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Mexican Law/Defamation of Character

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Question
I live in Mexico, and was volunteering for a non-profit.  We hired a guy to do some legal work.  He misrepresented his ability to get things done and bullied me.  I complained to him and told some other people that he was a liar.  He is threatening to sue me for defamation of character.  Am I in serious trouble?

Answer
Dear Lee,

The short answer is, I wouldn't worry about it too much. You can mention to him that you will file criminal charges related to his professional short-comings. (As a general rule, negligence in Mexico is a crime.)

Defamation is a quickly changing field in Mexican law. Traditionally, defamation was a crime but now there is a trend to de-criminalize it and treat it as a civil action. The new defamation paradigm is modeled after the US experience. (for example, the justifications for the new laws typically cite the US Supreme Court case of New York Times v. Sullivan)

If things get ugly, you can email me directly: johnleeward@buholegal.com

Regards,

Lic. John Lee Ward
Córdoba, Veracruz

Mexican Law

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John Lee Ward

Expertise

I can respond to any question related to Mexican Law and common business practices in Mexico. I can also compare and contrast between the American and Mexican legal systems.

Experience

Licenciatura en Derecho from the Universidad del Golfo en Cordoba, Veracruz. (Cedula Profesional No. 5713238) Maestria en Derecho from the Universidad de Cristobal Colon en Veracruz, Veracruz. (Cedula Professional No. 6358321) Currently a Candidate for a Doctorado en Derecho from the Universidad de Cristobal Colon. 5 years of litigation experience in Mexico.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors in Electronic Engineering, California Polytechnic State Univ. Juris Doctor, Concord University in Los Angeles Licenciatura en Derecho, Universidad del Golfo, Mexico Maestria en Derecho, Universidad de Cristobal Colon, Mexico Doctorado en Derecho (In Progress), Universidad de Cristobal Colon, Mexico

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