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.

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.

Read less
Procedural Guarantees

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’s Excessive Fines Clause. PLF’s supporting brief highlights a number of cases from around the country that demonstrate the damage to individual liberty and property ownership by these power abuses.

Read more
Personal Liberties

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 licensing scheme increases cost and reduces access to modern hearing aids—and they’re even preempted by federal laws aimed at reducing unnecessary regulation.

Read more
Personal Liberties

Niang v. Tomblinson

Cosmetology cartel seeks to squash competition by African-style hair braiders

Missouri law requires African-style hair braiders to be licensed as a cosmetologist or barber. To obtain such a license, an applicant must pass a background check, undergo thousands of hours of training (costing thousands of dollars to attend special schools), and pass an exam. Neither the cosmetology nor barbering curricula teach African-style hair braiding. Ndioba Niang and Tameka Stigers are unlicensed professional hair braiders who sued the state Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners for violating their right to earn a living. The district court upheld the law after finding there might conceivably be legitimate purposes minimally advanced by the law. The braiders appealed and PLF filed an amicus brief supporting their claims.

Read more
Post

By Larry G. Salzman

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.

Read more
Post

By Larry G. Salzman

Should the Coastal Commission be required to follow the law?

Today, as part of its ongoing campaign to defend property rights and hold administrative agencies accountable to the rule of law, PLF has brought a new lawsuit against the California … ›

Read more
Post

By Larry G. Salzman

Challenging unconstitutional “affordable housing” fees in California

This morning PLF filed its opening brief in the California Court of Appeals on behalf of Dart and Esther Cherk, the next stop in their halting saga to divide a … ›

Read more
Op-Ed

Cal. Coastal Commission ignoring the rule of law

When regulators propose a policy like this, California law says they must give notice to the public, conduct hearings, and allow public comment. The Commission did none of this.

Read more
Post

By Larry G. Salzman

Adverse decision in extortionate permit fee case

A trial court in Marin County, California, handed down a tentative ruling in Cherk v. County of Marin, rejecting the Cherk family’s argument that it was unconstitutional for the County to force them to pay $40,000 into an “affordable housing” fund.

Read more
Post

By Larry G. Salzman

Hearing on Affordable Housing Shakedown in Marin County

When the Cherk family applied for a permit to split their large residential parcel into two lots, the County of Marin demanded they pay $40,000 into the County’s “affordable housing” fund as a condition of the permit. The Cherks objected, but got nowhere with County officials and ultimately paid the fee under protest.

Read more