• Interview With Billboard Lawyer Adam Webb

    Adam Webb is an expert in billboard law. If you deal with a billboard company in the southeast, chances are Adam is the company’s counsel. Adam is a managing partner at Webb, Klase & Lemond, a Georgia law firm. Adam can be reached at 770-444-0773 or Adam@WebbLLC.com. Insider asked Adam about some trends in billboard law earlier this week.

    Adam, how’d you get involved in the billboard business?

    I worked for a First Amendment law firm that represented newspapers and TV and radio stations. A billboard company came to the firm based on that reputation. I was given the project, and the rest is history.

    Any thoughts about this month’s Scenic America attempt to assert that the DOT’s guidance to states on digital signs violates the 1965 Highway Beautification Act?

    Scenic America is a fringe group consisting of a few radical anti-billboard types. They will not concede that billboards can be appropriate, even in heavily commercial or industrial areas. So any action taken by that group is suspect. In this instance, they have let their personal bias cloud their rational thinking.

    More municipalities seem to be requiring the takedown of 2-4 static signs for every digital sign conversion. Is this happening in the southeast?

    Not much. Most jurisdictions in the southeast are still pro-business and see no reason to restrict a community upgrade, such as a new, upscale LED sign. If a billboard is forcibly removed, then two local businesses are losing their most cost-effective advertising and a landowner is losing a great source of income.

    What sort of facts provide the strongest basis for a billboard company to challenge a sign code?

    After the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the most obviously unconstitutional aspect of many sign codes is the regulation of signs based on content. Cities and counties should not try to micromanage speech.

    What’s a little known fact about you that people would be surprised to know?
    We have handled sign law matters from coast-to-coast, with cases on the West Coast, in the Mountain States, in the Midwest, and certainly in the South and East. Luckily, much of the law related to signs is similar across the country.

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