Winkler agrees that the statute is vague, but because the Bieber chase was "so outrageous," he says, "I don't think there will be a problem in this case."
"The concern is this will be used in circumstances not so obvious," says Bibring. Armour agrees, adding that it's one thing to discuss the law in hypotheticals, but only in concrete cases will its full ramifications be understood.
But according to one of its co-sponsors, former California Assembly Woman Karen Bass, now a U.S. representative, the law is working just as it should. In an E-mailed statement, she said, "In this specific case, I am glad Justin Beiber [sic] is safe and I hope that this incident serves as a lesson to paparazzi that they cannot cause severe risk to the public and the individual they are pursuing."
Corrected on 7/30/2012: A previous version of this article misspelled Patrick Alach’s name.