Civil Rights Attorneys should focus on Family Court!

Civil Rights Attorneys should focus on Family Court!

 

Where the Rule of Evidence does not apply!

 

Clark County Nevada

April 28, 2021

 

Veterans In Politics video internet talk show interviewed Megan and Jason Snow as they discuss numerous Civil Rights violations in a Clark County Family Courtroom.

Jason Snow married Megan Snow both live in the same household. Jason Snow has been a step-father to his wife’s daughter for the past five years.

Megan Snow is deemed a vexatious litigant preventing her from defending herself and fighting for her child. This same hypocritical rule does not apply to overzealous attorneys who file tons of documents just to increase attorney’s fees on both sides.

Megan Snow is not allowed to file any more paperwork on her case, custody modification is to be removed from her vocabulary, and if she does file for modification she would be “sanctioned” so ordered by Family Court Judge Soonhee “Sunny” Bailey.

What happened to the right to a fair trial?

Jason Snow has to leave his home for two days when his wife Megan Snow has visitation with her daughter. Jason Snow has to find somewhere else to live every Thursday and Friday since 2018, leaving his wife, his biological 3-year-old son with Megan Snow and his step-daughter.

It’s alright for Jason Snow to live with his 3-year-old biological son, but it’s not alright for him to be around his 7-year-old step-daughter, just because Megan Snow’s ex does not like Jason Snow.

There is absolutely no reason why Jason Snow should be removed from his home when his step-daughter arrives for her court-ordered visitation. With no end in sight. Is this in the best interest of the child?!

Where is the ACLU?

The US Constitution is eliminated in Clark County Family Courts.

A Congressional Investigation and a Federal lawsuit have to be in place because our local government has failed voters in family court.

Just when you believe you have heard everything. Listen to this explosive interview.

Megan & Jason Snow discuss Civil Rights Violations in family court on Veterans In Politics Talk

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGq0CcPx254

Read More –>

Incumbent Judge Kephart, Candidate Breeden, and Candidate Chevalier-Lopez ENDORSED by Veterans In Politics International

Clark County, Nev. (March 13, 2020) – Veterans In Politics International, Inc. (VIPI), today announced that it has endorsed three judicial candidates for the upcoming Clark County elections.
VIPI endorses Judge William Kephart for District Court Department 19; Adam Breeden for District Court Department 15; and Yvette Chevalier-Lopez for Family Division Dept. I.
Veterans In Politics International is the only truly transparent political organization in Nevada.   VIPI is committed to both transparency and accountability in the endorsement process.
VIPI’s vetting process is open to the public.  No questions are given to candidates in advance, no candidates are rubber-stamped, no “backroom deals” are made, and no money exchange changes hands.
The panel members’ identities are not publicly released until the day of the interviews.  Most significantly, VIPI does not discourage any candidates from participating in the endorsement process of other groups.
We at VIPI are not deterred by other groups that interview candidates with a fair vetting process open to public scrutiny.
No one is paid to be a part of our process.  We do this for love of community.  We seek to educate the public on the various candidates and incumbents running for judicial office.
We charge no fees to prospective candidates, we make no promises, and we issue no threats.  Our vetting process is 100% above board.
On behalf of VIPI, we wish to say, “Thank you” to all the candidates, panel members, VIPI members, and our sponsors, which include Real Water.
Our moderator for this endorsement process is T. Mathew Phillips, Esq., California civil rights attorney.
We archive all videos of the endorsement interviews on several social media outlets, Facebook YouTube, and our VIPI website.
If you agree with VIPI endorsements, then terrific.  If you disagree with our endorsements, we urge you to please educate yourself on the candidates.
VIPI extended invitations to every single judicial candidate who filed for election.  We are proud of our vetting process.  No other judicial watchdog group comes close.
Please click below to review the interview videos:

Judge William Kephart Clark County Eighth Judicial District ENDORSED by Veterans In Politics

Adam Breeden candidate Clark County District Court Department 15 ENDORSED of Veterans In Politics

Yvette Chevalier-Lopez Clark County Family Court ENDORSED by Veterans In Politics International

Disclaimer:
Interview panel members are screened volunteers who are strictly prohibited from receiving any consideration or advice from prospective political candidates seeking an endorsement from VIPI or their opponents.  Each panel member signed a “Confidentiality Agreement” and at no time can they disclose any discussions that took place during the time of voting.
Veterans In Politics International, Inc. established in 1992:
Mission: To educate, organize, and awaken our veterans and their families to select, support and intelligently vote for those candidates whom would help create a better world, to protect ourselves from our own government(s) in a culture of corruption, and to be the political voice for those in other groups who do not have one.
(VIPI) Veterans In Politics International
 “Some candidates only get involved in the community when they need your vote.  They make no time outside of this, tending to their personal lives and ignoring the concerns and needs of the Community until they stand to gain from listening.  Some incumbents lose the true meaning of a “Public Servant,” becoming self-involved, and corrupt with their newly found power and money.  They lie to the face of their voters, going directly against your will, feeding you with rhetoric aimed to confuse you.  Can you imagine what is done behind your back?” 

Judicial Candidates and sitting Judges that are scared of a Political Action Committee

Read More –>

Preventive Legal Care: Relatively Simple Things Make Large Differences in Legal Costs

Preventive Legal Care: Relatively Simple Things Make Large Differences in Legal Costs

Originally published by Nacol Law Firm – Dallas TX.

