In 2012, David Kestenbaum filed a lawsuit challenging an anti-paparazzi law that was passed in California in 2010. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a photographer, Paul Raef, who was charged with causing a car accident in which a high profile celebrity, Justin Bieber, was involved.
Mr. Kestenbaum believes that the law is unconstitutional. Additionally, the law is seemingly repetitive as there are already anti-stalking and reckless driving laws on the books in the state.
Implications Beyond Paparazzi
In a media interview, Mr. Kestenbaum detailed his position on the law, stating that he felt it would have a chilling effect on how members of the media do their jobs. Because the law also applies to journalists who are taking photographs to supplement news stories (i.e. not to sell to tabloids), it would potentially prevent journalists from doing their jobs when it comes to news gathering.
A law like this is not acceptable, especially when is violative of the First Amendment rights of the press. California already has laws that address the actions of paparazzi when taking photos of celebrities. These laws are enough, according to Mr. Kestenbaum, and an anti-paparazzi law such as the one passed in 2010 goes beyond the confines of the state and federal constitution.
Appealing the Law
If the law is held to be constitutional, Mr. Kestenbaum plans to file an appeal so that a California appeals court can consider the constitutionality of the law. Mr. Kestenbaum also felt that if the law was held to be unconstitutional, the state’s Attorney General would appeal in an attempt to get a more favorable ruling from a higher court.
Mr. Kestenbaum stated the process could take months. However, for a constitutional question like this, time is not an issue. Ensuring that the media’s rights are not infringed upon by a special interest group – entertainment lawyers and their clients – is an essential part of this case, and Mr. Kestenbaum is aggressively litigating and defending the rights of his client who did nothing wrong.
Call the Kestenbaum Law Group today for your free consultation (818) 616-4312.