Personal Opinion Legal Definition

Statsky, William P. 2003. Introduction to paralegalism: perspectives, problems and skills. 6th ed. Clifton Park, N.J.: Thomson/Delmar Learning. The first example gives true, non-defamatory facts on which a reasonable conclusion is based (that Carol is an alcoholic), and also highlights the limitations of your knowledge (that you have only seen Carol five times). It would be protected as an expression of opinion. In the second example, readers would probably assume that there are unspoken and defamatory facts on which your conclusion is based. Therefore, it would probably not fall within the scope of privilege. In the United Kingdom and other common law countries, a legal opinion also refers to written legal advice on a point of law issued either by a lawyer or solicitor (often referred to as a “lawyer`s opinion”) or, occasionally, by a senior judicial officer, such as an Attorney General.

If the opinion is given by a foreign lawyer or law firm, it is generally referred to as “foreign legal advice”. Keep in mind that even if you state the facts you rely on for your opinion, but those facts turn out to be false, privilege does not apply. For example, if you say, “In my opinion, Danielle is failing school because she failed biology,” the privilege would not apply if she got a C in biology. We can give you our legal advice or we can help you get legal advice from a lawyer. We believe that our opinions are practical and allow you to make good decisions and follow the right course of action. An expert opinion is not the same as a legal opinion. Here`s the process of getting legal advice: Note that each state decides what is required to establish defamation and what defenses are available, so you should review your state`s specific law in the State Law: Defamation section of this guide to determine how privilege of opinion works in your jurisdiction. A statement prepared by a judge or court to announce the decision after the hearing of a case; a summary of the facts, a statement of the applicable law and its relationship to the facts, the reasons for the decision and a judgment; and is usually submitted in writing, but sometimes an oral opinion is made. In summary, courts often determine whether a statement is a protected opinion, but much remains to be determined, such as how the courts would deal with the nature of many discussion forums.

A 2001 case involving the privilege of opinion is worth citing extensively to show what approach courts can take in determining whether an online publication is an expression of opinion or fact. Referring to a message posted on a financial bulletin board website, the Court noted the following: Free and reliable legal information for consumers and legal professionals Court opinions are the statements of judges about legal controversies presented to them. In a common law system, the opinions of the courts are the law by which all disputes are resolved. Lawyers analyze previous opinions on similar legal issues and try to draw parallels between their case and favorable court opinions and distinguish negative opinions. Judges consider relevant opinions in making their decisions. At the beginning of the notice, the court briefly provides information about the facts of the case and the issues related to the case. It then describes the applicable legal rules and explains how they relate to the facts of the case. To determine the applicable law, the court first looks for the relevant laws.

If the action is not regulated by law, the court relies on previous decisions in similar cases or precedents. If it is a first impression, that is, there is no law or precedent governing the case, the court bases its opinion on similar decisions and its own reasoning. The FindLaw Legal Dictionary – free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries. The right to express oneself, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, includes the right to express opinions, to criticize others, and to express oneself on matters of public interest. It also protects against the use of extreme exaggerations and statements when it is clear that they are rhetorical tricks. As a result, you can safely express your opinion that others are incompetent, stupid, foolish, failed, etc. Even if these statements could hurt the subject`s feelings or diminish his reputation. Such terms represent what are called “pure opinions” because they cannot be proven to be true or false.

Consequently, they cannot form the basis of an action for defamation. Are you a lawyer? Visit our professional website » Opinions are published in jurisdictions normally published at the request of the court, and to the extent that they contain statements about what the law is and how it should be interpreted, they reinforce, modify, set or overturn precedents. If a court decides that a notice must be published, the notice may be included in a volume of a series of books called Law Reports (or journalists in the United States). Published court opinions are also collectively referred to as case law and represent one of the most important sources of law in common law legal systems. Several areas of business practice require formal legal advice from lawyers. The legal aid scheme in the United Kingdom requires legal advice demonstrating a reasonable chance of success before the Legal Aid Board funds an application. Professional negligence insurance policies often require the advice of legal counsel before the insurer is required to pay for an alleged claim (sometimes called a QC clause if it is to be the opinion of a senior lawyer). A good opinion is practical, specific, based on legal theory and recommends action. Examples of protected opinions include: However, not all opinions based on underlying facts are necessarily outside the privilege of opinion. If you state the facts on which you base your opinion, and the opinion you express could reasonably be derived from those true facts, you are protected even if your opinion turns out to be false. For example, if you were to say, “In my opinion, Danielle is failing in school,” this would likely lead your readers to assume that there are unwritten facts that you relied on to draw your conclusion.

Such a statement would not be protected because privilege does not protect the backdoor entry of facts as “opinion” through allusions. On the other hand, if you say, “In my opinion, Danielle fails in school because she`s blonde and the only thing I see in the library is checking Facebook,” this provides the reader with the information you`re basing the opinion on and allows the reader to draw their own conclusion. The final section of a majority or majority opinion is the judgment of the court. The judgment is the court`s official decision on the rights and claims of the parties and resolves the dispute between them. This may be a final decision or refer the case back to a lower court for further consideration. A judgment may be entirely in favour of one party or partly in favour of one party and partly in favour of another party. It may be a simple confirmation or annulment of the decision of a lower court, or it may confirm on some issues, revert to others and take pre-trial detention in still others. After these credentials, most journalists insert a summary of the facts and decision. In addition, some journalists classify the legal issues applied by the court into individual paragraphs, called main notes, which help the reader extract and analyze each legal concept discussed. The summary and top notes are written by the journalist`s editor for the convenience of the reader and are not part of the court`s opinion. Opinions in private are drawn up by a single judge to rule on a party`s request for interim measures, such as a stay of the lower court`s judgment, leave to stay or an injunction. n.

An expression of opinion (no matter how ridiculous) based on facts that are properly stated and do not claim dishonorable motives on the part of the purpose of the comment. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that to protect free speech, statements about a public figure (politician, incumbent, movie star, author, etc.), even if false and harmful, are fair comments, unless the victim can prove that the opinions were expressed maliciously – with hatred, dislike, intent and/or desire to harm. Thus, a public figure cannot bring a defamation action on the basis of published opinions or alleged information that would form the basis of a lawsuit if said or published about an individual who does not deserve an opinion or comment. This is a crucial defence against defamation lawsuits brought by media representatives. In general, courts will consider the context and medium in which the alleged defamation took place. For example, a statement is considered an opinion rather than fact if it appears on an editorial blog rather than an investigative journalism article. The broader context may also provide a framework for the court: during the McCarthy-era witch hunts of the 1950s, for example, courts regularly ruled that calling someone a “communist” was defamatory; In modern times, “communist” has taken on a more general (though still often pejorative) political meaning, and courts would almost certainly consider the use of the word a protected opinion. National Directory of Law Societies and Legal Resources for Consumers In general, facts are statements that may prove to be true or false; Opinions, on the other hand, are matters of faith or ideas that cannot be proven in one way or another.