A commentary by Dallas Attorney Mark Nacol,
of the Nacol Law Firm PC.

*In our current state of a national emergency in the United States, we feel that this blog rings true for all individuals and families as we enter into a serious unknown territory in your lives.  

During the last 30 years of general practice in a number of civil areas, I have had the opportunity to observe repetitive mistakes and decisions made by clients in regard to whether or not preventive legal care is cost-worthy.

Most prudent people do not think twice about having their teeth cleaned, becoming vaccinated for the flu or other childhood illnesses, going to their doctor if they are dizzy, having speech problems or other symptoms of stroke diagnosed or changing the oil in their automobile.

The average person clearly acknowledges the flu shot is definitely preferable to two weeks in bed.  Basic dental hygiene trumps a root canal every time.  A blood thinner medication is far preferable to paralysis or brain damage, and early detection of cancer or other invasive diseases, may significantly improve prognosis for recovery.

On the other hand, when it comes to the ordinary individual’s legal needs, I have noted throughout the years and continue to note a juvenile and somewhat cavalier attitude.  The result is denial and refusal to consider relatively small fees required to bring preventive legal care into play.

Depending on the size and nature of a man, woman or a couple’s estate, probate planning in the form of wills, durable powers of attorney, medical directives, medical authorizations, medical powers of attorney, testamentary and/or intervivos (living) trusts can avoid future attorney’s fees from 50 to 100 times the amount required for preventive care.  Probate and/or litigation without a will in a large estate, disability, dementia, Alzheimer disease or other medical issues requiring guardianship and/or extraordinary legal procedures vastly exceed the basic costs of preventive care.  The cost of fixing the legal problem after the event is extraordinary versus the simple matter of preventive legal care in the first place.  Fees ranging from $500 to $5,000, depending on the complexity of the estate or matter, at first blush might appear large but may frequently be increased by 2 to 3 zeros in complicated, complex litigation that can last for years.

Marital prenuptial agreements are emotionally delicate, but may be a useful and significant tool to provide creditor protection throughout a marriage and reduce the cost of dissolving a marriage, an unfortunate circumstance, by thousands and thousands of dollars.

A properly prepared and executed contract for the purchase and sale of land or for the purchase and sale of a business when accomplished before the transaction is essential in fixing the rights of the parties, establishing enforceability of their promises and the cost necessary to force compliance with those promises.  Time after time, I find a client who comes into my office and looks at me with dog eyes and says, “Can you help me in this business transaction?  I’ve already signed the contract.”  My response, of course, is “Yes, it is my pleasure.  But, it is going to be far more expensive now than if you had simply prophylactically entered into an enforceable agreement prior to the conduct you allege is fraudulent or the subject of a breach at this time.”

The examples above may be extended into almost every area of the law.  Why in the world would anyone want to market an invention, a well known mark of their business or trade, a manuscript or other written document without first having protected those items through trademarks, patents, copyrights or, at the very least, non-disclosure agreements?  A common complaint echoed throughout the years has been the significant cost of the judicial system and the financial burden of enforcing one’s right in the courts of law of the state or federal government.  With a bit of foresight and ingenuity and the help of an ethical, competent attorney, and the willingness to spend a smaller sum of money, many of the problems, disappointments and disenfranchisement with the judicial system may be bypassed altogether.

In closing, I am reminded of the classical advertisement by Mr. Goodwrench.  “Pay me now or pay me later.”  Preventative maintenance of the most important legal aspects of your life are as important as preventive maintenance of your car.  Have you priced a new engine versus a can of oil lately?

*In thinking about the current National Medical Emergency, now is the time to think about your loved ones and family.  In the case of illness or death, will they be protected or have to experience multiple problems with an old will or, more seriously, no will at all on your estate.  Be proactive and review your legal documents now to help alleviate difficult probate situations.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



Read More –>

SANSON ‘SLAPPS’ ABRAMS! Nevada Supreme Court Upholds Free Speech!

SANSON ‘SLAPPS’ ABRAMS! Nevada Supreme Court Upholds Free Speech!

 

LAS VEGAS, NEV. (March 5, 2020) – Today, the Nevada Supreme Court handed down it’s ruling in the hotly contested matter of Abrams vs. Sanson, [Case No. 73838].  Sanson is victorious!  At the time of this writing, Jenny Abrams could not be reached for comment.

“Naturally, I am quite pleased,” stated Steve Sanson, President of Veteran’s in Politics International — in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada!  Our Truth Hits! I-Team spoke with Sanson via telephone.  “Today is a huge victory for free speech!  Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute basically did what it was designed to do — which is to knockout frivolous lawsuits — in the first round — to protect the little guy from unnecessary and costly legal battles — where the guy suing you has no leg to stand on in court — and they’re just trying to burn you up financially.”

CLICK HERE to READ the LANDMARK RULING – Abrams vs. Sanson (March 5, 2020)

It happens all too often.  An everyday citizen in good faith speaks-out on issues of public concern.  But then some big-shot gets his or her nose out of joint.  Rather than address the citizen in the marketplace of ideas, the big-shot decides to throw-down at the local county courthouse.  After all, the big-shot has money, power, and lawyers on retainer!–while the everyday citizen generally has no means to fight-off the big-shots lawyers.

