Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



In attempting to solve problems in a variety of areas lawyers continuously make use of a distinction between statements of "fact" on the one hand and those of "opinion" on the other.' So versatile is this distinction that it has been used to solve problems raised in such diverse areas of the law as evidence and defamation. However, since the turn of the century the fact-opinion dichotomy has been severely criticized as a means of deciding what kinds of testimony should be allowed in a legal trial. Yet in the law of defamation, where this distinction has been extensively applied in the analysis of problems raised by the defense of fair comment, almost no one has questioned its usefulness.