“Veterans in Politics Scores Huge Free Speech Victory!”

“Veterans in Politics Scores Huge Free Speech Victory!”

LAS VEGAS, NEV. (Feb. 21, 2020) – We are pleased to announce a huge victory for 300,000 Veterans statewide, a huge victory for free speech, and a huge victory for the Constitution!  “OO-rah!”

The Nevada Supreme Court today ruled in the matter of Steve Sanson and Veterans in Politics International (“VIPI”), versus Marshall Willick and the Marshall Willick Law Group, [Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 72778].

Happily, the Nevada Supreme Court today REVERSED the lower court decision which had previously ruled against Sanson and VIPI — and this spells a huge free speech victory!

CLICK HERE to READ the Supreme Court ruling in SANSON v. WILLICK (Feb. 21, 2020)

“Veterans in Politics Scores Huge Free Speech Victory!” 1


What’s going on?  Well, Steve Sanson—a long-time champion of Veteran’s Rights—is on a mission to safeguard the fundamental rights of Las Vegas parents by exposing systemic family court corruption.  Towards this end, Sanson had made certain critical statements of and concerning Willick and his law firm.  And then the drama began…

But most importantly, Sanson’s statements about Willick were: (1) made in direct connection with issues of public interest; (2) made in a public forum; and (3) made in good faith.

As it turns out, however, Marshall Willick and the Willick Law Group did not take kindly to Steve Sanson’s criticisms.  Willick thus sued Sanson and Veterans in Politics for defamation and emotional distress, etc.  And Sanson was forced to hire a defamation rights lawyer, (of which there are too few in the phone book!).

But Steve Sanson and VIPI had the good fortune to retain the services of a very capable and experienced free speech advocate, Anat “Annette” Levy, Esq., of Levy and Assoc., right here in Vegas.

Ms. Levy, a brilliant civil rights lawyer, believed that Willick’s so-called defamation lawsuit was really just an underhanded attempt to bully Sanson.  Willick sought to punish Sanson for helping moms ‘n dads oppressed by corrupt family court judges.  Willick sought to silence Sanson — to stop him from speaking out against the ongoing corrupt activities that plague the Las Vegas family court.

But Willick sorely underestimated the strength and resilience of his opponent — a proud United States Marine.

Sanson’s legal team evaluated Willick’s defamation lawsuit.  Ms. Levy correctly diagnosed Willick’s defamation claims as “frivolous.”  And so, she fought back!  Ms. Levy filed a meritorious anti-SLAPP motion — designed to dismiss Willick’s frivolous claims.  (Anti-SLAPP motions are special legal devices used to weed-out frivolous lawsuits by dismissing them in the first round.)

But sadly for Sanson, the trial court misapplied the law and rejected Ms. Levy’s motion to dismiss Willick’s defamation lawsuit.  The defamation lawsuit would now proceed to trial.

But Sanson and Levy were not ready to accept a poor ruling.  No indeed!  Committed to total victory, Ms. Levy filed an articulate and well-drafted appeal to Nevada Supreme Court.  And today, (Feb. 21, 2020), we are happy to announce that the Nevada Supreme Court has REVERSED the lower court decision.  And this is terrific news for free speech aficionados throughout the Great State of Nevada!

To gain an in-depth legal perspective, Veterans in Politics spoke with California civil rights attorney, T. Matthew Phillips, Esq. who stated that Nevada’s anti-SLAPP laws are actually based on California law.

Phillips, an experienced anti-SLAPP litigator, has been following the VIPI saga.  Phillips explained: “Sanson’s a good guy.  He always tells the truth.  He totally made statements under subsection 4 – meaning that his statements, of and concerning the plaintiff, came in direct connection with an issue of public interest – and Carson City finally recognized this all-important factoid.” 

The purpose of anti-SLAPP laws is to prevent situations where an individual, typically the “little guy” — who is often lacking in financial resources — is suddenly subjected to frivolous and costly litigation by a more wealthy opponent — who’s out for revenge because of something the “little guy” said.  And that’s exactly what happened in Steve Sanson’s story.

