Anthony L. Francois

Senior Attorney

Sacramento

Tony Francois is an attorney in PLF’s Sacramento office, and has litigated cases around the country defending Americans’ property rights from land use and environmental restrictions. He is a member of the California State Bar and also practices before several federal trial and appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Since graduating from college in 1987, Tony has continuously fought government, starting with other countries’ governments as an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He served in the former West Germany at the close of the Cold War and personally removed a portion of the Berlin Wall in 1990. Close proximity to the Soviet and Warsaw Pact communist governments of the Cold War gave him a permanent desire to defend freedom against government tyranny.

The end of the Cold War and return to the States in the early 90s led him to see that many government abuses were taking hold in our country as well. Tony was also inspired to trade the military barracks for the courtroom by reading about abuses imposed by the IRS on American taxpayers, and well as the epic conflict between Wayne Hage and the U.S. Forest Service over grazing and water rights in the Western States.

Tony graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1996 with honors. After representing farmers, ranchers, and other landowners in private law practice and then for a decade as a policy advocate before the California legislature, Tony joined PLF in 2012. In his off hours, he enjoys martial arts, Giants baseball, reading history, and raising his family with his wife in Sacramento.

Tony Francois is an attorney in PLF’s Sacramento office, and has litigated cases around the country defending Americans’ property rights from land use and environmental restrictions. He is a member of the California State Bar and also practices before several federal trial and appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Since graduating from college in 1987, Tony has continuously fought government, starting with other countries’ governments as an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He served in the former West Germany at the close of the Cold War and personally removed a portion of the Berlin Wall in 1990. Close proximity to the Soviet and Warsaw Pact communist governments of the Cold War gave him a permanent desire to defend freedom against government tyranny.

The end of the Cold War and return to the States in the early 90s led him to see that many government abuses were taking hold in our country as well. Tony was also inspired to trade the military barracks for the courtroom by reading about abuses imposed by the IRS on American taxpayers, and well as the epic conflict between Wayne Hage and the U.S. Forest Service over grazing and water rights in the Western States.

Tony graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1996 with honors. After representing farmers, ranchers, and other landowners in private law practice and then for a decade as a policy advocate before the California legislature, Tony joined PLF in 2012. In his off hours, he enjoys martial arts, Giants baseball, reading history, and raising his family with his wife in Sacramento.

Read less
Property Rights

United States v. LaPant

The government must abide by the Clean Water Act too

Jack LaPant is a northern California farmer who followed the rules, and consulted multiple federal agencies before he began plowing his land in 2011. During his inquiries, he was told that the property was an active farm according to Department of Agriculture records, and that he could grow wheat on the farm despite the presence of previously farmed wetlands.

Read more
Property Rights

Waters of the United States

Unanimous U.S. Supreme Court victory for PLF and property rights

In 2015 PLF challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to stretch federal control to nearly every pond, ditch, and puddle in the nation as nothing more than an outrageous—and illegal—power grab under cover of the Clean Water Act. And under the Act, people who are harmed by such rules have six years to sue in federal district court. That is, until the EPA rewrote the rule, trying to prevent legal action by giving property owners just 120 days to sue, and then only in federal appellate courts. On January 22, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the EPA’s power play and unanimously ruled for PLF and property rights. The High Court agreed with PLF that the EPA cannot shelter its “waters of the United States” rule from judicial review by arbitrarily limiting where victims can sue.

Read more
Procedural Guarantees

California Cattlemen’s Association v. California Fish and Game Commission

Wandering lone wolf in California triggers “endangered” listing

Based on the sighting of a lone non-native gray wolf in California, the state Fish and Game Commission listed the gray wolf species under the California Endangered Species Act, effective January 1, 2017. On behalf of the California Cattlemen’s Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation, and their members, PLF sued to invalidate this illegal listing, which protects a non-native species at the expense of native species, ignores the growing wolf populations outside California, and upends a multi-year collaborative process among government, environmental, and ranching interests to balance wolf protection with livestock protection. 

Read more
Post

By Anthony L. Francois

Marks madness continues – because Supreme Court did its job

Aside from today’s highly anticipated First Amendment case involving something about cakes, the Supreme Court also issued an important decision in Hughes v. United States. The Court accepted Hughes as … ›

Read more
Post

By Anthony L. Francois

The government must abide by the Clean Water Act too.

Today Pacific Legal Foundation is asking the federal court to dismiss the U.S. Army’s Clean Water Act case against our client Jack LaPant in United States v LaPant. The federal government … ›

Read more
Post

By Anthony L. Francois

PLF joins defense of Jack LaPant, a farmer sued for plowing his farm

Today Pacific Legal Foundation joins the defense of Jack LaPant, a Northern California farmer whom the United States government is suing in federal court under the Clean Water Act, for … ›

Read more
Post

By Anthony L. Francois

Post script on California home school bill showdown: Orwell channels James Madison

Many thanks to PLF colleague Tim Snowball for his expert and tireless coverage of yesterday’s hearing in the California Assembly Education Committee, on Riverside Assemblyman Jose Medina’s bill to subject … ›

Read more
Post

By Anthony L. Francois

#MarksMadness

PLF filed a friend of the court brief in the Supreme Court of the United States a few months ago, in Hughes v. United States, and the Court heard oral … ›

Read more
Post

By Anthony L. Francois

PLF appeals Oakland art decision to Ninth Circuit

This week PLF appealed the district court’s decision in BIA Bay Area v. City of Oakland to the Ninth Circuit. This case challenges Oakland’s law compelling home builders to buy … ›

Read more