A conscious, intentional wrongdoing either of a civil wrong like libel (false written statement about another) or a criminal act like assault or murder, with the intention of doing harm to the victim. this intention includes ill-will, hatred or total disregard for the other’s well-being. often the mean nature of the act itself implies malice, without the party saying “i did it because i was mad at him, and i hated him,” which would be express malice. malice is an element in first degree murder. in a lawsuit for defamation (libel and slander) the existence of malice may increase the judgment to include general damages. proof of malice is absolutely necessary for a “public figure” to win a lawsuit for defamation.