Nevada Tightens Anti-SLAPP

by R. Christopher Reade on Mar. 30, 2020

Accident & Injury Defamation & Slander Accident & Injury 

Summary: The Nevada Supreme Court has recently tightened its Anti-SLAPP standards and broadened the protections for speech regarding litigation.

The Nevada Supreme Court has recently clarified what speech is subject to Anti-SLAPP protections against allegations that a publication is defamatory (libel or slander). Nevada's anti-SLAPP statute protects the right to free speech regarding a matter of public concern, NRS 41.600(3)(a). A good-faith communication in furtherance of the right to free speech regarding a matter of public concern includes any communication that is (1) "made in direct connection with an issue of public interest," (2) "in a place open to the public or in a public forum," and (3) "which is truthful or is made without knowledge of its falsehood." NRS 41.637(4).

An issue is of public interest is something of concern to a substantial number of people; a matter of concern to a speaker and a relatively small specific audience is not a matter of public interest. The focus of the speaker's conduct should be the public interest rather than a mere effort to gather ammunition for another round of private controversy. A person cannot turn otherwise private information into a matter of public interest simply by communicating it to a large number of people.

To enjoy the protection of Nevada's anti-SLAPP statutes, statements must be communicated "in a place open to the public or in a public forum." NRS 41.637(4). An email listserv may constitute a public forum for purposes of the anti-SLAPP statutes. However a private telephone conversation does not constitute a public forum.

To be protected under the anti-SLAPP statutes, statements must be "good-faith" communications"—that is, that the statements were either "truthful or made without knowledge of [their] falsehood." NRS 41.637. Because "there is no such thing as a false idea," statements of opinion are statements made without knowledge of their falsehood under Nevada's anti-SLAPP statutes. "[I]n determining whether the communications were made in good faith, the court must consider the 'gist or sting' of the communications as a whole, rather than parsing individual words in the communications. . . " and not on the literal truth of each word or detail used in a statement."

Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer

Lawyer.com is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. Content posted on Lawyer.com is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated and is not reviewed or commented on by Lawyer.com. The application of law to any set of facts is a highly specialized skill, practiced by lawyers and often dependent on jurisdiction. Content on the site of a legal nature may or may not be accurate for a particular state or jurisdiction and may largely depend on specific circumstances surrounding individual cases, which may or may not be consistent with your circumstances or may no longer be up-to-date to the extent that laws have changed since posting. Legal articles therefore are for review as general research and for use in helping to gauge a lawyer's expertise on a matter. If you are seeking specific legal advice, Lawyer.com recommends that you contact a lawyer to review your specific issues. See Lawyer.com's full Terms of Use for more information.

Now Chatting...