Riverside County Law Library

Law Day

Person holding paper with First AmendmentFree Speech in the Internet Era
Professor Charles Doskow

Tuesday, April 30
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Victor Miceli Law Library

FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Reserve spot on Eventbrite.

About the program

In the era where false statements, lies and misinformation can easily spread like wildfires through social media, we must ask are false statements protected by the First Amendment? This program is an attempt to gain an understanding of the First Amendment and the Constitutional protection of false statements. Professor Doskow, Constitutional Law Professor at University of La Verne, will discuss whether there is a First Amendment right to receive and impart false and/or misleading statements, how can we protect our right to free speech, and what role should the law play in stopping the spread of misinformation and disinformation.

About the Speaker

Professor Charles Doskow has been teaching at the University of La Verne College of Law, since 1979, and served as dean from 1980-1985. He currently teaches Constitutional Law and Professional Responsibility, having taught the former over the past fifteen years.

In addition to teaching, Professor Doskow has written law review articles and book reviews, contributed to the editorial pages of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and appeared on KPCC public radio and Time Warner Cable Local Edition. He has received the Defender of the Constitution Award from the Inland Empire Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Western San Bernardino Bar Association. He was voted one of two Professors of the Year by the University of La Verne Law School student body in 2013.

Professor Doskow received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and spent over 20 years in private practice, specializing in business law, real estate, construction and land use, civil litigation, and dispute resolution. He has served as the President of the Western San Bernardino County Bar Association, the San Bernardino County Bar Association and the Inland Empire Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He is married with three children.

This program is being offered free of charge to the public. Light refreshments will be served for all attendees (pre-registration is required)

Historic Courthouse- RiversideRole of Judicial Independence in a Politically Divided Society
Judicial Panel Discussion
Wednesday, May 1 
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Victor Miceli Law Library
Live-streamed to Indio & Temecula Locations
Reserve your spot on Eventbrite

1 hour MCLE credit. Cost - $25.

About the Program

A lively judicial panel discussion regarding the role of Judicial Independence in our politically divided society. Join Justices Richard T. Fields, Michael J. Raphael, Marsha G. Slough of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Second Dvision along with the Honorable Judge Emma Smith of the Riverside County Superior Court as they discuss how the current political climate impacts the judiciary's ability to remain truly independent. The program will be moderated by the Honorable Judge Jackson Lucky.

This program will qualify as one (1) hour of MCLE credit for partcipating members. Lunch and refreshments will be provided (must pre-register). The cost is $25.00. 

Panel Discussion and Book Signing
Thursday, May 2
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Victor Miceli Law Library

FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  Reserve you seat on Eventbrite.

A panel discussion of Justice in Plain Sight: How a Small-Town Newspaper and Its Unlikely Lawyer Opened America's Courtrooms. 

In honor of National Law Day, join Riverside author and retired Press-Enterprise journalist Dan Bernstein as he talks about his compelling book on how the Press-Enterprise fought to open closed-door court proceedings to the press and public, winning two U.S. Supreme Court cases in the 1980s.

With key players retired Justice James D. Ward and retired Press-Enterprise editor Mel Opotowsky, the panel will be a timely examination of the First Amendment and the public's trust in its judicial system, moderated by retired Judge Michele Levine.


Dan Bernstein joined the Press-Enterprise in 1976 and began writing a local column in 1982. He retired in 2014. Bernstein plays trombone, whistles, herds sheep and has been repeatedly fired fired from home improvement projects. He and his wife, Candia, were married in 1972.

Justice James D Ward retired from the bench in 2005 after a twelve-year judicial career including ten years on the Court of Appeal. He was named California Jurist of the Year by the Judicial Council in 2003. For ten years he led the effort to create California’s new civil jury instructions. Previously, his thirty-three years of practicing law was highlighted by winning two cases before the United States Supreme Court. He served on the Board of Governors of the State Bar, chaired the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission and chaired a commission that rewrote California’s Civil Discovery laws. He has been active in community affairs including Citizens University Committee, the Mission Inn and the Riverside County Bar – he received that organization’s Distinguished Service Award.  He has authored over 100 publications on a variety of subjects – including poetry.

Mel Opotowsky was a lecturer in journalism at Cal Sate University, Fullerton for 15 years and in the Osher program at the University of California, Riverside extension program. He has been a journalist for more than 60 years. In 1999, he retired as managing editor at The Press-Enterprise. He also served as the paper’s ombudsman. A native of New Orleans, he attended Tulane University and graduated from Williams College. He lives in Riverside with his wife, Bonnie, also a native of New Orleans. Altogether, they have four children, 11 grandchildren and nine or ten great grandchildren.