In such cases, the big-shots have no illusion that their lawsuits are meritorious.  The big-shots are just being total slobs — seeking only to economically bludgeon the citizen — as punishment for speaking out.  The slobs figure that, even if the citizen successfully defends the lawsuit, it won’t even matter because the citizen will be economically devastated by the cost of the litigation.  Even if the citizen wins, there’s no Ed McMahon “prize” for winning.  The citizen is simply left with a pile of legal bills, constricted blood vessels, and a worthless defense verdict to frame and hang on the wall.

This is what happened in the matter of Jennifer Abrams vs. Steven Sanson and Louis C. Schneider, (a tough-as-nails Las Vegas attorney who does family law and criminal law).

Jenny Abrams is the big shot who brought a totally bogus defamation lawsuit against Sanson and Schneider.  As today’s High Court ruling shows, Jenny Abrams’ defamation lawsuit is frivolous.  It appears to have been calculated only to inflict attorney’s fees and costs upon a good faith citizen — Steven Sanson — as punishment for Sanson having spoken-out on issues of public concern.

Among free speech aficionados, Steve Sanson is a something of hero!–a social justice warrior who weathered the storm of a frivolous defamation lawsuit!–who stands-up for the truth, justice, and the American way!–a proud United States Marine who shapes the course of Nevada free speech laws!  “OO-rah!”

And the good news is this –> Nevada’s anti-SLAPP laws allow Sanson to recover attorney’s fees and costs as a result of Abrams’ frivolous lawsuit.  Yes, Jenny Abrams could wind-up having to pay a tidy sum of money to Sanson and his lawyers.  In addition, Jenny may get stuck having to pay penalties of up to $10,000 — to teach her a lesson for filing frivolous lawsuits.

And this is the beauty of the anti-SLAPP laws, i.e., it’s a way of “teaching a lesson” to the big-shots who try to step on the little guys’ throats — by hitting the big-shots where it counts — in the pocketbook!  And this spells epic revenge for the little guys, and further serves, in no small measure, to deter other big-shots who may entertain the foolish idea of attempting to punish others for their “good faith communications in furtherance of the right to free speech regarding a matter of public concern,” as NRS 41.660 contemplates.

VIPI President, Steve Sanson with Dee Smart Butler candidate for Clark County District Court Judge Family Division Department “J.”

Many folks ask: “What is Anti-SLAPP?”  First of all, “SLAPP” stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.  Jenny Abrams’ lawsuit is fairly characterized as a lawsuit that was strategically designed to target Sanson for his public participation — which apparently came in retaliation for Sanson’s opinions on Abrams — i.e., her perceived lack of “openness and transparency” and perceived “obstructions to the judicial process.”

In responding to Abrams’ “SLAPP” lawsuit, Sanson’s hired power-hitter attorney Maggie McLetchie, Esq., (McLetchie Shell LLC).  Ms. McLetchie, who comes from a family of stalwart free-speech advocates, filed an “Anti-SLAPP” motion to dismiss Abrams’ “SLAPP” lawsuit — on the basis that the lawsuit was frivolous.  Ms. McLetchie, who was brilliant in oral arguments before the High Court, carefully explained why Sanson’s statements implicate matters of “public concern” and should thus be afforded anti-SLAPP protections.

When it comes to free speech, Ms. McLetchie totally “gets it!”  And the Nevada Supreme Court agrees.  Once again, Ms. McLetchie’s legal arguments carry the day!  Bravo!

In 2018, the Las Vegas Review-Journal dubbed Ms. McLetchie the “First Amendment Champion.”  Truer words were never spoken!  And today, with yet another landmark victory to her credit, nobody can deny that Ms. McLetchie is the undisputed Champion of the First Amendment and friend to freethinkers everywhere!


It all started when Sanson published a series of articles on VIPI’s website concerning Abrams’ courtroom conduct and practice.  Sanson was critical of Abrams.  Sanson called her a “lawyer behaving badly.”  So, Abrams hired her boyfriend, controversial attorney, Marshall Willick, who sued Sanson for defamation, emotional distress, conspiracy, and so-on.  Sanson’s attorneys filed the anti-SLAPP motion asking the court to declare the lawsuit “frivolous” and to dismiss it immediately.

The District Court found that Sanson’s statements did involve issues of public concern.  Sanson’s statements related to an attorney’s courtroom performance and the public’s interests injustice.  The District Court also found that Sanson’s statements were “opinions” and thus incapable of being false.  Abrams had shown no probability of prevailing on her claims, so the District Court granted Sanson’s motion to dismiss.

Dissatisfied with the District Court ruling, Abrams and her attorney, Willick, appealed to Carson City.

In ruling for Sanson, the Nevada Supreme Court analyzed Sanson’s statements.  Were his statements of “public concern?”  If so, they would be afforded protection.  Well, the High Court found that Sanson’s statements criticizing Abrams’s courtroom behavior were indeed matters of “public concern” because the public has an interest in an attorney’s courtroom conduct.

Writing for the majority, J. Stiglich explains: “The public has an interest in an attorney’s courtroom conduct that is not mere curiosity, as it serves as a warning to both potential and current clients looking to hire or retain the lawyer.”

Abrams tried to argue that her courtroom antics were not of “public concern,” but the Supreme Court disagreed.  An attorney’s courtroom behavior is “matter of utmost public concern.”  The Court held that Sanson’s statements about Abrams came “indirect connection” with issues of public interest for purposes of anti-SLAPP analysis.

