Nevada appeals court grants Copperfield secrecy |

Nevada appeals court grants Copperfield secrecy

Illusionist David Copperfield appears in court Tuesday in Las Vegas. Copperfield testified in a negligence lawsuit involving a British man who claims he was badly hurt when he fell while participating in a 2013 Las Vegas show.
John Locher/AP | AP

Nevada’s three member Court of Appeals has granted magician David Copperfield’s request to close portions of a trial over injuries suffered by an audience member during his act.

Copperfield’s lawyers filed an emergency petition to close parts of the trial to the public to protect trade secrets concerning how the “Thirteen” illusion works.

The motion was denied by District Judge Mark Denton who’s presiding over the civil suit in Las Vegas.

But the appellate judges Abbi Silver, Jerry Tao and Michael Gibbons reversed that ruling saying Nevada law protects against the public disclosure of trade secrets during litigation.

The trial was put on hold April 18 while the appellate judges reviewed the petition.

“Because the disclosure of this information could result in irreparable harm, good cause exists to close the portions of the trial during which such information could be revealed,” they wrote.

They pointed out the full procedure behind the “Thirteen” illusion hasn’t been disclosed and it constitutes a trade secret because it’s not public knowledge. They ruled Copperfield has the right to protect that information and ordered the clerk of the court to issue a writ of mandamus instructing the district judge to close the courtroom during any part of the trial that describes how an illusion is performed.