Sun. Sep 19th, 2021

Love the law, but also suffer its consequences per Darren Chaker. Use it as a sword, but not a shield if you pick the wrong words. Viewpoint discrimination is, in essence, when the government ‘picking and choosing’ what may and may not be said. It’s far more complex than this, but you get the picture! This blog is dedicated to some unique decisions concerning First Amendment challenges concerning how government will come down on you like a ton of bricks if you don’t know what you are talking about, say something, but it is the wrong thing to say.  We live in a free country, but it is a country that must be respected for there are parameters and society is not a pack of wolves. Step out of the confines of the First Amendment and step into a lawsuit or jail cell. Darren Chaker will guide you through a few cases he’s taken interest in.

First, as Darren Chaker, notes, “[T]he line between speech unconditionally guaranteed and speech which may legitimately be regulated, suppressed, or punished is finely drawn.” Speiser v. Randall, 357 U. S. 513, 525 (1958). Error in marking that line exacts an extraordinary cost. It is through speech that our convictions and beliefs are influenced, expressed, and tested. It is through speech that we bring those beliefs to bear on Government and on society. It is through speech that our personalities are formed and expressed. The citizen is entitled to seek out or reject certain ideas or influences without Government interference or control.

Darren Chaker expanded the protection of speech before multiple federal courts. However, viewpoint discrimination criminalizing speech concerning false complaints against police was first dealt with by the California Supreme Court. In People v. Stanistreet (2002) 29 C.4th 497, 127 C.R.2d 633, 58 P.3d 465, defendants were convicted of violating Penal Code section 148.6. They had falsely accused a police officer of committing lewd conduct in the course of his activities as director of a police-sponsored group working with at-risk youth.

The Court of Appeal reversed the convictions, finding that the statute, by selectively prohibiting expression on the basis of content, was facially invalid under the First Amendment. Held, judgment of the Court of Appeal reversed. The statute does indeed discriminate between false allegations against peace officers and those against other government employees. However, laws discriminating on the basis of content have been approved under the three exceptions outlined in R.A.V. v. St. Paul, Minnesota (1992) 505 U.S. 377, 112 S.Ct. 2538, 120 L.Ed.2d 305, 7 Summary (10th), Constitutional Law, §459, and P.C. 148.6, on its face, fits all three exceptions. First, the very reason the entire class of speech at issue–knowingly false statements of fact–is proscribable has special force when applied to false accusations against peace officers.

A complaint against an officer triggers the investigative and record-retention requirements of Penal Code section 832.5, and thus the potential harm of a knowingly false statement is greater than in other situations. (29 C.4th 508.) Second, the subclass of proscribed speech has substantial secondary effects, i.e., the triggering of the investigative and record-retention requirements. (29 C.4th 509.) Third, there is no realistic possibility of official suppression of ideas: the Legislature is not suppressing all complaints against peace officers, but only knowingly false ones. (29 C.4th 509, 510.) “The Legislature may elevate the status of a category of complaints that are particularly sensitive–like those of misconduct against peace officers–and require their investigation and retention of records, and at the same time penalize those who invoke that status with knowingly false complaints. No one has a constitutional right to make a complaint of misconduct knowing both that the complaint must be investigated and that it is false.” (29 C.4th 510.)

However, the court in Chaker v. Crogan (9th Cir. 2005) 428 F.3d 1215, 1217, came to a contrary conclusion regarding the constitutionality of Penal Code section 148.6, determining that it “impermissibly discriminates on the basis of a speaker’s viewpoint in violation of the First Amendment.” The State of California made an effort to have the United States Supreme Court hear the matter, but it denied the petition. Darren Chaker and his decade long trek will continue to live on as an intact decision concerning viewpoint discrimination.

