3.11-10 Defenses - Truth
Revised to January 1, 2008
As I have instructed you, the
burden is on the plaintiff to prove that the defendant made the defamatory
statement about (him/her). Even if the plaintiff does prove that the
statement was made, however, (he/she) cannot recover if the statement was,
in fact, true.
In the defendant's answer,
(he/she) raised the defense that the statement was true. The defendant,
thus, has the burden of proving that the statement was true. The plaintiff
does not have to prove that the statement was false. To sustain this
burden, the defendant must prove that the statements were substantially
The defendant's proof that the
statements were true must be as to all of the libelous statements that you
may find (he/she) made. In addition, the statements must have been true at
the time they were made, not true at an earlier time or prove to be true
because of circumstances that occur after they were made.
If the defendant does prove, by a
preponderance of the evidence, that the statements (he/she) made were
substantially true at the time that (he/she) made them, then (he/she) must
prevail on his defense and your verdict should be for the defendant.