Manti’s Girlfriend: Morality v. Legality

17 January 2013 Categories: All Blogs

The story that broke yesterday about Manti Te’o and his girlfriend being a hoax reminds us of a point that many people often confuse when contacting our office thinking they may have a case. While we don’t know who all is responsible for the hoax, most would agree that it is morally wrong to elaborately deceive another person. But just because something might be morally wrong, does not necessarily mean it is illegal.

Right v. Wrong often reach the same conclusion when looked at morally and through the justice system, but not always. For something to be illegal in Tennessee, it must break a specific law set out in our Tennessee Code Annotated. We have potential clients call us stating they have been wronged, but unfortunately unless the “wrong” is also illegal, it is not possible to file a lawsuit against the wrongdoer. Typically when looking at a civil case, that wrong involves some type of monetary damage, but it can also include pain and suffering.

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