On Thursday February 1, 2018 Sam Toll and his legal team filed their Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss the defamation suit brought against Toll by Lance Gilman. This was filed in the First Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada in and for Storey County.
You can read the full 199 page Motion at the end of this post.
You can read Lance Gilman’s initial charges on The Teller HERE
Just a brief recap.
Lance Gilman filed a lawsuit against Sam Toll, editor of The Storey Teller, for Defamation with Malice. The legal definition of defamation is : “Any intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harms a person’s reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against a person. A public official or other plaintiff who has voluntarily assumed a position in the public eye must prove that defamatory statements were made with knowledge that they were false or with reckless disregard of whether they were false.”
So it is incumbent upon Lance Gilman , as a public official, to prove that Sam Toll printed lies and knew that they were lies when he printed them. Sam Toll has responded to Gilman’s suit and has stated that his articles were based on facts. Despite Lance Gilman’s displeasure with WHAT he writes , he has the right to write it and it is protected by the First Amendment. There is a lot of case law on this to back him up.
Sam has a quote on The Teller which says “ To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize” -Voltaire
Apparently Lance Gilman believes that he is above criticism and accountability.
Additionally, as a public figure Lance Gilman’s suit against Sam Toll falls under a special classification called a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) . SLAPP is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Such lawsuits have been made illegal in most states including Nevada.
Lance Gilman is a wealthy man, Sam Toll is not. Neither Sam nor any one of us has the money it takes to fight someone like Lance Gilman just lying around…..and Lance Gilman knows it. Given the preponderance of factual evidence that refutes Lance Gilman’s claim that Sam printed lies , this action against Sam Toll looks like the actions of a vindictive man with money to burn.
Additionally, the SLAPP statute states: Communications aimed at procuring government outcome; or informing or complaining to government regarding matters reasonably of concern to the government body; or made in direct connection with issue under consideration by government body, that is truthful or made without knowledge of falsity are protected. Under NEV. REV. STAT. § 41.670(2), SLAPP defendant may bring a separate action (SLAPP back) to recover compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees, and the costs of bringing the separate action.
Once the Anti-SLAPP suit is filed all action on the case is stopped until a court determines if it is actually a SLAPP case. If it is found to be a SLAPP case then Sam Toll can go after Lance Gilman for damages and all costs associated with the case. If it is found not to be a SLAPP case then it proceeds.
Lance Gilman et al have about 20 days to respond. Let’s see what comes out of that.