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Steven J. Klearman
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Nevada Supreme Court addresses business defamation actions

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The Nevada Supreme Court clarified business defamation in Clark County Sch. Dist. v. Virtual Educ., 125 Nev. Adv. Op. No. 31 (August 6, 2009).

The case presented the issues to the Court of whether "the absolute privilege applies to defamatory communications made by a nonlawyer in anticipation of a judicial proceeding," and "whether allegedly defamatory statements made about a business’s product provide a basis for defamation per se or for business disparagement."

The Court concluded that in a business defamation action under Nevada law, "the absolute privilege affords parties to litigation the same protection from liability that exists for an attorney for defamatory statements made during, or in anticipation of, judicial proceedings."

Furthermore, "when allegedly defamatory statements concern a business’s product and the plaintiff seeks to redress injury to economic interest, the claim is one for business disparagement, not defamation per se."

See the Court’s opinion here.