David J. Deerson

Attorney Sacramento

David Deerson joined Pacific Legal Foundation in the fall of 2018, focusing on property rights, economic liberty, and the First Amendment. During his time at Vanderbilt University Law School, David served on the Moot Court Board and as an authorities editor for the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. He also co-founded the Vanderbilt Immigration Law Group, interned at the Beacon Center of Tennessee and the Institute for Justice, and worked at Vanderbilt’s Intellectual Property and the Arts Clinic.

Raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, David followed in the tar-heeled footsteps of his grandfather by earning his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating with honors in History and Philosophy, David went to Washington, DC, to help grow the burgeoning movement of millennial libertarians. He also had the tremendous opportunity to work supporting litigation efforts at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, vindicating the First Amendment rights of university students and professors. That experience convinced him that it was time to go to law school.

In between briefs, David enjoys playing guitar, watching classic cinema, and rooting for the Carolina Panthers. He really shines on karaoke night.

David had a feeling that law was his vocation since first studying Talmud in the fifth grade, and has known that classical liberal values were his passion since first studying Locke in high school. He’s thrilled at the opportunity to continue his pursuit of law and liberty at PLF.

Shands v. City of Marathon

Government takes family’s land and uses gimmicks to avoid paying for it

The Shands family has owned Shands Key, a small Florida island, since the 1950s. Purchased by World War II surgeon and Mississippi hospital owner Dr. R.E. Shands, the island was originally zoned for residential use and could have been developed with at least seven homes. Today, however, government regulations designed to protect the environment pro ...

Erica Perez Perez v. Wayne County

Family fights home equity theft to protect the American Dream

Though Erica Perez and her family spent most of their lives in New Jersey, they had their sights set on Detroit to join their relatives who already lived there. In 2012, Erica and her father Romualdo bought a property containing a four-unit apartment building and a dilapidated single-family home in Detroit for $60,000. They spent three years fixing ...

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July 13, 2020

National Review: The case against qualified immunity

Before the last few weeks, many Americans had probably never heard of "qualified immunity." But as a result of the nationwide protests against abusive policing, this esoteric legal doctrine is now widely understood as a significant impediment to the sound enforcement of constitutional law. The call to "End Qualified Immunity!" has made its way from ...

August 13, 2019

The Detroit News: Wayne County steals $107,495.55 in foreclosure auction

The Prince of Motown himself, Marvin Gaye, sang that "Life's a Game of Give and Take." But for county treasuries across the state of Michigan, it's more like a game of take, and take, and take some more. The Perez family is fighting Michigan's predatory home equity theft policy, which allows counties to take property ...

August 09, 2019

Michigan’s affordable housing crisis and property rights

Many American communities are suffering from a housing shortage. Affordable housing is disappearing, new homes aren't being built quickly enough, and the racial disparities in housing availability are widening. In Michigan alone, the numbers are stark: a recent report on housing needs by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) sugg ...

June 26, 2019

Supreme Court ends state discrimination against new resident liquor businesses

Can a state prohibit new residents from doing business in the alcoholic beverage industry? In a 7-2 opinion in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas, today the Supreme Court answered with a resounding "no way." The Court affirmed that states may not discriminate on the basis of state residence, and that protectionism is ...

April 11, 2019

PLF Challenges Marin County’s Forced-Farming Mandate

Last Friday, Pacific Legal Foundation helped Arron and Arthur Benedetti to challenge Marin County's new forced-farming mandate that requires landowners to remain personally engaged in commercial agriculture in perpetuity as a condition of granting a building permit. Arron and Arthur are the sons of the late Willie Benedetti, who worked with PLF to ...

February 08, 2019

PLF and Friends Ask SCOTUS to Review Extraterritorial Fuel Regulations

Back in 2014, PLF urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit's decision upholding California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) against constitutional challenge. The LCFS regulates transportation fuels using a "life-cycle" analysis, meaning that it fictionally assigns a "carbon intensity score" based on estimated carbon emissions resul ...

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