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The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C.

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Divorce and Family Law Matters

We are now accepting clients statewide in Texas.

WE ARE WORKING!

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop and evolve, the safety, health and well-being of our clients and our team is extremely important to us. We are watching for the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and international medical experts to learn how we can best manage our facility and our clients.

We would like to reassure you that The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. will continue to be available to provide services to all of our clients.

Our lawyers and paralegals are working in the office and electronically, although most of us are working from home. Below is a list of FAQs regarding our response and commitment to you during COVID-19.

Can I even have a consultation with my lawyer remotely?

Yes, The Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. has a comprehensive remote working capability and all of our lawyers and paralegals are equipped to work securely from home.

Will my lawyer be available to answer questions and work on my case?

Yes, your legal matters will continue to receive our attention. You can email, call, or videoconference with your lawyer during this time.

We also have multiple videoconferencing options; please contact your attorney for the platform that works best for you

How are court hearings and appointments affected?

Court in Bexar County are now conducted by Zoom Please see our blog article Court via Zoom: It’s Actually, Really Court (and Here’s How It Works)

Can I consult with a lawyer about a new family law or divorce matter?

Yes, we have office staff working in house and remotely to ensure continuity in our business. For information about a family law or divorce matter, please call our office or complete the Request a Consultation Form.

Your family law matters remain our top concern and we are not going to permit this pandemic to take priority over your needs. We will remain confident, alert and prepared.

We wish you and your family well as we work through this difficult situation together.

With warm regards,
Lisa A Vance

 

 

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When does defamation figure into divorce?

| Oct 5, 2018 | Divorce |

In this era of social media – where it’s easy to not only say something in the heat of the moment, but to post it to the Internet for all to read – it’s worthwhile to review what defamation is and if it might apply to your divorce case. 

Texas uses “defamation of character” as a catch-all phrase to include libel (in writing) or slander (in speaking) to make someone look bad – specifically, to damage a person’s reputation or to show that a person has a bad character.

To prove it in Texas, the plaintiff must show that the defendant made a false statement to a third party (either in writing or speaking) about the plaintiff, and there must be a “required degree of fault.” But there are two different standards for defamation that depend on whether or not you’re a public figure.

If you’re a public figure bringing up a defamation case – and there are a few different degrees of this, which can include being a public official or just famous – you have to prove that the defendant acted with “actual malice.” As police officers and many government employees can fall within this definition, this means you don’t have to be famous to be public.

If you’re a private figure, on the other hand, you just have to show “negligence,” meaning that the person you’re accusing of defaming you didn’t take what the law terms as “reasonable care” to check whether the defamatory statement was false or not.

A defendant may have several defenses available. If the statement is indeed true, regardless of how embarrassing or hurtful, that can absolve the defendant from the charges. If the statement is couched as opinion, rather than fact, that can also be a workable defense.

Of course, if you’re in a divorce, no matter how hurt or angry you are, taking to social media or other online platforms is ill-advised. It can add an extra element of tension to negotiations that are already by their nature tense. If what’s posted rises to the level of defamation, that could result in a tort being added to the divorce lawsuit, which could result in damages in excess of the marital estate division. When in doubt about whether to post something that might be perceived as defamatory, don’t do it!

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