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 served as Assistant Editor of the San Diego Law Review. He enrolled with plans of practicing in land use, helping developers get things built. However, he turned his idealism to a career in public interest law, encouraged by his constitutional law professor Bernard Siegan, a leading early figure in the 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 served as Assistant Editor of the San Diego Law Review. He enrolled with plans of practicing in land use, helping developers get things built. However, he turned his idealism to a career in public interest law, encouraged by his constitutional law professor Bernard Siegan, a leading early figure in the 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.

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Property Rights

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 3-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.

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Personal Liberties

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 Certificate of Need law allows competing medical practices to object to the issuance of a Certificate of Need and triggers a hearing by the Department of Community Health to determine whether there is a “need” in the community for the applicant’s proposed new services. As amicus, PLF urged the Georgia Supreme Court to strike down this unconstitutional law.

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Property Rights

Greene v. California Coastal Commission

Coastal Commission erodes property rights with unconstitutional conditions

Mark and Bella Greene challenge the California Coastal Commission’s decision to impose two conditions on the approval of a development permit to update and expand their home in Los Angeles. The first condition requires the Greenes to have a five-foot setback from their seaward property line, in conflict with Los Angeles zoning ordinances and the City-approved development permit. The second condition requires the Greenes to waive their constitutional and statutory rights to protect their home from storms and erosion by constructing a seawall. PLF represents the Greenes in a lawsuit challenging these unconstitutional conditions.

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By Larry G. Salzman

A just end to property rights battle in Palo Alto

Today PLF dismissed its appeal of a case involving the Jisser family, owners of a small mobile home park in Palo Alto, Calif., who were being forced to pay millions … ›

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By Larry G. Salzman

A new excuse to punish small property owners: “affordable housing”

Can the government force a property owner to pay tens of thousands of dollars in “affordable housing” fees as a condition of granting a permit to divide a single residential … ›

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Op-Ed

Congress Takes Aim At Cronyism-By-Licensing

America was once called the land of opportunity — promising upward mobility and freedom for entrepreneurs to compete in the market Does that remain true in an era when — according to a report issued last year by the Obama administration — more than 1 out of 4 workers in America are required to have a government-issued occupational license before plying their trade?

Too often, occupational licensing laws are mere cronyism: They arise when professional groups lobby states to impose daunting, often irrelevant training, education or apprenticeship requirements for new workers and would-be entrepreneurs Individuals who can’t afford the time or money to pursue the license are shut out of

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By Larry G. Salzman

Federal legislation takes aim at cronyism

PLF’s Economic Liberty Project sues to protect individuals’ right to earn a living free of needlessly burdensome occupational licensing requirements As Liberty Blog readers may recall, for instance, our client Arty Vogt was recently freed to compete in West Virginia as a household-goods mover when that state repealed its law requiring a government permission slip to expand his business from Virginia into West Virginia We had brought a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law

Too often, occupational licensing laws are mere cronyism: they arise when professional groups lobby states to impose daunting, often irrelevant, training, education, or apprenticeship requirements for new workers—thereby protecting their own profits from

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By Larry G. Salzman

California Supreme Court deals blow to coastal property owners

In a disappointing blow to property rights this morning, the California Supreme Court ruled against Encinitas, California homeowners who had raised a constitutional challenge to conditions imposed on their seawall-construction permit by the California Coastal Commission

PLF represented Thomas Frick and the heirs of Barbara Lynch pro bono, in Lynch v California Coastal Commission (more…)

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Op-Ed

Sometimes there ought not be a law

Government regulation often begins when someone spots a social problem, or just something they don’t like, and pronounces, “There ought to be a law!” to end it Over time, laws can accumulate, outlasting any rational purpose, requiring repeal Sometimes there ought not be a law That’s the spirit of Senate Bill 247, a bill that aims to eliminate unnecessary occupational licensing laws that stop qualified people from working at the job of their choosing

Occupational licensing laws are regulations requiring individuals to get government approval before they can work The historical justification for licensing laws has been the protection of public health and safety We license doctors and dentists, for

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