Caleb R. Trotter

Attorney Sacramento

Caleb Trotter is an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, where he litigates on behalf of individuals and small businesses fighting for their constitutional rights to free speech, economic liberty, and equal protection under the law. 

Caleb’s practice at PLF is primarily focused on free speech rights that allow people to pursue the profession of their choice in the manner they see fit. He successfully represented Peggy Fontenot in a challenge to an Oklahoma law that prevented her from truthfully marketing her art as American Indian-made.  

Caleb also has taken the lead in fighting for students to participate in school athletics free from oppressive sex-based quotas. He has successfully represented Dmitri Moua, Zachary Greenwald, and Freddie Linden in challenging rules in Minnesota and South Dakota that prohibited them from participating on high school competitive dance teams. 

Prior to PLF, Caleb clerked for the Institute for Justice and externed for the public defender’s office in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Before starting his legal career, he worked in real estate, banking, and investments. 

Upon witnessing government screw-ups at every level following Hurricane Katrina, and due to absorbing the laissez-faire culture of New Orleans over many years, Caleb came to see the importance of individualism to human flourishing. He was inspired to dedicate his career to advancing liberty through the law after reading story after story in Reason magazine of organizations like PLF fighting to protect individual rights. 

Caleb attended law school at Loyola University New Orleans, where he graduated cum laude and served as a member of the Loyola Law Review and moot court program. He also earned a BSM in finance and legal studies in business at Tulane University. He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Ashlee, and cat, Frank. Caleb loves traveling—he’s been to all 50 states—following his beloved Texas Rangers, photography, and Mardi Gras. If you’re ever in PLF’s Sacramento office, be sure to check out his bobblehead collection. 

Art and Antique Dealers League of America v. Seggos

Antique dealers fight for right to display what they’re allowed to sell

Manhattan’s antique district is filled with galleries where customers can physically inspect valuable antiques before buying them. But shops cannot display all the merchandise they are allowed to sell. Federal law allows sales of antiques containing ivory that are at least 100 years old, but if antiques contain more than 20% ivory, state law ...

Lawsuits filed to preserve swordfish industry and livelihoods Abad, et al. v. Bonham, et al. and Williams, et al. v. Ross, et al.

Governments’ misguided battle threatens California fishermen and their way of life.

Swordfish is a very popular seafood and one of the most abundant types of fish on the West Coast. It is also a primary source of income and way of life for many California families. But recent legal changes at the state and federal levels threaten to wipe out longtime family-owned businesses as well as the entire domestic swordfish supply. The new ...

American Society of Journalists and Authors v. Bonta

California’s freelancer law destroys journalists’ freedom, autonomy

In an effort to regulate the employment status of independent contractors, California passed a law forcing companies in the state to reclassify most freelancers as employees. Under AB 5, freelance journalists and photographers must cap their submissions at 35 per year, per publisher. Anything greater, and they become employees, losing their profess ...

Debbie Pulley v. Janice Izlar, President of the Georgia Board of Nursing

Georgia midwife sues to continue speaking truthfully about her profession

Debbie Pulley has been a Certified Professional Midwife in Georgia for 24 years, both working as a midwife and advocating for midwives. The state’s rules changed in 2015, allowing only licensed nurses to practice midwifery in Georgia. So Debbie turned her efforts to reforming Georgia’s laws and advocating for access to midwifery care. B ...

Constitutional Rights of American Indian Peggy Fontenot v. Eric Schmitt, Attorney General of Missouri

American Indian artist seeks to truthfully market her art

Peggy is a member of the Virginia-recognized Patawomeck Indian tribe through her mother’s line and is certified as an artisan by the federally recognized Citizen Potawatomi Nation through her father’s line. In addition to her numerous awards, she has shown and sold her art in museums and galleries throughout the United States, including ...

Discrimination Dancing D.M. & Z.G. v. Minnesota State High School League

Discrimination dance: “Girls only” school dance team is unconstitutional

When 16-year-old Dmitri Moua discovered dancing, he found a new way to be a part of a team and build his self-confidence. But when he wanted to join his high school’s competitive dance team, he was denied because he is a boy. Dmitri’s school is in the Minnesota State High School League—whose bylaws declare competitive dance a “g ...

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July 14, 2021

Free speech is a valuable protector of economic liberty

When Oklahoma enacted a new law in 2016 limiting which artists could market their art as American Indian-made, the effect was to make it much harder for some artists to earn a living selling their art in the state. When California enacted the now-infamous AB 5 law in 2019 redefining which professionals could work as ...

April 23, 2021

Court takes steps to allow Native American artist to truthfully advertise her work

Peggy Fontenot is an artist and member of the Virginia-recognized Patawomeck Indian Tribe. For three decades she has honored her heritage by selling handmade beadwork, silver jewelry, and black-and-white photographs across the United States. She has won numerous awards and has been featured in many prominent galleries and museums, including the Smi ...

February 16, 2021

The Hill: The PRO Act’s ‘ABC test’ fails American workers

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act threatens the freedom of millions of independent contractors — at a moment when Americans most need freedom and flexibility in their employment. The PRO Act, after failing to pass in the last Congress, was recently reintroduced. With Democrats controlling the House of Representatives and Senate, and with t ...

September 04, 2020

The Bulletin: Planting flowers shouldn’t be treated as a crime

From helping someone move, to selling lemonade and baked goods, many of us made our first dollar in quintessential summer jobs. But states are increasingly regulating these easy paths to employment. It's not unusual to read about a woman facing jail time for selling homemade ceviche, or a kid threatened with punishment for mowing lawns ...

July 09, 2020

Georgia midwives won’t be fined anymore for calling themselves midwives

Late last year, Debbie Pulley sued the Georgia Board of Nursing after it ordered her to stop describing herself as a Certified Professional Midwife. This week, her challenge came to a successful end after the board agreed to end its speech ban and stop punishing Georgia midwives like Debbie, who accurately describe themselves and their ...

April 10, 2020

COVID-19’s economic fallout shows why California must stop its war against freelancers

The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered a massive hit to the U.S. economy, and California is no exception. The March jobs report showed the Golden State is shedding jobs at a furious rate. Yet a California law remains on the books that further frustrates the ability of freelancers to find work. On January 1, Assembly Bill ...

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