California Bar Journal
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


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Front Page - August 2001
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News / News Briefs
MCLE deadline for Group 3 (last names N-Z) is Feb. 1
Judicial Council launches online self-help center
California lawyers honored for work for homeless, minorities and children
Coy about her future, Reno focuses on women's issues
No bias found against solos
Governor signs two-year fee bill
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Ethics update...
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Trials Digest
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From the President - Bar targets unauthorized practice
Microsoft ruling: Foundation to settle
MJP is more than alphabet soup
Letters to the Editor
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Legal Tech - A look back at six years of technology news
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You Need to Know
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MCLE Self-Study
A word from our sponsors
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
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Ethics Byte - Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how
Recovering alcoholic may get to recover his license
Attorney Discipline
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Public Comment
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Self-Assessment Test
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Answer the following questions after reading the MCLE article on private advertising on public property. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.

1. A city always violates the First Amendment if it makes content-based distinctions when it allows private advertising on its public property.

2. In Lehman, a majority of the United States Supreme Court held that commuters' right of privacy was an adequate reason, by itself, for the City of Shaker Heights to exclude political messages from the "car card" space in its rapid transit system.

3. The California Supreme Court relied upon free speech guarantees of the California Constitution when it overturned the Alameda-Contra Costa County's exclusion of an anti-Vietnam War advertisement from the district's motor coaches.

4. The precedential value of the California Supreme Court's Wirta decision remains undiminished.

5. For First Amendment purposes, public property is classified as either a public forum, designated public forum or nonpublic forum.

6. A government entity may designate an area of public property to a public forum for limited purposes.

7. Streets and parks are considered to be designated public forums unless they have been specifically dedicated by the government to be open for expressive activity.

8. Litigation over private advertising programs on public property most often involves the line between traditional public forum and nonpublic forum.

9. Of all the federal courts of appeals, the Ninth Circuit has deferred most to the managerial decisions of government entities that conduct private advertising programs.

10. The Ninth Circuit relied on the Lehman case to invalidate the City of Phoenix's decision to exclude noncommercial advertising from bus panels.

11. Nevada's Clark County School District succeeded in barring family planning service advertisements from its student newspapers, yearbooks and athletic programs.

12. Amtrak successfully excluded a political advertisement from a Pennsylvania Station billboard on the grounds that the advertising space was a nonpublic forum.

13. The Second Circuit required New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority to display a political advertisement critical of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

14. How lower courts have applied the Lehman principle most often has turned on the written policy adopted by the government entity in question to regulate participation in its private advertising program.

15. The manner in which a government entity conducts a private advertising program often is determinative of public forum status.

16. If a government entity allows only commercial advertising in its private advertising program, then it signals to a reviewing court that making money is its primary goal.

17. A city's declaration that an advertising space is a nonpublic forum will be dispositive if the issue is raised in litigation.

18. Consistent enforcement of the eligibility criteria for a private advertising program is unnecessary to persuade a court that an advertising space is intended to be a nonpublic forum.

19. Public officials may lose their qualified immunity from damages liability by rejecting submissions to a private advertising program based on the viewpoint expressed.

20. Cities enjoy absolute discretion to determine whether or not to lease advertising space on their public property.