If Nevada’s defamation bill SB444 passes, it’ll be easier for businesses to protect their online reputations.
True Issue at the Root of Nevada’s Defamation Debate: How Easy Should It Be for Businesses to Sue Online Reviewers?
Should businesses be able to sue customers for leaving bad reviews? What about customers who temporarily part ways with sanity, make friends with a bottle of pinot, and decide to spend the night anonymously projecting personal frustrations, in the form of online SCREAM TYPED tall tales, about businesses?
In Nevada, lawmakers are tackling the question.
Within the context of the state’s Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) statute, legislators are, essentially, debating where the free speech line ends and the defamation line begins.
Is Nevada’s SB444 Pro Small Business?
Nevada State Bill 444 could be seen as a “pro-SMB” bill, as its goal is to “balance” the law books, making it possible for genuinely wronged businesses to sue online detractors who lie about services or products.
If passed, the law would weaken Nevada’s current SLAPP statute by requiring less pretrial demonstrations of case fitness. As a result, more business plaintiffs could move forward with slander and libel lawsuits against online defamers instead of having the claims quashed early in the litigation process.
Nevada Defamation Bill Already Passed, But Now There Are Some SLAPP Problems
A couple of months ago, Nevada legislators actually passed SB444, unanimously. But since gavel, opposition groups have stepped in – and now Nevadan politicians are arguing.
What would happen is SB444 Passes?
If the Nevada defamation bill is green lit, Nevada’s anti-SLAPP law would lose some litigation heft. Opponents argue that weakening it would be a palpable blow to constitutional rights. SB444 Proponents, however, think the statute would bring “much needed balance” to the state’s slander and libel standards, which will ultimately help small business owners effectively deal with malicious defamers.
Click here to learn more about Nevada’s slander and libel laws. If you need to speak with a defamation lawyer about a case involving a Nevada business or person, get in touch.