Updated on 5/20/2020
Dealing With Defamation In Nevada: Protecting Your Business At All Costs
Reputation is the lifeblood of business. If your business is not trusted by the community it will fail, simple as that. Unfortunately, the world has an abundance of liars and those seeking to destroy the accomplishments and reputation of others. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the rise of internet review sites. Though Yelp is probably the first example that springs to mind, the ability to leave reviews is now a part of a huge number of websites like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and countless others.
These websites are like a megaphone, allowing individuals who are angry, bitter, or just bored to take cheap shots (or simply make up blatant lies) about whatever business happens to have caught their attention. This has had an incredibly toxic effect on many industries and left many innocent business owners in a terrible position. This is particularly true of Las Vegas, as our city is heavily focused on service-based industries. Unfortunately, many business owners do not realize that a false review posted online is defamation and there are options to protect yourself.
Defamation Laws In Nevada
The first thing to understand, is that defamation is actually a broad term for two different types of lying, libel and slander (additionally, defamation only directed at a business can also be redressed by bringing a claim of business disparagement). Libel, slander, and business disparagement are all forms of defamation which occur when someone makes a false statement about you or your business to another person, and this statement harms your reputation and causes you to lose money or be damaged in some other way (through lost opportunities, etc.). The person making the false statement must also either be (1) acting intentionally to cause harm; (2) acting negligently or recklessly; or (3) for a business disparagement claim acting with malice (intent to harm). It is libel when the false statement was written, and it is slander if the false statement was spoken. Business disparagement can be either written or spoken.
Additionally, there are four instances of defamation where it is possible to bring a lawsuit without having to demonstrate that you suffered damages as a result of the false statement. These four exceptions are for defamation that involves (1) false claims you have committed a crime; (2) false statements that will harm your business or trade; (3) false statements that you have a disease; and (4) false statements regarding a person’s “chastity”.1 It is the second exception that is most important, as this allows you to protect your business without having to somehow show evidence of direct damage caused by something like a false online review.
Though defamation can be punished criminally in Nevada, this is exceedingly rare. This makes it necessary for a person being defamed to take matters into their own hands. This usually means hiring an attorney that can help you prepare for the possibility of a lawsuit (in many cases with the goal of simply forcing the defaming party to back down and withdraw their statement by deleting damaging reviews).
Find Help Today And Save The Reputation Of Your Business From Defamation
At Black & LoBello we never take the easy approach to fixing our client’s issues, we only take the right approach. To us, an outcome that’s just okay, good enough, or was a cookie cutter solution applied to a complex problem is never acceptable. This mentality is the essence of our firm’s culture. We will never stop fighting until a client is completely satisfied and has achieved all of their goals. This is what makes us different.
The fighter’s mindset is essential to all of the areas of law in which our firm practices, but is particularly applicable to dealing with defamation. You’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into your business and you deserve to work with attorneys who understand just how personal it feels when someone maliciously attacks and lies about what you’ve created. Above all, a lawyer is an advocate who should fight for you, tooth and nail, and at Black & LoBello that’s how we approach every problem we handle for our clients. We become personally invested in your success and won’t rest until you get the justice you deserve.
If you’re dealing with defamation, don’t settle for less. If you live or do business in Las Vegas, Reno, Henderson, or anywhere else in Nevada and you need help, call us today at (702) 869-8801 or email us at Mlounsbury@blacklobello.law and take the take the fight back to those seeking to harm your livelihood.
During this Stay Home 4 Nevada period, the Governor is encouraging other services, including but not limited to legal, business and management consulting, professional services and insurance services to have employees work remotely. Black & LoBello will remain “on-call” 24/7 to answer your emergency legal concerns at no charge. We know you are concerned but we are here for you.
Remember, this too shall pass. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy and be NEVADA STRONG!