Sanson also criticized Abrams’ practice of “sealing cases” from public view.  Sanson expressed his perception that Abrams style of practicing law is antithetical to openness and transparency.   Again, the Court found that Sanson’s statements came in “direct connection with an issue of public interest.”

Notably, however, the Court did reverse a portion of the District Court’s ruling on Sanson’s statements that came in a private telephone conversation.  The Court ruled that telephonic statements are not protected because such statements were made in a private telephone conversation, which is not a “public forum.”

These unprotected telephonic statements potentially expose Sanson to a claim for defamation.  But here’s why it’s interesting:  Sanson’s telephonic statements were made to a guy named Dave Schoen — an Abrams employee — who also moonlights as one of the chief agitators at Nevada Court Watchers, a Facebook shill group devoted to heckling Sanson and anyone who supports him.

And while Sanson’s telephone statements are not protected by the anti-SLAPP statutes, Abrams still has an uphill battle in her defamation case.  On remand to the lower court, to prove defamation, Abrams must show that Sanson’s statements to Schoen were made to a “third party” – which may prove a dicey prospect because Schoen is an employee of the Abrams law firm, i.e., not really a “third party.”  The Court also noted that Schoen initiated the call to Sanson, which tends to show lack of intent, a requisite element on defamation claims.

The Nevada Supreme Court gave guidance in interpreting Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statutes.  In determining what constitutes “good faith” communications under the statutes, the High Court states that the relevant inquiry must examine the “gist of the story,” not the literal truth of each word or detail used in a statement.  Courts must look to the “gist or sting” of the communications as a whole, “rather than parsing individual words in the communications” explains J. Stiglich.

Taken as a whole, the Court soundly rejected Abrams and her bogus lawsuit.  The Court held that her additional claims — of emotional distress and conspiracy — lacked even minimal merit, which is just a polite euphemism for “frivolousness.”


To gain a real-world perspective, the Truth Hits! I-Team contacted renowned civil rights attorney, T. Matthew Phillips, Esq., who stated:  “Las Vegas is world-famous — not just for gambling, shopping, fine dining, and nightlife, but for its burgeoning family court corruption.”  Phillips decries Las Vegas Family Court.  Phillips lamented:  “It’s a den of iniquity — where civil rights go to die.”  

The Truth Hits! I-Team has come to learn that Las Vegas Family Court is internationally known — with a reputation for having broken all records for wanton, reckless and systematic corruption.  Las Vegas judges are known the world over for routinely disregarding evidence, rewarding perjury, and ignoring constitutional rights.  Apparently, the Las Vegas family court is a full-time concern to folks all around the globe — not just in Vegas!

Committed to excellence in journalism, our Truth Hits! I-Team wanted to get both sides of the story.  Our I-Team rode straight into the heart of the enemy camp.  We visited Nevada Court Watchers, a shill group on Facebook.  Our I-Team chit-chatted with many folks, all of whom portrayed Sanson as a “corrupt individual who interferes with the administration of justice!”  Boy howdy!  Them sounds like fightin’ words!  But wait … there’s more!

Nevada Court Watchers is home of Nevada Court Watchers PAC — a political action committee — which vows to “pursue targeted, highly-funded campaigning against any judicial candidate who (i) seeks a VIPI endorsement; (ii) attends a VIPI event; (iii) gives money to VIPI; or, (iv) appears on a VIPI radio program.  Hide your kids!  Hide your wife!  NCWPAC is on the warpath!

Abrams lackey, Dave Schoen, alleges that Sanson extorts money from family court litigants and that Sanson intimidates judges by calling them on their cell phones regarding pending litigations.  Schoen alleges that Sanson does this in order to exercise undue influence over vulnerable and susceptible judges.  Dave Schoen, his wife Julie, their kids, and even their dogs, all agree that “Sanson is the living embodiment of corruption.”

Our I-Team spoke with many Nevada Court Watcher devotees, many of whom reside outside the Vegas valley, including, Charlene Villanueva, (Orangevale, Calif.); Linda Parker Harbison, (Roslyn Penn.); Rob Berkman, (Burke Virginia), Carol Christiansen, (Montgomery, Texas); Jayne Bennett, (Liberty, Indiana); Elske Shipp engaged to Alex Ghibaudo, (a regular guest at the shill group, Our Nevada Judges); Beth Cooper from Sydney, Australia; Kristen King, (Chugiak, Alaska); Mindi Brown-Coursey, (Haskell, Oklahoma), Grace Iha, (Bellevue, Kentucky); Issendai Icchantika, (Boston Mass.); Majella Schmalz, (Sheboygan, Wisc.); and yes, another Aussie, Rita Hawkins, from Down Under.

It turns out that Las Vegas Family Court’s unique brand of judicial corruption is so brazen and so notorious that it draws worldwide attention!  Who knew?  Apparently, Las Vegas Family Court is so burdensome and oppressive to civil rights — that it sends seismic shock waves throughout legal communities of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Barrow, Alaska, and halfway around the world in Sydney Australia!

Curiously, the Nevada Court Watchers to whom our I-Team spoke were reluctant to speak “on the record.”  Despite the fact that they talk about Las Vegas Family Court all day long, none wished to be quoted “on the record.”  The general sentiment was that nobody in the group was willing to mention Samson, for any reason.

Sources close to the investigation revealed that, as a direct result of Sanson’s favorable ruling, nobody at Nevada Court Watchers would be discussing Sanson, as an obvious embarrassment to Willick and Abrams, who many believe is the driving force behind Nevada Court Watchers.

