actual malice

Noun.  (legal) In United States defamation law, the level of knowledge that must be demonstrated for a public figure to prevail as a plaintiff in a lawsuit for defamation; the defendant must have either known that information published about the plaintiff was false, or must have shown reckless disregard for the truth by not a making simple inquiry or investigation which would have disclosed it.

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This entry was last updated on RefTopia from its source on 3/20/2012.