CARSON CITY–Lance Gilman, brothel owner, developer and Storey County commissioner, has settled his case against the journalist he sued in 2017 for defamation.
The case brought the attention of free-speech groups and journalism organizations after a judge initially ruled the journalist, Sam Toll, did not qualify for media shield protections because, at the time of writing an article about Gilman, Toll was not a member of the Nevada Press Association.
Toll said Gilman’s residency in Storey County was questionable since he owned property in Washoe Valley and claimed to live in a trailer behind the brothel. Gilman sued Toll for defamation even though state investigators found Toll’s allegations had merit.
They wanted Gilman prosecuted for perjury, but three area district attorneys declined to pursue charges against Gilman.
The case took even stranger turns when Gilman’s since fired attorney Gus Flangas, repeatedly defied court orders by failing to appear in court, refusing to respond to legal filings and disobeying court orders.
Flangus still faces court sanctions.
The settlement between Toll and Gilman was revealed on the Nevada Supreme Court website. Toll’s attorney said he could not comment on the settlement because it is confidential.
Toll successfully fought against Gilman all the way to the state supreme court. The court ruled in favor of Gilman under Nevada’s anti-SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) statutes and determined Gilman owed Toll and his attorney more than $200,000 in legal fees.
A SLAPP-back case filed by Toll against Gilman has also been settled. Gilman dropped Flangas and settled the cases with attorney Courtney Forster.