Nevada Attorney – “Veterans Need Skinning”
By Jere Beery
In a December 5, 2011 mass email to several grassroots veteran’s organizations, Las Vegas Attorney, Marshal Willick declares anyone or organization that supports absolute protection of veteran’s disability compensation from being used in a divorce as “income” and divided with a former spouse are Wacko-Jobs.
In Willick’s eleven page “Legal Note”, he compares the dangers of military service to “zoo keepers” and “construction workers” saying the risk to their lives is just as dangerous as military service. Willick also claims that the waiver process of retirement pay for disability compensation is a “scheme” perpetrated by the veteran to avoid paying alimony. Willick’s legal note contains one degrading insult after another.
You may read Marshal Willick’s Legal Note at this link. It is suggested that readers read every word of the post.
Willick’s legal note also contains a number of very degrading and belittling comments about the men and women who serve in our military. Willick labeled anyone who stands up for the protection of veteran’s disability compensation in a divorce settlement as ‘fringe militants nut jobs’, who hide behind ‘patriotism’ to avoid paying alimony and child support for self enrichment purposes. What Willick doesn’t say in his email is, he routinely has his clients sign a ‘contingency agreement’ in which he (Willick) gets 50% of all the moneys he wins. In other words, half of the money awarded to an ex-spouse, which is based solely on a combat disabled veteran’s disability compensation, go directly into Mr. Willick’s pocket, not to the ex-spouse, or the child/children.
To view two of Willick’s signed contingency agreements, visit these links;
According to Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE), National Director, Gene D. Simes, Marshal Willick has painted our military community with a very broad dirty brush. Absolute protection of veteran’s disability benefits is nothing new. Protection of veteran’s disability compensation has been lobbied for and promoted by some of our country’s largest veteran’s service organizations, to include the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and The Retired Officers Association (TROA). Simes says Willick may not have mentioned these organizations directly by name, but he has included them all based on their position concerning the protection of veteran’s disability compensation in a divorce settlement. All three of these well respected veteran’s organizations have supported absolute protection of veteran’s disability benefits in civil courts.
In 2007, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) authored and unanimously passed a Resolution addressing the protection of veteran’s disability compensation in a divorce. The following is an excerpt from that resolution. <quote>”The courts show little understanding or appreciation for the principle that veterans’ entitlements are awarded solely to veterans because of their personal sacrifices, contributions in the defense of our Nation, or consequent personal suffering associated with service-connected disabilities and for that reason should not inure or vest to the benefit of others who have no natural right or valid legal interest in such benefits.” <unquote>
To view a copy of DAV Resolution #165, visit this link: www.anamericanpromise.org/legal/DAVR.pdf
The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) have also weighed in on the subject with a formal statement, <quote>; “Various courts have shown no hesitation to force disabled veterans to surrender their disability compensation and sole source of sustenance to able-bodied former spouses as alimony awards, although divorced spouses are entitled to no veterans’ benefits under veterans’ law. The welfare of ex-spouses has never been a purpose for dispensing veterans’ benefits.”<unquote>
To view a copy of PVA Resolution, visit this link: www.anamericanpromise.org/legal/PVAR.pdf
On February 28, 1991, Colonel Chris Giaimo, USAF/Retired, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for The Retired Officers Association (TROA) addressed the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives concerning the passage of the Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act. The following is an excerpt from Colonel Giaimo’s testimony; <quote>“Disability pay is a form of personal compensation to the retired member. The former spouse is not the one who suffered the service connected disability. It was the military member, oftentimes as a result of combat, who incurred this disability. Implicit in the proposal to divide disability retired pay is the notion that the former spouse participated in combat or endured the conditions of service which resulted in the disability or illness. In our opinion this proposal is totally illogical. While I do not wish to sound theatrical, this proposal goes far beyond the scope of spousal support and strikes a devastating blow to the disabled veteran’s psyche.”<unquote>
Willick is an expert on blurring the lines between military retirement pay, disability compensation, alimony, and child support. Willick considers retirement pay and disability compensation as exactly the same money and should be treated as ‘income’ and awarded exactly the same way, 50/50. Simes says nothing could be farther from the truth. Military retirement pay is paid out by the Department of Defense and is taxable income. Veteran’s disability compensation is paid out by the Department of Veterans Affairs and is tax exempt compensation, not income. Any division or attachment of disability compensation is prohibited under US Code 38 section 5301, while military retirement is authorized under USC Title 10 section 1408, best known as the Uniformed Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act (USFSPA), which is another can of worms all together.
Marshal Willick is also a master at convincing the courts and his peers to agree with his misinterpretation of veteran’s benefits and retirement pay. His tactics are no different than an ambulance chaser, except in his practice of law he uses the sacrifices of wounded and injured veterans, which are demonstrated by his 50% contingency agreements. He exploits the hardships of vulnerable military spouses, children and the sacrifices of our returning service members. His motives are truly self-indulgent and he has absolutely no respect for the military and what it stands for. Willick uses the ‘poor spouse’ and ‘needy child’ tactic to get the highest award possible, and then helps himself to half of the awarded money. Gene Simes says Willick is nothing more than a common crook in a shark skin suit hiding his self-enrichment motives behind the ex-spouse and the veteran’s children to pad his own bank account. The tax payers of this country are going to be furious when they discover federal tax dollars they pay into the system for the care of our disabled veterans are in fact ending up in Willick’s pocket.
Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE), National Chairman, Gene D. Simes says Marshal Willick is not only ripping off our combat disabled veterans, he is stealing from the spouse and child as well. Both actions are a violation of USC, Title 38, section 5301, which clearly states; (a) (1) Payments of benefits due or to become due under any law administered by the Secretary shall not be assignable except to the extent specifically authorized by law, and such payments made to, or on account of, a beneficiary shall be exempt from taxation, shall be exempt from the claim of creditors, and shall not be liable to attachment, levy, or seizure by or under any legal or equitable process whatever, either before or after receipt by the beneficiary. According to Marshal Willick, this federal law carries absolutely no weight in state divorce court.
At one point in Willick’s legal note, he states the ‘battle lines’ have been drawn. Gene Simes says Marshal Willick has never served in the military, or been in combat. Mr. Willick has no concept of the meaning of the words ‘battle lines’. The veterans of this country will decide when and where the battle lines will be drawn, not Attorney Marshal Willick.
[URGENT REQUEST] In the past week alone, no less than twelve formal complaints have been filed with the Nevada State Bar against Marshal Willick. After you read Willick’s legal note, we are asking everyone to file a complaint with NSB, here is the contact information;
State Bar of Nevada Office of Bar Counsel
9456 Double R Blvd. Suite B, Reno, NV 89521
TEL (775) 329-4100 FAX (775) 329-0522
Gene Simes and Operation Firing For Effect is currently organizing a coalition of veterans’ groups to address Mr. Willick’s continued attacks on our veterans. Remember; if you do nothing, you can expect nothing to change. For more information, contact Gene Simes at; (315)986-7322.
Related story links;
- State Civil Courts Conspire to Defraud American Taxpayers and Our Nation’s Disabled Veterans
- Your Military Service will be used Against You in a Divorce
- Veteran Court Conspiracy Exposed
Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=179075
Posted by Jere Beery on Jan 16 2012, With 0 Reads, Filed under Editor, Vet News, Veterans Affairs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.