What are transferable development rights?

April 30, 2010 | By LUKE WAKE

We all know that the Fifth Amendment protects our right to use and enjoy our property. But, that doesn’t stop government regulators from trying to find innovative ways to get around the Fifth Amendment. In recent years land use planners have begun experimenting with “transferable development rights” as a way to avoid liability un ...


The bald eagle still flying high

December 20, 2010 | By REED HOPPER

The bald eagle was listed as a protected species in the lower 48 States under the Endangered Species Act in 1978.  Fortunately, by 1999, the eagle had sufficiently recovered for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists to recommend the delisting of the American icon.  However, the eagle languished on the protected list for years without any a ...


A property owner gets his day in court

February 04, 2011 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Yesterday, PLF scored a win in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Barnum Timber Co. v. EPA.  Pacific Legal Foundation represents Barnum Timber, a small, family-run timber company based in Humboldt County, California. Redwood Creek, which runs through Barnum’s timberlands, has been designated by EPA as an impaired waterbody under Section 3 ...


Misquoting Federalist 78

March 18, 2011 | By TIMOTHY SANDEFUR

One of my long-standing pet peeves is the way advocates of “judicial restraint” often mis-quote Alexander Hamilton’s brilliant Federalist 78. They’re particularly fond of the Federalist 78 phrase “if they the courts should be disposed to exercise WILL instead of JUDGMENT, the consequence would equally be the substituti ...


Eternal vigilance the price of freedom

July 23, 2012 | By REED HOPPER

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” is generally ascribed to Thomas Jefferson.  Given Jefferson’s love for freedom, it’s an apt attribution.  But it has been reported that John Philpot Curran expressed this same sentiment in a speech upon the Right of Election in 1790 (published in a book titled “Speeches on ...


I spy with my little eye a “water of the United States”

December 11, 2012 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

Or so says the United States Army Corps of Engineers about the pictured property.  Can you see the water on this property?  We can’t, which is why we are taking the Corps to court in our newest lawsuit, Smith v. U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Here’s the story: PLF clients Peter and Frankie Smith bought … ...


Barnum Timber Co. v. EPA, standing to sue, and the Clean Water Act

May 05, 2014 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Last last month, after more than a decade of litigation, we were able to settle amicably our lawsuit on behalf of Barnum Timber Co. against the EPA over the agency’s designation of Redwood Creek as an impaired water under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. Interesting in that, also last month, the District Court … ...


Florida county ignores entrepreneurs’ property rights and hundreds of years of law

August 28, 2014 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

If you’ve ever bought a house or piece of land, you probably paid for a title search and title insurance.  A title search makes sure that the seller actually owns the property, free from any undisclosed liens or other third-party interests. Title insurance protects you from the financial loss that could accompany any interests that … ...


Drink up! PLF challenges Florida’s ban on growlers

October 28, 2014 | By MARK MILLER

“Growlers” are jugs of beer that patrons buy at craft beer establishments and then bring home to drink, and later carry to other taverns, breweries or restaurants, for refills with various varieties of custom brewed beer. In the vast majority of America, a 64-ounce growler is the industry standard, and enthusiasts collect and re-fill t ...