Managing Billboards in the Digital Age

APA County Planning Division


Thursday, January 30, 2014
2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. CST

Webinar, IL, United States

CM | 1.50
L | 1.50

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Learning Objective One: Recommending “best practices” for planners and public lawyers when drafting and adopting zoning ordinances related to new sign technologies, and when responding to applications for such uses. Learning Objective Two: Helping planners and attorneys prepare to defend sign codes if they end up before more skeptical judges. General Description: Despite several important victories by cities and counties since the roll-out of digital sign networks, not all judges can be expected to rubber-stamp ordinances that prohibit or restrict such uses. Some courts might require the scope of particularly restrictive ordinances to directly advance at least one important government interest. Less restrictive ordinances – that permit such uses in some settings but not others – might become targets for attack if the distinctions between legal and illegal uses are not easily justified. The co-presenters (Professors Daniel Mandelker and John M. Baker) will help planners and attorneys prepare to defend sign codes if they end up before more skeptical judges. What information and skills will people take back to their own community? Best practices for avoiding (or winning) litigation about sign regulation, and a more current understanding of governing principles and risks. Outline of Session 1. Inventory of potential legal issues that can arise in regulating digital-age signage. 2. The requirement of content neutrality, thirty years after the Supreme Court's "Tower of Babel" ruling in Metromedia: Has the law become more clear? 3. Some best practices for planners and lawyers. 4. Justifying regulations: When a court may or may not defer to local judgment. 5. Justifying broad prohibitions of digital-age signs. 6. Justifying less burdensome restrictions and exceptions.

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John M. Baker

Confirmed Speaker

Mr. Baker has practiced law for the last twenty-five (25) years in Minneapolis, and is a founding partner of the Greene Espel PLLP law firm. Since 2006, he has taught the Land Use Law course as an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. Read More

Daniel R. Mandelker

Confirmed Speaker

Professor Mandelker is the Stamper Professor of Law at Washington University, where he teaches land use and state and local government law. He is the author of the PAS Report on Street Graphics and the Law and a handbook on Free Speech Law for On Premise Signs. Read More