One member of Nevada Court Watchers, who wished to remain anonymous, told our I-Team: “Today, we’re just gonna make fun of McDonald, then we’re gonna humiliate Bahns, and then we’ll heckle Amy Luciano, with our daily routine of exposing them to hatred, shame, contempt, and ridicule.  But no Samson today.  We’re totally on lock-down with the Samson thing, so like, no comment, ya know?”

The I-Team was unable to reach Marshall Willick for comment.

TRUTH HITS! I-TEAM


 

The post SANSON ‘SLAPPS’ ABRAMS! Nevada Supreme Court Upholds Free Speech! appeared first on Veterans In Politics International.

Read More –>

“Open to the Public: Judicial Endorsement Interview”

“Open to the Public: Judicial Endorsement Interview”

Judicial Endorsement Interview for the following:

 

Clark County, Nevada

March 3, 2020

Veterans In Politics International (VIPI), will conduct Judicial candidate endorsement interviews for the following: Clark County District Court Judge Department 1, Clark County District Court Judge Department 2, Clark County District Court Judge Department 3, Clark County District Court Judge Department 4, Clark County District Court Judge Department 5, Clark County District Court Judge Department 6, Clark County District Court Judge Department 8, Clark County District Court Judge Department 15, Clark County District Court Judge Department 17, Clark County District Court Judge Department 18, Clark County District Court Judge Department 19, Clark County District Court Judge Department 20, Clark County District Court Judge Department 21, Clark County District Court Judge Department 22, Clark County District Court Judge Department 23, Clark County District Court Judge Department 24, Clark County District Court Judge Department 28, Clark County District Court Judge Department 29, Clark County District Court Judge Department 31, Clark County District Court Judge Department 32, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department A, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department E, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department G, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department I, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department J, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department M, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department P, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department S, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department T, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department U, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department V, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department W, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department X, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department Y, Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department Z, Justice of the Peace, Las Vegas TWNSHIP Department 12, Justice of the Peace, North Las Vegas TWNSH Department 3, Justice of the Supreme Court, Seat B, Justice of the Supreme Court, Seat D, Nevada Court of Appeals:

 

All candidates for the following judicial election have been invited to participate in the 2020 Clark County VIPI Judicial Endorsement Interviews. Below is a schedule of elected seats that will be in this public interview process. Members of the public and local media are welcome to attend complimentary admission to watch the live production of the VIPI Judicial Candidate Endorsement Interviews.

WHEN: March 7th, March 8th, March 14th, 2020

LOCATION: VIPI HQ 1016 Monticello Drive Las Vegas, NV 89107

PHONE: (702) 283-8088

 

VIPI takes pride in transparency and will publish all filmed content ‘as is’ to public social media pages including but not limited to our Webpage and YouTube Channels listed below:

Webpage: veteransinpolitics.org/

YouTube Channel 1: www.youtube.com/channel/UC1vBzrcEJOui3Cp5Bz-fT6Q

YouTube Channel 2: www.youtube.com/channel/UC1Lo0mCOgDpuwX24IPA-Y9w?view_as=subscriber

 

VIPI takes great pride in educating the public on each candidate running for elected office. We never “rubber stamp” a candidate—all endorsements are “earned.” Come out to support your favorite candidate and educate yourself on the candidates running to be your next elected representative.

 

The moderator for this event is T. Mathew Phillips, California Civil Rights Attorney. The moderator is not a voting member and will not participate in any endorsement of candidates.

Once recognized by Veterans In Politics International (VIPI), judicial candidates will receive the VIPI and the Nevada Veterans Association endorsement.  We will design a substantial campaign through outreach beyond “judicial insiders” within the entire Clark County and the State of Nevada to get the votes!

 

We want to endorse candidates that are not afraid to make tough decisions for the betterment of our County and State. Turning a blind eye as a candidate will prove to us you will maintain that same principal if elected to the bench.

 

Sponsors:

 

Veterans In Politics International (VIPI) is proudly sponsored by Real Water

 

Endorsement Interview Schedule

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Elected Seat Time
Clark County District Court Judge Department 1 0800
Clark County District Court Judge Department 2 0830
Clark County District Court Judge Department 3 0900
Clark County District Court Judge Department 4 0930
Clark County District Court Judge Department 5 1000
Clark County District Court Judge Department 6 1030
Clark County District Court Judge Department 8 1100
Clark County District Court Judge Department 15 1230
Clark County District Court Judge Department 17 1300
Clark County District Court Judge Department 18 1330
Clark County District Court Judge Department 19 1400
Clark County District Court Judge Department 20 1430
Clark County District Court Judge Department 21 1500

 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Elected Seat Time
Clark County District Court Judge Department 22 0800
Clark County District Court Judge Department 23 0830
Clark County District Court Judge Department 24 0900
Clark County District Court Judge Department 28 0930
Clark County District Court Judge Department 29 1000
Clark County District Court Judge Department 31 1030
Clark County District Court Judge Department 32 1100
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department A 1230
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department E 1300
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department G 1330
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department I 1400
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department J 1430
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department M 1500

 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

 

Elected Seat Time
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department P 0800
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department S 0830
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department T 0900
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department U 0930
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department V 1000
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department W 1030
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department X 1100
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department Y 1230
Clark County District Court Family Division Judge Department Z 1300
Justice of the Peace Las Vegas TWNSHIP Department 12 1330
North Las Vegas TWNSH Department 3 1400
Justice of the Supreme Court Seat B 1430
Justice of the Supreme Court Seat D 1500
Nevada Court of Appeals 1530

 

For information contact Steve Sanson at (702) 283-8088.

