Larry G. Salzman

Director of Litigation

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.

Feltner v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision

Ohio county’s illegal tax foreclosure robs property owner and taxpayers

Elliot Feltner inherited his father-in-law’s Cleveland, Ohio, autobody shop in 2012 and discovered the property, while valued at $144,500, had a property tax debt of more than $65,000. He decided to sell it to pay the debt and even found a buyer, but before he could complete a sale, the county took his property without paying him for his $80, ...

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 ...

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September 20, 2021

The Dispatch: Want affordable housing? Build more homes.

There is agreement today across the ideological spectrum that the cost of housing is too high. The share of all Americans paying more than 30, 40, or even 50 percent of their monthly income on housing has been growing for a very long time, and the cost of housing nearly everywhere has outpaced income growth ...

March 17, 2021

Multiple media outlets make errors about upcoming Supreme Court case Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

On March 22, PLF will argue at the Supreme Court of the United States what has become the most contentious property rights dispute in the nation, Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid. This case centers around a controversial California regulation that allows union organizers to enter (without permission) private farms for up to 3 hours a ...

February 27, 2021

America’s individualist Constitution

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of Pacific Legal Foundation’s quarterly magazine Sword&Scales. PLF exists to establish a rule of law under which all Americans may live free in their pursuit of happiness. We fight to preserve and advance the American ideals of individualism and liberty, and our mission has never bee ...

August 13, 2020

The Hill: States should pay attention to Supreme Court justices’ comments on ‘reopening’ orders

The scope and duration of the stay-at-home orders issued by state governors this year are unlike any past pandemic orders in American history. So it is not surprising that several hundred lawsuits have been filed around the country to challenge their application in various contexts. A few of those cases have made their way to ...

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 ...