LAS VEGAS, NV – October 19, 2020 – Nevada attorney Thomas Michaelides was sanctioned by a Las Vegas judge. Mr. Michaelides sued his former client Darren Chaker for defamation. Mr. Chaker became adverse to Mr. Michaelides when his paralegal, Matthew Katz, did legal work on Mr. Chaker’s family law case. Mr. Katz was subsequently arrested for the Unauthorized Practice of Law.
The lawsuit alleged in part Mr. Chaker posted the four different times Mr. Michaelides was suspended or disciplined by the State Bar of Nevada. The blogs were critical of the TCM Law Group that Mr. Michaelides does business under.
When Mr. Chaker became aware of the lawsuit, he retained Olson, Cannon, Gormley, Angulo & Stoberski to defend him. Mr. 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. The signature block of the judge was crooked and the file stamp of the Clerk of the Court was misplaced. It is a federal offense to forge a court order 18 USCS § 505. It is also a felony to forge a court order under Nevada Revised Statutes § 205.175. Eugene Volokh teaches First Amendment law at UCLA and has written extensively about forged court orders aimed at removing protected online speech.
The court also found Mr. Chaker’s online posts were within his First Amendment right to have made, therefore dismissing the complaint under an anti-SLAPP motion filed by the defense. However, Nevada law allows attorney’s fees up to $10,000 to bring an anti-SLAPP motion, but the court may award more if the lawsuit was meritless. In this instance, the court issued a judgement against Mr. Michaelides for a total of $51,650 for bringing a meritless lawsuit and dismissed the lawsuit. Mr. Michaelides failed to oppose any allegation the court order was in fact forged. The court orders awarding attorney fees and costs, the forged court order, and unopposed anti-SLAPP motion can be found here. The Clerk of the Court entered the orders October 8, 2020.
It was also determined Mr. Michaelides consulted with San Diego attorney Scott McMillan who recently lost a similar lawsuit aimed at removing blogs about The McMillan Law Firm, La Mesa, California. Those posts typically related to where Mr. McMIllan was sued for fraud, legal malpractice, or where court sanctions were issued against him. The federal court dismissed the lawsuit and the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal on January 27, 2020 in Case No. 17-56676.
Thomas Michaelides is under active prosecution by the State Bar of Nevada.
Darren Chaker requests questions are addressed to the law firm that represented him.
For additional court records, see https://www.scribd.com/document/480799140/Darren-Chaker-Awarded-Attorney-Fees