 

 

 

Veterans In Politics International, Inc. ®

Post Office Box 28211

Las Vegas, NV 89126

www.veteransinpolitics.org

702 283 8088

The post “Open to the Public: Judicial Endorsement Interview” appeared first on Veterans In Politics International.

Read More –>

“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 INTERNATIONAL!

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!   ????

TRUTH HITS! I-TEAM

The post “Veterans in Politics Scores Huge Free Speech Victory!” appeared first on Veterans In Politics International.

Read More –>

“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, 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.


READ the FEDERAL COURT LAWSUIT —>>

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

The post “Las Vegas Dad Sues Family Court Judge – for Blocking Him on Facebook!” appeared first on Veterans In Politics International.

Read More –>

What Happens If Someone Refuses to Be Served?

What Happens If Someone Refuses to Be Served?

Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.

Service of process is important because it puts a party on notice that a lawsuit is being brought against them. It is also critical to establish subject matter jurisdiction over the type of case and personal jurisdiction over the defendant, without these an impending case cannot be heard. Service of process can get tricky, and it is important to understand what needs to be served, the methods of service, and who can serve.

First and foremost, what needs to be served on a party to a lawsuit is the citation and a copy of the petition. If there are other motions that have been filed with the original petition, they too must be served on the defendant. The most common method of service is personal service, where a complaint is served on the defendant in person. Personal service can be executed by a few authorized individuals laid out in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 103 and includes (1) any sheriff, constable, or person authorized by law; (2) any person authorized by law or by written order of the court over the age of 18; and (3) any person certified under order of the Supreme Court of the United States. Service can be affected also by registered mail, certified mail, and citation by publication but must be made by the clerk of the court where the case is pending. Parties to the suit or people who have an interest in its outcome cannot serve the process.

When service of process seems unachievable there are alternative methods of service designated by the court to effectively achieve service of process. There may often be defendants who are hard to locate, especially if they have acted with ill motive to avoid the lawsuit. For defendants who are non-residents, absent, transient, or their address may be unknown to the petitioner, these alternative methods ensure your case can continue to move through the legal process. However, it is also required for a party to search diligently for the other party. A diligent search must show that you have made a serious effort to locate or gather information about the defendant and their whereabouts. Only after a diligent search will a motion for alternative or substitute service be considered.

Now we have learned just who may service the process on a party and the diligent search that must be conducted to find a defendant, it’s important to understand how substituted service can be achieved.

Rule 106 Alternative Service

The first remedy you must exercise is the Rule 106 Motion for Alternative Service. A party must exercise all possible remedies to put the opposing party on notice, and the alternative motion is important before you can proceed with a Rule 109 Citation by Publication. In this alternative method anyone authorized by the TRCP Rule 103 can personally deliver to the defendant a copy of the citation and petition, or a copy of the citation, petition, and request for return receipt by registered or certified mail. If service cannot be achieved through the methods stated above, a motion for alternative service must be filed with the court, and have an affidavit attached with it stating that service has been ineffective at the defendant’s usual place of business, usual place of abode, or any other place where the defendant may probably be found. This affidavit must specifically state the facts showing service was attempted at the location named in it. Thereafter, the court may authorize service by leaving (1) a true copy of the citation and petition with anyone over sixteen years old at the location specified in the affidavit that was filed with the petition; or (2) any manner that shows will be reasonably effect to give the defendant notice of the suit. The alternative method stated above in option (1) is commonly referred to as service by “Nail and Mail.”

Rule 109 Citation by Publication

If a rule 106 alternative method proves to be unsuccessful, the fallback method that is commonly used in both state and federal courts is citation by publication, sometimes referred to as constructive service. In this method of service, an advertisement will be published in a local newspaper effective enough to give notice to the defendant that a lawsuit is being brought against them. This is considered the fallback method because courts are persistent in serving a defendant in a manner than is most likely to bring notice to the defendant that a lawsuit has been brought against them. This can pose some of a problem since the use of newspapers has seen a rapid decline with the advancement and easy access to technology. Nonetheless, it will hold up court if you have previously attempted all other methods.

As mentioned before there are required steps that must be taken before a Court will grant substituted service. This includes having a process server attempt multiple times to execute service on the defendant at the usual place of business, usual place of abode, or other places where they can be found. When this cannot be achieved the process server will draft an Affidavit stating that they have personally attempted to execute service and documented each attempt that was given to execute service. After all of this it is required an attorney file a Motion with court to be granted authorization to use a substituted service. This most often can require an oral hearing before the judge, which can take some time to be set on a Court’s docket depending on how booked the Court’s dates are. These tedious, but required steps, will delay your case but will help keep moving your case along to get you over the beginning process.

Lastly, after exercising all alternative methods of service the opposing party will have enough notice about the lawsuit being brought against them. If an opposing party does not respond they will face having a default judgement granted against them. This will grant the relief the party bringing the suit is seeking.

If you believe someone is refusing service, it is important to remember that there are alternative methods granted by the court to ensure one party cannot hold the case back. It is important to understand the process that must be followed before an attorney can just jump into citation by publication. Understanding the process as well is important for the party bringing the suit to understand that it can require a bit of patience on their end, and that most attorneys are not acting in ill-motive with their case. Having a case move smoothly throughout the legal process is an attorney’s goal but can be backtracked when one party is unresponsive to the suit.

