Former Nevada Political Candidate Wins Defamation Case But Judgment May Be Vacated

Rob Lauer, a Henderson resident and 2010 GOP candidate for Secretary of State, won a defamation lawsuit last week when a woman who claimed he injured her at a Las Vegas social event failed to respond.

Lauer, who said he has been forced to live with the allegations since being charged with battery following the incident involving Jennifer Von Tobel at a bar in June 2010, is now seeking $50,000 in damages.

Rob Lauer.

An attorney for Von Tobel said today, however, that he expects that the default judgment will be overturned because the lawsuit was not properly served on his client.

The misdemeanor battery charge was dismissed in November 2011, but Lauer said the allegations made it difficult for him to run a campaign against Democrat incumbent Secretary of State Ross Miller in the 2010 general election. Miller won a second term.

Lauer filed his civil defamation complaint against Von Tobel in Clark County District Court in January of this year.

Lauer said about his legal victory: “After suffering under a cloud of suspicion for over a year and a half, caused by falsehoods spread by Jennifer Von Tobel, a criminal court judge found me not guilty this past November and now a civil court has found Jennifer Von Tobel guilty of defamation, liable and slander.

“Jennifer Von Tobel intentionally exaggerated and misrepresented facts to the media that were found by the criminal court to be false and a civil court to be lies,” he said. “The facts are now clear and I look forward to moving on with more productive and positive things in my life.”

Lauer said he gave Von Tobel more than 50 days to respond to his lawsuit.

Lauer denied he ever harmed Von Tobel, saying he was demonstrating self-defense moves to her at a First Friday event at the bar.

But Von Tobel’s attorney, Gus Flangas, said the lawsuit was served on a former residence of Von Tobel’s and that she never received proper notice.

Papers were being filed in District Court seeking to overturn the default judgment based on that fact, he said. Von Tobel had not used the address at which the papers were served for some time, Flangas said.

“I’m quite confident it will be overturned on two grounds: One, the service was faulty; and two, courts prefer to decide matters on the merits,” he said.