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, however, 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, however, 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.

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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

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.

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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.

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By Larry G. Salzman

Holding the Cal. Coastal Commission Accountable

PLF filed a petition with California’s Office of Administrative Law, asking the agency to review and determine whether the California Coastal Commission’s long-running policy against seawalls is illegal.

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By Larry G. Salzman

Coastal land rights on appeal in California

More than 1,000 homes sit on roughly two miles of coastal bluffs in the Southern California town, protected from erosion by seawalls. In 2014, the City enacted a land use ordinance that prohibits or restricts bluff-top homeowners from building, repairing, or replacing those seawalls. Some of the restrictions require homeowners to dedicate private stairways to public use as a condition of repair or require property owners to entirely abandon rights they possess under state law to build a seawall.

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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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