Book an appointment with Law Office of Bryan Fagan using SetMore

Ebook

If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: 16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce

Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
  2. What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
  3. Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
  4. Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
  5. Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
  6. Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce
  7. Business Owners and Business Assets in a Texas Divorce
  8. What to do when your divorce decree does not include a marital asset?
  9. High Net Worth Divorce / High Asset Divorce
  10. Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders in Texas

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



Read More –>

A Judicially Created Catch 22? The Settlement Without Consent Clause

A Judicially Created Catch 22? The Settlement Without Consent Clause

Originally published by Karla Huertas.

The uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM)  coverage portion of Texas automobile insurance policies contains a “settlement without consent” provision which requires an insurer to obtain the consent of its insured before settling any claim. This condition exists to protect the interests of insurance carriers in recovering from a responsible party money paid to the insured in connection with an accident. Recently, in Davis v. State Farm Lloyds, Inc., 2019 WL 5884405 (Tex. App.—Dallas Nov. 12, 2019, no pet. h.), the Fifth Court of Appeals held that an insurer seeking to enforce the provision has the burden to prove that it was prejudiced by an insured’s breach of the consent-to-settle clause. This prejudice requirement, which has been before the Texas Supreme Court in the past, arguably undermines the purpose of a consent to settle exclusion. Compare, Hernandez v. Gulf Group Lloyds, 875 S.W. 2d 691, 692 (Tex. 1994) (holding “an insurer may escape liability on the basis of a settlement-without-consent exclusion only when the insurer is actually prejudiced by the insured’s settlement with the tortfeasor.”) with Guaranty Cty. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Kline, 845 S.W.2d 810 (Tex. 1992) (finding that Texas courts have uniformly upheld the validity of settlement consent exclusions in insurance policies.).

The Davis court  went a step further and added that, if an insurer is claiming a loss of subrogation rights, the insurer has the obligation to prove that the tortfeasor had assets available to satisfy the subrogation right. In Davis, the insured settled with the tortfeasor three years after the accident occurred but failed to secure consent from State Farm despite multiple notices from State Farm of the settlement-without-consent condition of the policy. Davis, 2019 WL 5884405, at *1. Based on the insured’s failure to obtain consent, State Farm filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted by the trial court. Id. On appeal, the judgment was reversed and the case remanded. Id. at *5.  The Court of Appeals concluded that State Farm failed to provide evidence that the tortfeasor had assets available to satisfy a subrogation judgment; therefore, it failed to conclusively prove that it was prejudiced by the insured’s settlement without consent. Id. at *4.

State Farm argued that the insured’s delay in notifying it of the settlement made it significantly difficult to locate the tortfeasor and to establish his financial status at the time of the accident (which was four years prior). Id. The Court rejected the notion that State Farm was prejudiced by the inability to conduct a thorough investigation into the tortfeasor’s assets. Id. However, in order to determine whether a valuable subrogation right exists, an insurer needs the opportunity to investigate whether the tortfeasor has assets other than the automobile policy and whether the tortfeasor’s financial situation is projected to change in the foreseeable future. The insurer’s investigation yields the very evidence the Court requires to prove that the insurer was prejudiced by the insured’s settlement without consent. Therefore, the Court’s decision poses an undeniable Catch-22 for insurance carriers. Justice Enoch recognized the paradoxical situation in his Hernandez dissent, asking “how will the insurance company prove prejudice . . . without the aid of civil process to assist in discovering the tortfeasor’s assets?” Hernandez, 875 S.W.2d at 695 (Tex. 1994). The Davis opinion refutes this argument stating that Hernandez did not recognize difficulty in proving the loss of a subrogation right as sufficient prejudice to make a consent-to-settlement breach material. Davis, 2019 WL 5884405, at *4. However, Hernandez did not recognize difficulty because it was not an issue in that case. In Hernandez, the parties stipulated that the tortfeasor had no assets and the insurer had not incurred any financial loss from the insured’s settlement with the tortfeasor. Hernandez, 875 S.W.2d at 693. In Davis, no such stipulation existed.

In the name of public policy, the decision in Davis highlights yet another requirement to a settlement consent provision that imports additional standards to an insurance policy.

The post A Judicially Created Catch 22? The Settlement Without Consent Clause appeared first on Hanna Plaut.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



Read More –>

‘Bull’ Case Highlights Importance of Witness Prep

‘Bull’ Case Highlights Importance of Witness Prep

Originally published by Kacy Miller.

Testifying is stressful, regardless of topic. But when it’s about something personal, the witness requires even more intensive coaching to stay composed.

Michael Weatherly in an episode of CBS drama Bull that highlights the importance of witness prep.

Courtesy of CBS

Nothing says Happy New Year like a “Bull” episode with a predictably ridiculous happy ending. This week’s episode, “Look Back in Anger,” involves a civil trial alleging sexual abuse of a minor during camp for at-risk boys. The challenge, however, is the abuse occurred about 25 years ago. Even though New York temporarily lifted the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse for one year, suing over abuse from a quarter century ago is challenging, at best.

