David J. Deerson

Attorney Sacramento

David Deerson joined Pacific Legal Foundation in the fall of 2018, focusing on property rights, economic liberty, and free speech. 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.

Riddick v. City of Malibu

Holding local California governments accountable for banning “granny flats”

Jason and Elizabeth Riddick live in Malibu, California, with their three children. Elizabeth’s mother, Renee Sperling, is aging with several disabilities, including immunodeficiency. The Riddicks seek to add an attached ADU onto their existing single-family home in order to provide Renee a safe and private place to live. The Riddicks’ m ...

Tyler v. Hennepin County

92-year-old widow fights home equity theft in Minnesota

When crime moved into Geraldine Tyler’s Minneapolis neighborhood in 2010, she moved out. The elderly widow was living alone and, sharing her family’s alarm about her safety, she hastily left behind the one-bedroom condo she owned and rented an apartment in a safer area. While Geraldine and her family focused on her health and safety, un ...

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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October 06, 2021

Real Clear Policy: Minnesota’s unjust home equity theft must end

While Minnesota is often called the land of 10,000 lakes, local governments today treat it as the land of 10,000 takes. Between 2014 and 2020, Minnesota counties took thousands of homes and millions of dollars in savings from residents struggling to pay their tax bills. This was unjust and unconstitutional. Consider the story of Ms. ...

September 23, 2021

The Malibu Times: Malibu is violating homeowners’ rights by rejecting ADU permits

"California faces a severe housing crisis." That's what the state legislature said in 2016. As part of a slew of legislative reforms intended to address the crisis, the state passed new laws designed to simplify and expedite the process for building a particular type of housing, one that is an "essential component of California's housing ...

September 08, 2021

California’s new laws are tackling the housing shortage

California is in the midst of a severe housing shortage. With options limited and prices skyrocketing, the legislature in 2019 passed a slew of reforms making it easier for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, on their properties. ADUs are small homes located on the same lot as an existing single- or multi-family ...

July 23, 2020

The Detroit News: State’s highest court upholds fundamental property rights

"Government shall not collect more in taxes than are owed, nor shall it take more property than is necessary to serve the public." With these words, the Michigan Supreme Court on Friday confirmed what Uri Rafaeli and his attorneys knew all along: The government violates constitutional property rights when it takes more than it is ...

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 ...

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