Chris Kieser


Chris Kieser is a previous PLF Law Clerk rejoining staff as an attorney. Kieser practices primarily in PLF’s property rights group, where he defends the right to use one’s private property free from burdensome regulation. His past clients include Ray and Teresa Burns, who had been prohibited from building a home on their property in a residential area of South Lake Tahoe. He has also litigated in other areas, including free speech, environmental regulation, and equal protection.

Kieser’ articles have been published in the William & Mary Environmental Law Review and the Federalist Society’s Engage journal. He has also written op-eds that have been published in the Daily Journal and The Blaze. In between working at PLF, Kieser clerked for the Honorable Daniel A. Manion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Honorable Thomas D. Schroeder of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Kieser was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island. Graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2010 with a BA in history and economics, cum laude, and from Notre Dame Law School in 2013, magna cum laude. At NDLS, he was an Articles Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review and an active member of the school’s Federalist Society chapter.

When Kieser’s not at work, you’re likely to find him rooting on the Mets and Fighting Irish or arguing about some arcane point of law (because apparently that doesn’t happen enough at work).

Kieser is currently licensed to practice in California, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Central Districts of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Seider v. City of Malibu

Property rights on the line in family’s battle for beachfront signage

Dennis and Leah Seider simply want to alert beachgoers to where the public right of access to the beach ends, the Seiders’ private Malibu property begins, and the way to the nearby public beach. Their best hope to protect their property rights and avoid potential confrontations with beachgoers would be a sign. But that hope faded when they le ...

AFEF v. Montgomery County Public Schools

Parents fight racial balancing efforts that deny educational opportunities

Montgomery County Public Schools is Maryland’s largest public school district and one of the best in the state, with a robust magnet program for gifted and talented students. The district recently changed its admissions criteria for magnet programs at four middle schools ostensibly to make the programs more “equitable.” But the ch ...

Pavlock v. Indiana

Family sues to stop Indiana’s beachfront land grab

The Pavlock family has owned property along Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline for generations. Last year, a ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court redefined state law to move lakefront owners’ property lines from the water’s edge or below to the lake’s ordinary high-water mark, turning large swaths of private beach into public ...

CTPU Case Connecticut Parents Union v. Cardona

Race-based quotas in Connecticut schools hurt Black and Hispanic students

Each year, world-class magnet schools in Connecticut deny admission to thousands of deserving children while leaving available seats empty—because of skin color. State law requires magnet schools’ enrollment to be at least 25 percent white or Asian. This means Black and Hispanic students are turned away if their admission would push minorit ...

Fighting Racial Discrimination Christa McAuliffe PTO v. de Blasio

Stopping New York’s attempt to discriminate against Asian-American students

Feeling that New York City’s eight specialized high schools contain too many Asian students, Mayor Bill de Blasio is changing an admissions program to limit the ability of students to get into predominately Asian-American schools. However, his so-called racial balancing effort will squeeze out Asian students—nearly three-quarters of whom co ...

Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

In California, union organizers legally trespass on private property

PLF represents California farming businesses that employ around 3,000 Californians and produce millions of dollars for California’s economy in the form of oranges, table grapes, and strawberry plants. A state Agricultural Labor Relations Board regulation – the Union Access Rule – allows union organizers to go on private land to solicit su ...

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January 07, 2020

The Times of Northwest Indiana: Indiana Supreme Court’s decision on Lake Michigan beach access is unconstitutional. Here’s why.

Randy and Kimberley Pavlock built their small family home along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Porter, Indiana, with their own hands. The Pavlocks have owned the property for five generations, and love being "beach people." Their home and private beach on Lake Michigan are the center of their family life, as they often hold fish ...

March 04, 2019

PLF client publishes op-ed on racial discrimination in New York City schools

This past weekend, the New York Post published a powerful op-ed written by Wai Wah Chin, president of PLF client Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York (CACAGNY). In the piece, Wai Wah decries Mayor Bill de Blasio and Education Chancellor Richard Carranza's effort to racially balance New York City's renowned specialized high schools ...

December 15, 2018

De Blasio’s attempt to reduce the number of Asian-American students in the Discovery Program is unconstitutional

Originally published by the Daily News, December 15, 2018. New York City's specialized high schools are the envy of the nation. Schools like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech provide a world-class public education for about 12,000 children throughout the city each year, many of whom are economically disadvantaged. For parents who cannot a ...

December 13, 2018

Parents sue to stop Mayor de Blasio’s racial discrimination in NYC schools

New York's specialized high schools are the crown jewel of the city's public education system. Including nationally recognized schools like Stuyvesant High School, the Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School, these eight schools select their approximately 4,000 incoming freshmen each year from a pool of almost 30,000 eighth ...

November 26, 2018

Proposed bill would rein in ‘tree police’ in Michigan towns

Do you own the trees on your property? Most property owners assume so, but one particular Michigan municipality thinks otherwise: Canton, a township just outside Detroit, has ramped up enforcement of an ordinance requiring property owners to get permits to remove trees from their land. Those permits are not cheap either. Property owners must agree ...

October 11, 2018

PLF Urges Supreme Court to Review Hawaii Takings Case

In an attempt to preserve undeveloped beachfront land in Maui, Maui County planned to purchase nine parcels to create a park. But the County ran into a predictable problem; beachfront lots in Maui don’t come cheap. As a result, seven of the parcels ended up in the hands of private landowners. So the County achieved ...