The plaintiff, Stephen Raposa, had originally hired Bull’s team to sue on behalf of his younger brother, Ryan, who claimed he had been molested at 13 by the camp’s founder, a wealthy businessman named Peter Maybrook. Ryan’s life had since been plagued with drugs, alcohol, theft and, generally, failing to cope in the adult world. One afternoon, Stephen finds Ryan bleeding out in his bathtub: He OD’d and slit his wrists to make sure the deed was done.

The team informs Stephen that despite New York’s new laws, he cannot sue on behalf of his deceased brother. Moments later, Stephen tearfully admits that he too was molested at the camp by Maybrook, and a claim is born.

The episode, as usual, confuses civil procedure with criminal procedure, and most of the time ignores procedure altogether. Apparently in the world of “Bull,” this thing called “discovery” does not exist, which makes for interesting television, but laughable moments. Instead of writing about the litany of far-fetched procedural snafus, I want to focus on a subtle, but critically important, interaction between Bull and his client.

After deciding to take on the case, Bull met with Stephen privately to talk through the details of what happened. (Note: Typically, this sort of meeting would occur before deciding to file a lawsuit, but again, procedural muckety-muck.)

Stephen has not told his story of childhood molestation to anyone before and he is clearly uncomfortable. Bull’s advice to him was spot-on:

[Your discomfort is] completely understandable, but you’ll have to tell the story in front of a jury, and the best way to prepare for that is here. 

Seldom do I wholeheartedly agree with Bull’s musings or tactics, but I can get on board with this one. Witness preparation is one of the most important, but often ignored, elements of trial prep. The law and the facts are the foundation of any successful case, but since human beings are the ones carrying the water for those facts, the people who tell your story must be ready to do so in a concise and compelling way. Unfortunately, the trial (and deposition) setting is so anxiety-producing that I’ve seen even the most composed professionals turn into sweating stammerers who would confess to the Lindbergh kidnapping just to get out of the hot seat.

Witness prep both helps them hone their message and also find ways to manage their (perfectly natural) anxiety. Here’s a rundown of my most crucial witness prep tips:

Acknowledge the Witness’ Discomfort

Whether your witness admits to it or not, he or she is feeling stress and anxiety about the prospect of testifying. And if your witness is testifying about personal issues, as opposed to accounting numbers or business policy, it’s even more difficult. This is especially true with victims in criminal matters; in family law cases, where dirty laundry and mudslinging accusations are almost a given; and in wrongful death or personal injury cases where a witness is testifying about a heart-wrenching loss, be it life or limb.

Empathize with your witness and acknowledge what they’re feeling. Let your witness feel all the feels; it’s OK. It’s not your job to make the feelings go away altogether. Instead, provide feedback that acknowledges what the witness is feeling and offer some support. Lawyering also involves a bit of shrinking (as does jury consulting).

The feelings that emerge when a witness recalls his story should never be overlooked, and I’m here to say, they often are. So, props to Bull for at least acknowledging the witness’ discomfort.

Practice Telling the Story

I’ve worked with witnesses who simply could not share their story without bursting into tears, expressing inappropriate anger or shutting down completely. And I am a friendly face and advocate. Can you imagine how these witnesses would fare in a deposition or on the stand without having told their story multiple times?

The more often a witness talks through her story, the more comfortable she’ll become with telling it. I’m not promising that your witness will turn into a rock star, but with preparation, she will certainly testify more effectively than they would otherwise. And know this: Telling the story does not always involve a formal mock question-and-answer session. Sometimes, you just need to have a casual conversation with your witness and allow her to process the experience, tap into the memory bank and figure out what her story actually is.

Use repetition to your advantage during the prep sessions. The story does not need to be perfect. It does not need to be trial-ready right out of the gate. It just needs to be accurate. Over time, the act of repetition teaches your witness that she can, in fact, tell her story. And tell it well.

Do Not Cram

The opportunities to talk through the story should occur long before the scheduled deposition or actual trial testimony. Do not, I repeat, do not, cram the night before. And do not wait until the witness bombs in a deposition to refine the message.

Ask any of my clients what I nag them about, and they’ll tell you this: Preparing your witness for testimony begins during discovery. It’s an ongoing process, not an eight-hour marathon meeting.

Break your prep sessions into multiple, shorter sessions. Yes, it’s a beatdown scheduling-wise, but it’s actually a win-win. The witness is provided more opportunities to tell her story and you are provided with multiple chances to identify inconsistencies, areas that require some information-gathering, and determining potential strengths and weaknesses from a fact standpoint.

Back to Bull

And now I realize I haven’t told you what happened in “Bull.” The quick version is this: Despite skepticism about Stephen Raposa’s claim that he too was abused by Maybrook (especially after the defense proves that Maybrook was out of the country during the critical date in Stephen’s testimony), Bull and team miraculously find photographic evidence of Maybrook’s affinity for young boys, resulting in a $35 million verdict against him.

The civil trial gave rise to criminal charges that most likely will put Maybrook in prison for a very, very long time.

OK, so I said it was a “happy” ending, and there isn’t such a thing when dealing with matters of sexual abuse. But, at the very least, there was a measure of justice for Raposa, which is something.

This article was originally published by Texas Lawyer on January 8, 2020. Reprinted with permission. © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

Photo: Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull and Aaron Dean Eisenberg as Stephen Raposa in “Bull” season 4 episode 11: “Look Back in Anger.” Photo: CBS Broadcasting Inc.

The post ‘Bull’ Case Highlights Importance of Witness Prep appeared first on CourtroomLogic.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

Read More –>