Big-shot family court attorney, Marshall Willick, does not wish to see Steve Sanson spreading the truth (and for obvious reasons), and so, Willick slapped Sanson with a frivolous lawsuit – disguised as a defamation lawsuit.  But today, thankfully, the learned justices in Carson City finally recognize Willick’s little stunt for what it truly was—a meritless legal maneuver calculated only to inflict economic burden and hardship — and punish Sanson – for telling the truth!

Steve Sanson, a proud Veteran, and brave social justice warrior is a friend to many beleaguered family court parents in the Vegas Valley.  A very elated Steve Sanson today told VIPI: “Yes!  That’s right.  We won!  And now is the time for everybody to stand up against family court attorneys and judges who railroad others!”

Sanson emphasized, “We will keep fighting the good fight!  And we will keep winning – for the sake of our fellow Veterans and for everybody else as well.  Yes, definitely, we will keep exposing family court corruption here in Las Vegas.”

Sanson explained, “The only reason they did this to me is that I stood up to all their corruption.  We stand up for Veterans who have been lost, ignored, chewed-up and spit-out by a system of indifference that refuses to recognize parents’ constitutional rights.”

Sanson added, “Hey, I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and so did all the other devoted men and women who honorably served in our armed forces.  No sir!  We refuse to allow them to ignore the Constitution for which we fought.”

It is now apparent that Willick’s lawsuit targeted Sanson for his speech-related activities, and further, the lawsuit was intentionally calculated to make Sanson incur legal fees he couldn’t afford.  Willick must’ve thought it a foolproof plan.  Willick himself stood to incur no legal fees because, after all, he represents himself.  But it was not to be.  The universe today righted itself and Willick’s plan to economically bludgeon Sanson has officially backfired!  Today, hope burns bright!

Sanson now awaits the court’s final details on remand.  Sanson hopes the court will soon calculate an attorney’s fees award—which could be a tidy sum of money.  Willick could get stung with having to pay a very substantial sum to Sanson’s attorneys.  But then again, that’s how poetic justice works!   🙂


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“Las Vegas Dad Sues Family Court Judge – for Blocking Him on Facebook!”

“Las Vegas Dad Sues Family Court Judge – for Blocking Him on Facebook!”

“Las Vegas Dad Sues Family Court Judge – for Blocking Him on Facebook!” 2

LAS VEGAS, NEV. (Feb. 7, 2020) – A Las Vegas dad today sued a family court judge for blocking him on Facebook.

Civil rights attorney T. Matthew Phillips today filed a federal court lawsuit against Las Vegas Family Court Judge Vincent Ochoa.

T. Matthew Phillips’ lawsuit relies on the recent ruling in the Knight case, where a federal appeals court ruled that elected officials, such as Donald Trump, cannot “block” or otherwise censor members of the general public on social media, [see Knight First Amendment Inst. at Columbia University v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-5205 (S.D.N.Y.), No. 18-1691 (2d Cir.)].

T. Matthew Phillips, a self-styled “whistleblower,” alleges that Judge Ochoa blocked Phillips at His Honor’s Facebook page, which Phillips claims is unconstitutional.  According to the complaint–

“Defendant Ochoa violates [Phillips’] substantive rights under the First Amendment: (i) the right to free speech, and (ii) the right to petition for redress.”

Phillips is also suing Clark County and State of Nevada for negligence—for failure to train elected officials to not exclude dissenting voices in a public forum.  According to the complaint–

‘But for’ their negligence in failing to train the judge on basic free speech principles, Plaintiff would not have suffered civil rights deprivations.”

