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Hafter v. Bare

United States District Court, D. Nevada

August 2, 2013

JACOB HAFTER, Plaintiff,
v.
ROB BARE, DAVID A. CLARK, GLENN MACHADO, and PHIL PATTEE, Defendants

Decided: August 1, 2013.

For Jacob Hafter, Plaintiff: Jacob L Hafter, HAFTERLAW, Las Vegas, NV.

For State Bar of Nevada, Rob Bare, David A. Clark, Glenn Machado, Phil Pattee, Defendants: David A Clark, State Bar of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV.

OPINION

Page 1208

ORDER

PHILIP M. PRO, United States District Judge.

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Jacob Hafter's Motion to Reopen Case and for Leave to File Third Amended Complaint (Doc. #46), filed on January 8, 2013. Defendants filed an Opposition (Doc. #47) on January 25, 2013. Plaintiff filed a Reply (Doc. #48) on February 4, 2013.

I. BACKGROUND

This action arises out of Nevada State Bar disciplinary proceedings against Plaintiff Jacob Hafter (" Hafter" ), a Nevada-licensed attorney, for statements Hafter made while running as a candidate for Attorney General for the State of Nevada. The Court previously dismissed Hafter's Second Amended Complaint (Doc. #32) under the abstention principles of Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 91 S.Ct. 746, 27 L.Ed.2d 669 (1971), as this Court exercising jurisdiction over Hafter's claims would have interfered with ongoing state attorney discipline proceedings. (Order (Doc. #38).)

Following this Court's dismissal of the action pending in this Court, Hafter filed an Emergency Petition for Writ of Prohibition with the Nevada Supreme Court in which he requested the Nevada Supreme Court " preclude [Defendants] from engaging in their discipline of Petitioner for comments he made as candidate for Attorney

Page 1209

General in a press release issued by his campaign and comments he made to a reporter." Hafter v. State Bar of Nev., No. 56124, Emergency Pet. for Writ of Prohibition at 1 (May 28, 2010). [1] Hafter argued that " [u]nder the First Amendment, political speech is an unfettered right, and, as such Mr. Hafter should not have to even defend his political speech in a disciplinary process." Id. at 1; see also id. at 10.

The Nevada Supreme Court denied Hafter's petition. Hafter v. State Bar of Nev., No. 56124, Order Denying Pet. for Writ of Prohibition (June 1, 2010). The Nevada Supreme Court denied the petition because no formal disciplinary proceedings had yet occurred, Hafter had an adequate remedy through the disciplinary process, and Hafter's petition therefore was premature. Id. at 2-3. In footnote one of its Order, the Nevada Supreme Court acknowledged Hafter's First Amendment argument, but concluded that no First Amendment rights were implicated unless and until discipline was imposed. Id. at 2-3 n.1. Specifically, the Nevada Supreme Court stated:

[U]ntil the disciplinary procedure is concluded, [the Nevada Supreme Court's] intervention by way of extraordinary writ is not warranted. The reason for this is that if no discipline is imposed, then the First Amendment is not implicated; only if Hafter's statements are found to violate the rules ...

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