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Metromedia v. City of San Diego
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Metromedia (Plaintiff) is a company engaged in the business of outdoor advertising in San Diego, California. It owns a large number of billboards throughout the city. The City of San Diego (City) passed a land-use ordinance that greatly curtailed the types of outdoor advertisements permissible in San Diego. Signs affixed to the property where the advertised goods or services were offered were deemed permissible. Advertisements of goods or services available elsewhere were barred. Furthermore, all noncommercial advertising was prohibited unless the advertisement fit within twelve enumerated exceptions. The ordinance’s two purposes were to promote traffic safety by removing distracting advertisement displays and to improve the aesthetics of the city. Plaintiff sued, seeking to enjoin enforcement of the ordinance. The parties stipulated that many businesses resorted to outdoor advertising because other forms of advertisement were insufficient for their needs. The parties also stipulated that the ordinance would essentially eliminate the business of outdoor advertising in the city. The trial court held that the ordinance was unconstitutional. The California Court of Appeals affirmed. The California Supreme Court reversed, holding that the City’s two purposes were legitimate and that the ordinance was constitutionally permissible under the First Amendment.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.