ABRAMS SETTLES for $155K
Moments ago, our editorial staff learned that local attorney, Jennifer V. Abrams, and the Abrams & Mayo Law Firm recently entered into a settlement agreement with Steve Sanson and VIPI. The Abrams Parties agreed to pay $155,000 to resolve the parties’ ongoing litigation. Our editorial staff was informed that Abrams and her firm have already paid the settlement in full—$155k.
The lawsuit is continuing in district court. Attorney Louis Schneider remains as a defendant. After the Nevada Supreme Court almost entirely upheld the district court’s prior decision to grant an anti-SLAPP motion, Schneider sought fees and costs and dismiss the remaining claims. Those motions are still pending.
Our editorial staff spoke with Steve Sanson, who explained that the settlement agreement has no confidentiality clause. “Well, Abrams wanted confidentiality, but I said, NO!” explains Sanson, “This is about freedom of speech and I took an oath to defend the Constitution along with our fundamental liberty interests in freedom of speech. This case started with Jennifer Abrams suing to silence me and the public has an interest in knowing what happens in their Family Courts.”
Abrams is a controversial divorce attorney—who along with her fiancée Attorney Marshal Willick, another divorce attorney, is emblematic of the chronic problems that plague the family court.
In early 2017, Sanson criticized abuses in the Clark County Family Courts and declared WAR on it. As part of that war, Sanson published a courtroom video of Abrams’ sketchy courtroom conduct. The video was highly embarrassing for Abrams. Sanson then exposed embarrassing details of a registered sex offender working in Willick’s office.
Sanson was clearly a threat to their family Court racket, so Abrams and Willick retaliated—by filing a defamation lawsuit against Sanson, VIPI, and all its officers! (Holy guacamole!)
Concurrent with filing their lawsuits, they also formed a Facebook group to bully and harass Sanson and his organization VIPI. Part of their strategy to destroy Sanson was to not only attack him personally but to destroy VIPI by bullying and harassing any family court litigants or individuals believed to associate with him personally, attend any of VIPI’s family court protests, or appear on Sanson’s radio program. These “Sanson Litigants”, were comprised of victims of the Family Court racket most of whom had been beaten down, destroyed financially, and had their children stolen from them. Ostensibly, they were looking for any help from anyone that would listen.
For some of these litigants, this was understandably the most difficult time of their lives, but it was about to get worse. Willick and Abrams’ online group would harass and “dox” those litigants, posting details of their cases, and tease and belittle those litigants for their appearance or past indiscretions, all while falsely professing to respect the “privacy” of family court matters. If a family court litigant appeared to be connected to Sanson, the group supported the litigant on another side. In some cases, group members would approach the sometimes desperate for help Sanson Litigants and offer to assist them with their cases. Unfortunately, they were not making these offers to help, but to sabotage those litigants’ cases all so they could publicly laugh about their loss publicly while insinuating that they lost because of their association with Sanson. This was part of an organized strategy to make any association with Sanson toxic.
The group which is now called “Nevada Court Watchers” is staffed by employees of Abrams’ law office.
During the litigation, they effectively shut down VIPI and sent false affidavits to his internet service providers shutting down their email and ability to contact their members. The cases hit their apex when Willick in coordination with either vulnerable or corrupt judge arranged a kangaroo hearing where Sanson was falsely accused of attempting to influence a case. The video of this hearing was widely publicized in an effort to further discredit Sanson.
The problem is… Abrams and Willick knew all along that their lawsuits lacked merit but that wasn’t the point of their lawsuits. They were filed to punish Sanson for exposing and embarrassing them and to discredit and stop him from further exposing abuses by themselves as well as others in the Clark County Family Court. As if they couldn’t be any more transparent, Willick represented Abrams in her lawsuit, and Abrams represented Willick in his lawsuit.
During the most recent 2020 election cycle, Abrams and Willick expanded their efforts with the creation of the NCW PAC, a political action committee to harass judicial candidates that accepted endorsements from VIPI, attended VIPI sponsored debates, or attended VIPI events. Unfortunately, their threats to judicial candidates were believed by many and the public was harmed since these events gave voters an opportunity to learn more about the candidates. NCW PAC’s bullying resulted in one judicial candidate filing for a TPO against Abrams’ employees Mark Diciero and David Schoen.
