a spoken or written word designed to negatively impact a person's reputation in the community. If a person or some form of media says or writes something negative about you that is meant to lower your reputation, chances are high that defamation has occurred.
Establishing the truth is probably the single most effective defense that can be offered in such a case. If the remark is hurtful or embarrassing but still truthful, then there isn't much recourse available. Unless the remark, whether spoken or written is absolutely false, then there's not much hope in filing a cause of action against the person or entity that has issued the defamation against you.
If you feel you have been the victim of defamation, whether libel or slander (written or spoken) then you should consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in defamation causes.