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.
Steve is the Managing Shareholder of Steven J. Klearman & Associates, a civil litigation law firm located in Reno, Nevada. He practices primarily in the areas of civil litigation and injury law, and has authored one of the definitive guides to Nevada civil law that is widely used by Nevada judges and attorneys, his book entitled Elements of Nevada Legal Theories.