In the end, Abrams’ lawsuit was held over despite that she had no likelihood of prevailing on her specious defamation claim (and she knew it). She apparently believed that her defamation lawsuit would end Sanson’s criticisms of her shady courtroom conduct. But Abrams never counted on the indomitable fighting spirit of a United States Marine! “OO-rah!”
In response to Abrams’ half-stepping defamation lawsuit, Sanson countered with an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss—and Abrams got knocked out! It was epic! Sanson handed Abrams a stunning upset defeat! Much like the Lakers victory over the Supersonics back in 1989! Unfortunately, the damage to Sanson and VIPI was already done.
It was long, arduous litigation. Abrams lost in the trial court, then she appealed, but again, she (almost entirely) lost. It wasn’t even a valiant fight. It was just sad. Some legal observers speculate on whether Abrams was stubbornly prolonging her inevitable defeat—trying to prove a point. If so, the only point is that Abrams paid $155,000 (ouch!). Sanson showed himself to be a noble defender of First Amendment liberties!
In the court, Steve Sanson and VIPI established proved that his criticisms of Abrams’ reprehensible courtroom conduct are free speech—protected by the First Amendment! This means that Sanson has a constitutional right to criticize Abrams—regardless of whether she is offended! Sanson’s triumph over Abrams was a ginormous victory for free speech enthusiasts nationwide!
Sanson added, “I am glad the Nevada Supreme Court correctly ruled that an attorney’s courtroom conduct is a matter of public interest, which we can discuss publicly! With all due respect to Ms. Abrams, she must learn to accept criticisms—especially when they’re valid.”
“And, I’d like to thank my lawyer, Maggie, McLetchie—a heavy hitter—a First Amendment guru—who always had faith in me,” says Sanson who added, “and I wish to thank her associates, the hard-working Leo Wolpert, and Alina Shell. Without these talented individuals, this landmark decision would not have been possible! I also want to give a shout-out to Anat Levy who always has my back!”
The Nevada Supreme Court ruling in Abrams vs. Sanson has sent shockwaves through the corridors of legal power statewide! The high court precedent is clear and unambiguous. The Nevada Supreme Court wholeheartedly supports free speech!
The VIPI editorial staff spoke with our legal correspondent, T. Matthew Phillips, a First Amendment aficionado, who explained, “What we do in life—echoes in eternity.” Phillips added, “When Carson City enacted our state’s anti-SLAPP statutes, they had in mind Jenny Abrams’ frivolous lawsuit against Steve Sanson.
Justice was served!”
We were also fortunate to speak with a world-renowned constitutional expert, Maggie McLetchie, who told our staff, “I’m pleased the parties were able to reach an amicable resolution.”
“She sued me to stifle my free speech,” says Sanson, “and the reason she tried to stifle my free speech was to hide her own misconduct.” Sanson added, “If you see something, say something, right? So, I see a shyster lawyer, I say something … she files a shyster lawsuit … she gets slapped out of the water! $155 thousand smackeroos! Cha-Ching! Thank you, please come again!”
Our editorial team wondered whether there’s any legal insight that this litigation may offer—as a learning experience. T. Matthew Phillips explained, “Never underestimate your opponent.” Phillips reminds us, “That’s straight outta Sun-Tzu! Jenny Abrams underestimated a tough-as-nails United States Marine, who basically opened a can of whoop-ass with a side o’ fries and a triple-thick chocolate shake!”
THE WILLICK FACTOR
Note also, the legal battle rages on between Sanson and Marshal Willick another divorce attorney. Remarkably, Willick, who is no stranger to committing defamation (see R. Scotlund Vaile v. Marshal S. Willick and Willick Law Group Case No. 6:07-cv-00011, USDC Western District of Virginia Lynchburg Division), pulled the same stunt as his girlfriend, fiancée, wife (who knows) Jenny Abrams. And, like his girlfriend, Sanson served up a “how-do-you-do!”
Willick now back-peddles, desperately trying to dismiss his own lawsuit against Sanson.
Their “Nevada Court Watchers” harassment group continues to this day essentially as Willick and Abrams’ personal bully squad enforcers, but strangely, while they were previously reporting on every detail of their employers’ lawsuits, the group is strangely silent on Sanson these days, as they are regarding Abrams’ epic defeat of Abrams multiple times at the Supreme Court (represented by Willick) and her six-figure payout to Sanson.
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