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Defense Against Libel Suits and Claims.  

Annette Flanagin

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (11 ed.)

Print Publication Year: 
Feb 2020
Published Online: 
Feb 2020
Item type: 
Truth is a defense against claims of libel in most cases (see 5.9, Defamation, Libel). Aside from consideration of the truth of damaging statements, some jurisdictions also consider whether damaging statements were made with intent to harm.3 (§5.09) As a result, editors should query authors about any statements that criticize or imply criticism of individuals or corporate entities and ask the authors to provide evidence or documentation to support such statements. If an editor is concerned about the risk vs benefit of publishing such statements, obtaining a legal review as part of the process of peer review is recommended. The legal review should be performed by an attorney with experience in media law. Even though legal review may result in delay and several requests for revision, it may help protect the editor and publisher from a libel claim. In addition, offering those criticized an opportunity to review the material before publication, if deemed appropriate by the editor, or to respond to the criticism after publication may reduce the risk of a successful claim....