VETERANS GROUP WINS SUPREME COURT APPEAL IN CASE AGAINST MARSHAL WILLICK AND WILLICK LAW GROUP RELATED TO DEFAMATION SUIT REGARDING REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER EMPLOYED AT WILLICK LAW GROUP
LAS VEGAS – On Friday, February 21st, 2020, Veterans In Politics International (VIPI) won an appeal in the Nevada Supreme Court against attorney Marshal Willick and his law firm, Willick Law Group.
The underlying case is related to various statements that VIPI, a Nevada non-profit veterans’ advocacy organization published about Nevada family law attorney Marshal Willick, registered sex offender Richard Crane, and the Willick Law Group. Willick and Willick Law Group filed suit against VIPI and its president Steve Sanson asserting claims for, inter alia, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, false light, and business disparagement related to the statements.
Statements VIPI published included the fact that family law attorney Marshal Willick was employing attorney Richard Crane, a known registered sex offender, at The Willick Law Group, a Nevada family law office. In a later post, VIPI posed a question on social media asking if divorcing parents would want an attorney handling their child custody case if they “knew a sex offender works in the same office.” VIPI knew from police documents that the sex crime for which the attorney was convicted was committed in-part from an IP address “which could be positively identified as the Law office of Willick Law Group in Las Vegas.” Given the nature of the conviction, there was understandable concern that the attorney might gain access to sensitive photos of children of litigants the firm was representing.
Willick’s claim against Sanson for defamation is ironic considering that another of the statements published by VIPI was the fact that Mr. Willick and the aforementioned registered sex offender were “found guilty of defaming a law student in the United States District Court Western District of Virginia.” The order, in that case, granted summary judgment against the attorneys for Defamation.
In another social media post, VIPI pointed out that Mr. Willick was hypocritical in claiming to support veterans while advocating for a policy that preys on disabled veterans. AB 150 in the 2015 Legislative session was a bill that allowed veterans disability benefits to be included in divorce proceedings. Mr. Willick, by his support of the bill, apparently condones snatching disability benefits from wounded veterans ostensibly to entice future clients with the promise of more money in a divorce.
In its decision, in-part, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that each statement made by VIPI concerned an issue of public interest.
This decision is a win for VIPI, veterans advocates, and family court litigants in Southern Nevada. 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 disabled veterans and family court litigants.