Larry G. Salzman

Director of Litigation Sacramento

Larry Salzman is Pacific Legal Foundation’s Litigation Director. His practice has focused on property rights and economic liberty, including cases involving eminent domain, civil forfeiture, regulatory takings and exactions, the Commerce Clause, and challenges to occupational licensing and “certificate of need” laws that infringe on the constitutional right to earn a living.

Larry joined PLF as an attorney from 2004-2007, after a clerkship at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He returned to PLF in 2015. In between, he was an attorney with the Institute for Justice and served for four years as CEO of an e-commerce business he had co-founded during law school as part of its sale to a private equity group.

While studying at the University of San Diego School of Law (J.D. 2002), Larry was Assistant Editor of the San Diego Law Review and a research assistant to the late Bernard Siegan, a pioneer in the growing movement to revive constitutional protection for property rights and economic liberty. He was a night student, attending part-time while building his business during the day.

His commitment to liberty crystallized during college (Arizona State University, B.S. Finance, 1993) by studying philosophy and free-market economics. He experienced the importance of property rights in a very personal way in the 1990s when his family’s auto-repair business was taken by eminent domain and turned over by the city to a private developer on the promise that a big-box store would generate more tax revenue.

Between 2015-2020, Larry was an adjunct professor at Chapman  University, where PLF sponsors a clinic for students interested in constitutional law. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute. In his spare time, he rides a dual-sport motorcycle and enjoys travel and an annual pass to Disneyland with his wife.

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& ...

regulation of hearing aid in Florida 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Florida’s outdated licensing robs hearing, livelihoods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 ...

Foreclosure property 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. This conditio ...

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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June 11, 2020

Governments can’t use COVID-19 as an excuse for arbitrary and unconstitutional policies

This week, Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit in Connecticut challenging unconstitutional policies enacted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Until today, PLF has not filed lawsuits challenging shutdown and other emergency orders. As the country has struggled to flatten the curve of infections, our primary strategy has been challenging new ...

May 20, 2020

City Journal: Can we sue our way out of quarantine?

The longer the lockdowns last and the less necessary that they seem, the more scrutiny courts will apply. State governors from coast to coast issued coronavirus-related lockdown orders about two months ago, closing businesses and restricting people's movements. Government officials have taken unprecedented steps, seemingly without much calculation ...

April 28, 2020

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the government’s emergency orders to combat coronavirus

PLF is committed to protecting the individual rights of Americans during the COVID-19 crisis. Our approach is forward looking, focusing on empowering Americans and helping them recover from the crisis. We believe that only the entrepreneurial actions of individuals and businesses will get the nation moving in the right direction. Read our statement ...

April 27, 2020

Issues & Insights: Are Continued Shutdown Orders Constitutional?

With Americans under an unprecedented web of orders to stay inside – with "non-essential" businesses, lives, and livelihoods on hold while staggering costs mount – an increasing number are asking: are the shutdown orders constitutional? Don't state or federal constitutions guarantee my right to travel, to earn a living, or to attend church, eve ...

April 07, 2020

The Government-Created Housing Shortage

The American spirit is synonymous with a can-do attitude—we are builders, creators, and innovators. The remarkable construction of New York's legendary Empire State Building symbolizes that spirit: from start to finish, the completion of this American landmark took a single year. But that spirit now seems diminished. Many U.S. cities face a housi ...

December 20, 2019

Property owners with strong property rights make our coasts more beautiful

For many Americans, the cornerstone of "the American dream" is the possibility to someday own a slice of a beach paradise. But when it comes to beaches—or any land along our coasts—government agencies have declared open season on private property rights. Government agencies and environmental organizations often suggest there's an inherent confl ...