The 17-page complaint is critical of Judge Ochoa’s judicial policies.  Phillips believes the judge purposely avoids jury trials — a constitutional right.  Phillips believes the judge does not lookout for the best interests of the children.  According to the complaint–

“His Honor promotes and fosters a ‘fatherless society,’ in which the gov’t removes a parent, and then substitutes itself—in loco parentis, i.e., ‘in place of the parent,’ so that the gov’t may wield greater power and control over the lives of children, ultimately, to make them beholden to the state.”

The lawsuit seeks both money damages and injunctive relief.  According to the lawsuit, Phillips requests the following legal remedies–

“[Phillips] seeks an injunction requiring Defendant Ochoa to: (i) halt the censorship on Facebook, (i.e., removal of comments); (ii) halt the “blocking” of critics on Facebook; and (iii) lift the Facebook “block” on all persons, including Phillips, so that Dept. ‘S’ litigants may visit His Honor’s pages—to ‘freely publish their sentiments on all subjects,’ as Nevada Constitution affirmatively permits, [Nev. Const., Art. 1., § 9].” 

Asked whether he expects to prevail, Phillips stated:  “I’m a free speech enthusiast!  Win or lose, it’s fun to argue.”

Phillips added:  “All I want is to see my son.  But this judge will never, ever let that happen.  Ya know?  This judge even told me I look suicidal — but still, he refuses to let me see my son.”

What does Phillips hope to accomplish?  “I’m gonna prove that this judge violated my civil rights — and then I’ll have legit grounds for disqualification — and then I’ll just cross my fingers and hope that the next judge has a small semblance of humanity.”

We had no way of reaching Judge Ochoa for comment.


CLICK HERE! – PHILLIPS v. OCHOA (Feb. 7, 2020)

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Contact: Steve Sanson
Phone: 702-283-8088
Email: vipipresident@cs.com
February 21, 2020

LAS VEGAS – Today, Friday, February 21st, 2020, Veteran In Politics International won an appeal in the Nevada Supreme Court against attorney Marshal Willick and his law firm, Willick Law Group.

The case has its roots stemming from an interview Mr. Willick voluntarily participated in on the Veterans In Politics Radio Show in November of 2015. Steve Sanson, host of the radio show and president of Veterans In Politics International, and Mr. Willick discussed the passage of AB 150 in the 2015 Legislative Session.

The passage of this appalling bill allowed veterans disability benefits to be included in divorce proceedings. Mr. Sanson courageously spoke out against this highly detrimental bill that hurt veterans in testimony to the Nevada Assembly Committee on the Judiciary. In those same committee meetings, Mr. Willick voiced his fervent support for the bill. It seems that Mr. Willick, by his support of the bill, condones taking disability benefits from wounded veterans as a way of enticing future clients to claim more money during their divorce proceedings.

After the radio show, Veterans In Politics International posted several statements on social media over the course of several years calling Mr. Willick out for his blatant hypocrisy. He claimed to support veterans, but he advocated for a policy that preys on disabled veterans and hits them unfairly hard during divorce proceedings. Veterans In Politics was pointing out Mr. Willick’s despicable behavior towards disabled veterans at a low point in their lives and addressing other issues stemming from his status as a practicing attorney, which will not be discussed in this release.

To deflect criticism from his targeting of disabled veterans involved in the trying situation of a divorce, Mr. Willick and his law firm filed a suit against Mr. Sanson and Veterans In Politics claiming, among other things “defamation…false light, and business disparagement.” Mr. Sanson fired back with an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) motion to dismiss Mr. Willick’s claims.

While the Eighth Judicial District Court dismissed Mr. Sanson’s motion, he appealed the motion and was granted a major victory in a ruling filed today by the Nevada Supreme Court. The case has been remanded back to the Eighth Judicial District Court for “further proceedings.”

Today is a win for veterans advocates in Southern Nevada, especially Veterans In Politics International. Mr. Sanson and Veterans In Politics are proud to continue the fight for veterans, the fight against the injustices of the broken Family Court system, and the fight against individuals and groups that prey on veterans (especially disabled veterans) and their livelihoods.

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