Larry G. Salzman

Senior Attorney

Larry Salzman is a Senior Attorney litigating cases involving property rights and economic liberty. He is also an adjunct clinical professor at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, in Orange County, Calif., where PLF’s Liberty Clinic project sponsors a trial litigation program for students. He was previously an attorney at the Institute for Justice and a judicial clerk at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In addition to his career in law, Larry co-founded an e-commerce company and served for four years as its CEO.

His commitment to economic liberty and property rights developed during college (Arizona State University, B.S. Finance, 1993) by studying free-market economists and individualist philosophers, particularly Ayn Rand. He experienced the importance of property rights in a very personal way in the early 90s, when his family’s small business was taken by eminent domain, and the land turned over to a private developer to build a big-box store, on grounds that the new business would provide more tax revenue and other benefits for the city.

Larry went to law school at night, graduating from the University of San Diego School of Law (J.D. 2002), where he served as Assistant Editor of the San Diego Law Review. He enrolled with plans of practicing land use law, helping developers get things built. He instead turned his idealism to a public interest career, inspired by the growing movement to revive constitutional protection for property rights and economic liberty.

Larry’s property rights litigation experience includes eminent domain, civil forfeiture, regulatory takings, and land use.  His economic liberty practice includes challenges to occupational licensing and “certificate of need” laws that infringe on individuals’ right to earn a living free from unnecessary governmental interference. He lives in Irvine, Calif.

Timbs v. Indiana

Excessive Fines Clause applies to all governments

PLF has joined a crucial case brought by our allies at Institute for Justice to address a situation faced by many PLF clients—fines and forfeitures that far outweigh their alleged offenses. Tyson Timbs argues in a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court that such disproportionate punishments by state and local governments violate the Eighth Amendment& ...

Taylor v. Polhill, et al

Florida’s outdated licensing robs hearing, livelihoods

In Florida, you need a license to sell hearing aids. Dan Taylor of Melbourne, Florida, gave up his license after 30 years, because Florida’s outdated regulations were made for older models, not the updated, technologically sophisticated models he and his customers prefer. In a federal lawsuit on behalf of Dan, PLF argues that Florida’s ...

Rafaeli, LLC v. Oakland County

Michigan County Steals House for $8 Debt

In 2014, Oakland County, Michigan foreclosed on a home owned by Uri Rafaeli’s business—Rafaeli, LLC—over an $8.41 tax debt. The County sold the property for $24,500, and kept profits. Ditto for Andre Ohanessian, when the County seized and sold his property for $82,000, and pocketed every penny left over from the $6,000 tax debt. While mos ...

Coastal Rights Coalition v. California Coastal Commission

California coastal homeowners at risk by Coastal Commission’s illegal seawall policy

When coastal property owners seek permits for new residential development, the California Coastal Commission requires them to agree never to build a seawall to protect the structure from storms and erosion. This policy was imposed by fiat, without public notice, hearings, and opportunity for public comment, as required by the California Administra ...

Cherk Family Trust v. County of Marin, California

Marin County punishes elderly property owners with unconstitutional fees

When Dart and Esther Cherk needed to supplement their retirement income, they decided to split a three-acre vacant lot in Marin County that had been in the family for six decades in order to sell both halves. As a condition of the lot split, however, the county demanded that they pay $40,000 as an “affordable housing” fee. … ...

Women’s Surgical Center, LLC v. Reese

Georgia Constitution disallows economic protectionism

Women’s Surgical Center specializes in conducting outpatient procedures for traditionally inpatient surgeries, which benefits patients by providing less expensive and less invasive operations. Women’s Surgical wants to expand its practice, building more operating rooms and contracting with more doctors. However, Georgia’s Certific ...

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March 15, 2019

Weekly litigation report — March 15, 2019

An initial victory for minority kids in Connecticut elementary schools On Thursday, a group of black and Hispanic families represented by PLF won an initial victory in their challenge to Connecticut's race-based quota for magnet schools in the city of Hartford. The policy requires 25% of a magnet school seats to be reserved for white ...

February 11, 2019

Sunshine State News: Are Florida’s Hearing Aid Regulators Listening to the Call for Deregulation?

This article was originally published in Sunshine State News on February 8th, 2019. Last week in Orlando, Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis convened dozens of government officials who run Florida's 23 professional licensing boards for what he called a "Deregathon" event to advance an agenda of "aggressive and appropriate deregulation." The idea was fo ...

December 05, 2018

Michigan’s Supreme Court Is Taking On Predatory Property Taxes

Originally published in The Daily Caller, December 5, 2018. In 2013, Uri Rafaeli learned that he underpaid the 2011 property tax bill on his modest home in a Detroit suburb. He attempted to pay the difference but miscalculated the interest due, unknowingly paying it $8.41 short. What came next was a shock: Oakland County seized ...

December 05, 2018

Michigan’s Supreme Court is taking on predatory property taxes

Originally published by The Daily Caller, December 5, 2018. In 2013, Uri Rafaeli learned that he underpaid the 2011 property tax bill on his modest home in a Detroit suburb. He attempted to pay the difference but miscalculated the interest due, unknowingly paying it $8.41 short. What came next was a shock: Oakland County seized ...

July 16, 2018

Foxconn project underscores the threat to property rights

Originally published by The Hill, July 16, 2018. When President Trump visited rural Wisconsin to see the first phase of construction of a Foxconn electronics manufacturing plant, he called it "an unbelievable plant, like we've never seen before." It is hoped the project will bring thousands of jobs to the area at a cost of ...

June 07, 2018

The defense of liberty requires an engaged judiciary

Legislatures relentlessly pushed for more power over the economy throughout the 20th century, and judges let it happen. ...