Bias and Attack on First Amendment Rights on Full Display!


Clark County, Nevada

August 31, 2017


Veterans in Politics International (“VIPI”) and its President and chief journalist, Steve Sanson, were recently dragged into an unrelated divorce case by the family court lawyer, Marshal Willick, who is personally suing Sanson and VIPI for defamation.  Willick is trying to stifle VIPI’s investigative articles criticizing what it believes are Willick’s and his fiancé Jennifer Abrams’ (also a family lawyer) improper professional tactics.


Until yesterday’s hearing involving VIPI and Sanson, the judge in the divorce case was Bryce Duckworth, one of the family court judges also caught up in the investigation leading to VIPI’s public complaint to the Presiding Judge of District Court, each of the Supreme Court justices, and to the public corruption directors of law enforcement as part of VIPI’s “war” on Family Court corruption..  (CLICK HERE FOR A COPY OF OUR LETTER OF COMPLAINT: ).


Yesterday’s hearing was truly shocking.  Sanson and VIPI had made a motion to throw out subpoenas that Willick had served on Sanson in the divorce case.  VIPI believes that Judge Duckworth improperly dragged Sanson into court, and in yesterday’s hearing, questioned him on issues that the Judge admitted he had a professional conflict with.   The judge then stifled counsel and launched into an unsupported implausible rant accusing VIPI of corruption apparently, in order to protect his own reputation and deflect his alleged improper behavior.  The Judge then appears to have leaked the video of the hearing to Willick and his followers hours or a day before the Court Clerk could make it available to the public and before the Court Clerk could officially unseal the case.


The good news is, that pursuant to VIPI’s request at the hearing, the case has been UNSEALED.  That means that we can now show you an example of the unfair, unsavory and unfortunate events that can happen in family court.  If the court can do this to VIPI, which has the benefit of counsel, imagine what litigants who are self-represented must go though.

see second video:

Bias and Attack on First Amendment Rights on Full Display! Part 2-2



The video of yesterday’s hearing was secretly leaked to Willick or his followers at least several hours, if not a day, before the Court Clerk made the video available to the public.  VIPI requested a copy of the video immediately after the hearing, and as usual, was advised that it would be available the next afternoon.  Yet, Willick and his followers posted the hearing video online by 10:30am the next morning.  Moreover, while the official video was in two parts, the one Willick or his followers posted online was in one part, indicating it was either an original master or was obtained in sufficient time to edit together before its 10:30 am release.  The Court Clerk also confirmed that VIPI was the only entity that officially requested a copy of the video from the Court.  So, someone in the Judge’s office apparently leaked the video to Willick or his followers.  Moreover, at the time Willick or his followers posted the video online, the Clerk had not even officially unsealed the case, which was not officially unsealed until the afternoon.  No court clerk was authorized to release the video before that time.




Instead of VIPI’s motions being heard by a Discovery Commissioner as is stated under Eighth Judicial District Rule 2.34, the Judge arranged for VIPI’s motions to be heard by him personally.  CLICK HERE FOR THE ORDER: ). He also took the unusual step of stating in the Order that “The Court expects that all individuals related to the issues before the Court will be available to participate in the hearing.”  While judges can order parties to attend hearings, it is highly unusual for this to be done in non-evidentiary discovery motions.  The Order falsely indicated that this was to be a hearing on the various discovery motions, but shortly after the hearing began the Judge announced that he had no intention of ruling on the motions.  So, what could possibly be his intention?


While Sanson was the only one who complied with the Court’s Order and appeared with his lawyer, the judge was un-phased that the actual parties to the case did not appear and he did not postpone the hearing to compel their appearance which he had ordered!.  The judge immediately had Mr. Sanson sworn in to give testimony without any notice to counsel that this would become an evidentiary hearing.


The judge falsely accused Sanson of trying to influence him in the case based on a brief conversation that Sanson had with the judge regarding VIPI’s “war” on family court over three months ago.  The judge came to this conclusion despite making the following admissions:


  1. The Judge has had a friendly relationship with Sanson for over nine years and neither Sanson nor VIPI have ever tried to influence the judge on a case.


  1. Other than a brief phone conversation at issue, there was no indication that Sanson was trying to influence him on the case.


  1. Neither Sanson nor VIPI are parties to the case.


  1. The alleged attempt to influence the judge was made at an odd time in the case — after the party on whose behalf the influence was allegedly intended had already won the main issue in the case.


  1. Sanson had no knowledge about the issues or merits of the case, and did not impart any substantive information to the judge.


  1. Sanson’s statement to the judge was about Willick’s courtroom antics, the same lawyer who was suing him separately, and not about the litigants or their specific issues.


  1. The judge could point to no effect that this conversation had on the case, and no tie to any ruling on any issue in the case.


  1. The judge did not believe he had issued any gag order in the case, yet was upset that Sanson may have spoken to one of the parties in the case, even about non-confidential, non-sealed issues. This is a violation of Sanson’s and VIPI’s First Amendment and journalistic rights.


  1. The Judge did not view the conversation with Sanson to be significant enough to recuse himself over the three months since that conversation took place.


The judge also interrogated Sanson from the bench about the very conversation that the judge acknowledged he may be called upon as to testify about as a witness and would therefore have to recuse himself over.




During the hearing, counsels made several arguments to the Judge pointing out bias by the Judge, and conclusions made by the Court based on a complete lack of evidence but the Judge simply ignored them, and continued to try to make a false record of VIPI’s alleged corruption without any substantiating evidence.




Typically, when a judge recuses himself because he believes he cannot be neutral or believes he has a conflict of interest, he simply states so on the record, calmly and briefly describes the nature of the conflict, and then states that he must therefore recuse himself.  This judge, however, obviously had a different agenda – he was determined to make a record to discredit VIPI and its investigation on family court, and cast himself as an ethical judge in light of VIPI’s public complaints about him.  Instead, however, he simply highlighted the railroading and clandestine judicial behaviors that go on in family court.




During the course of the hearing, the Judge stormed off the bench two times.  Once in the middle of hearing when he got angry and again at the end of the hearing when he wanted no response to his “speech.”  This type of behavior does not reflect the proper judicial temperament we need in Nevada.


VIPI used to have high regard for Judge Duckworth, and even endorsed him in his campaign to become a judge and had recommended him for a presiding judge position.  But, when we make a mistake, we let our followers know.  This was the first time we have been before Judge Duckworth as litigants.  What we experienced unfortunately causes us to reinforce our public complaints against this judge.


If he acted this way with us, we cannot imagine what he does to other litigants who do not even have the benefit of counsel.




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