Fair Comment Law and Legal Definition

Fair comment is a defense in defamation cases. Fair comment can be defined as a “common law defense [that] guarantees the freedom of the press to express statements on matters of public interest, as long as the statements are not made with ill will, spite, or with the intent to harm the plaintiff.” The U. S. Supreme Court has ruled that to protect free speech, statements made about a public person, even though untrue and harmful, are fair comment unless the victim can prove the opinions were stated maliciously.