Retraction Law and Legal Definition

A retraction is a withdrawal of a legal document in a lawsuit or other legal proceeding, or withdrawal of a promise or offer of contract. In the context of defamation, it refers to the correction of any false statement published in a newspaper or magazine or broadcast on radio or television, usually upon the demand of the person about whom the damaging false statement was made. A retraction will usually be made to prevent the defamed party from going forward with a lawsuit for damages for libel. In most states a retraction must be demanded before the suit is filed in order to attempt to resolve the dispute without litigation. Retraction is often made in cases of error, fraud, or misconduct.