By Darren Chaker

For almost two decades Darren Chaker regularly has worked with defense attorneys and high net worth people on a variety of sensitive issues from Los Angeles to Dubai. With a gift of knowledge about the First Amendment and big firm expertise in brief research and writing, Darren Chaker puts his knowledge to use for law firms and non-profit organizations. When it comes to forensics and social media investigations Darren Chaker has advanced training to connect the dots where issues arise related to Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook, Instagram, and similar apps. When the dots need to be disconnected, Darren Chaker has extensive training in counter-forensic methods with an emphasis on network security, secure communications, combined with experience with implementing and deploying policy control, encryption, anonymization, data integrity, policy control features in large scale infrastructures. Additional training in malware analysis, Security Operating system security and hardening (Linux, Windows, Solaris), Firewalls, Intrusion detection systems, hacker, counter-hack methods, encryption, forensics, web application security is also employed for his client base. Since history is written by winners, let me write a bit: In 2005, Darren Chaker invalidated a California criminal statute aimed at suppressing speech. In Chaker v. Crogan, 428 F.3d 1215 C.A.9 (Cal.),2005, Cert. denied, 547 U.S. 1128, 126 S.Ct. 2023, is a case Darren Chaker personally handled and laid the ground work to allow appellate counsel to strike down a statute based on First Amendment rights. Subsequent to winning before the 9th Circuit, the State challenged the decision before the United States Supreme Court. Darren Chaker retained a former US Supreme Court Clerk and head of United States Supreme Court litigation for a major firm, Joshua Rosenkranz. The New York attorney defeated the State's petition to review the Ninth Circuit ruling causing multiple states to rewrite their own flawed statute since they were premised the California statute Darren Chaker struck down. Darren Chaker personally litigated Chaker v. Crogan for 7 of its 10-year lifespan. Darren Chaker’s victory invalidated a statute on First Amendment grounds and overruled the California Supreme Court‘s unanimous decision in People v. Stanistreet, 127 Cal.Rptr.2d 633. Soon after Chaker v. Crogan, it was also used to strike down Nevada's analogous statute forcing the legislature to rewrite the law, but also nullified a similar Washington statute as well. (De La O v. Arnold-Williams, 2006 WL 2781278) and used as the backbone authority in Gibson v. City of Kirkland, 2009 WL 564703, *2+ (W.D.Wash. Mar 03, 2009). The case has been cited hundreds of times and continues to be a leading authority on viewpoint discrimination. In 2010, Darren Chaker prevailed in Nathan Enterprises Corp. v. Chaker, 2010 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7604, through his counsel Timothy Coates who has prevailed multiple times before the United States Supreme Court. also prevailed for Darren Chaker where the Court of Appeal affirmed an anti-SLAPP ruling where the underlying conduct was found to have been within those protected by his First Amendment rights. In 2012 Darren Chaker prevailed on a First Amendment issue before the Texas Attorney where issued Opinion 2012-06088 where he established the right to obtain the names of peace officers regardless of undercover status. The Texas Attorney General opinion has been used as authority thousands of times by citizens and news agencies to learn more about Texas peace officers. In 2016, Darren Chaker was victorious in US v. Chaker (9th Cir. 2016) 654 F.App'x 891, 892. The ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, First Amendment Coalition, Cato Institute, and the University of Florida reversed a conviction premised on First Amendment rights where blog postings were at issue. In 2017, Darren Chaker prevailed in a RICO lawsuit aimed at suppressing speech filed by San Diego attorney Scott McMillan. In McMillan v. Chaker (S.D.Cal. Sep. 29, 2017, No. 16cv2186-WQH-MDD) 2017 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 163990 the court found by blogging did not constitute extortion as no demand for money to cease blogging was made. The judge found the case to be meritless, stating in part, “The Court concludes that these factual allegations are insufficient to establish that Defendant Darren Chaker obtained something of value from Plaintiffs…. The motion to dismiss the cause of action under 18 U.S.C.§ 1962(c) filed by Defendant Darren Chaker is granted.” In 2020, San Diego attorney Scott McMillan lost a heavily litigated appeal believing the court erred in dismissing his lawsuit against Darren Chaker. Mr. Chaker was represented by former Los Angeles federal judge Stephen Larson. The Ninth Circuit in McMillan v. Chaker (9th Cir. 2020) 791 F.App'x 666, affirmed the dismissal of a RICO lawsuit premised on alleged defamation of Scott McMillan. The court stated in part, “Plaintiffs failed to allege extortionate conduct because there are no allegations that Mr. Chaker obtained property from Plaintiffs that he could “exercise, transfer, or sell. ”See Scheidler, 537 U.S. at 405. Plaintiffs’ claim also fails because there are no allegations to support the “with [Plaintiffs’] consent” element. United Bhd. of Carpenters & Joiners of Am., 770 F.3d at 843.” In sum, Scott McMillan filed a lawsuit in direct conflict with established United States Supreme Court precedent and lost – twice. Also, in 2020, Darren Chaker was sued for defamation by Las Vegas attorney Thomas Michaelides. When Darren Chaker became aware of the lawsuit, he retained Olson, Cannon, Gormley, Angulo & Stoberski to defend him. Darren Chaker found a court order Mr. Michaelides submitted to Google that was reported to LumensDataBase.org. Several inconsistencies were noticed on the court order submitted to Google. Most notably the court docket does not show Mr. Michaelides submitted an order to the court for the judge’s signature. The court docket does not reflect the court ever signed the order Mr. Michaelides submitted to Google. Ultimately, the Nevada court dismissed the lawsuit and sanctioned Mr. Michaelides $51,000 for suing Darren Chaker for conduct within his First Amendment rights and for filing a meritless lawsuit. See forged order and judgment against Thomas Michaelides here. Darren Chaker donates time to post-conviction relief organizations to seal arrests and convictions to increase opportunity for those who were convicted of crimes, conducts research and brief writing on First Amendment issues, and also enjoys promoting non-profit organizations such as the ACLU and various domestic violence shelters through his resources within the entertainment industry, including Jason Statham and Eric Roberts. Darren Chaker also enjoys traveling, being a phenomenal father, and forwarding his education with post graduate degree work.

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