Former Boulder City, Nevada Police Chief Thomas Finn moved again on Monday to have a federal civil rights suit filed against Finn and the city dismissed. The suit alleges, among other things, that Finn tried to prevent the Mongols Motorcycle Club from holding its national run in Boulder City in June 2012. Attorneys for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which is also a defendant in the suit, filed to dismiss the case on September 18.
The suit charges that Finn and other policemen “conspired and devised a plan to harass members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club and their guests to the point that they would never want to come back to Boulder City or Southern Nevada ever again.” The suit was filed by Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs on behalf of 22 members or associates of the Mongols. The suit categorizes various incidents of harassment as violations of the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution.
The suit was originally filed in 2012, amended, dismissed and refiled at the end of August 2013.
The legal argument between Stubbs (above) and Finn has been personal for more than a year. Finn sued Stubbs in November 2012 and lost. The ongoing, public argument between Stephen Stubbs and Thomas Finn at least contributed to the former chief being fired last April. So it is not surprising that attorneys for all the defendants in the case are demanding that the suit be dismissed because the complainants are all represented by Stubbs.
The idea behind that demand is that Stubbs actually witnessed many of the events described in the civil rights suit. According to the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted in whole from the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, “A lawyer shall not act as advocate at a trial in which the lawyer is likely to be a necessary witness unless… disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client.”
In Finn’s motion for dismissal the former chief argues “Attorney Stubbs will clearly be a witness. In fact, he would be the only witness to testify about these events. Thus, he should be disqualified from prosecuting any claim based upon these acts of misconduct.”
If Not Stubbs Who
Stubbs has not formally replied to the motions yet, but he will probably argue that his dismissal will “work substantial hardship” on his clients.
In an interview with this page Stubbs said: “In the past two years, I have made it a point to ride with my clients, attend my clients’ events and protect their civil rights whenever I can. Even with me there, the police have violated the rights of Motorcycle Clubs, and now, because I witnessed it, the police want me gone.”
“I think this has more to do with the fact that no other attorney would take the case without $50,000 plus in legal retainers. I’m sure they are hoping that getting me off the case will make the case disappear because my clients might not be able to pay the retainers.”
“I am confident that I am within my ethical duties to serve as the attorney here. Also, I am confident that the Judge will allow me to remain on the case and continue fighting. Finally, I am one hundred percent certain that Vegas Metro are cowards to try to deprive my clients of counsel, especially since I am the only attorney that was willing to take the case without requiring $50,000 or more in up front retainers.”