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Pacific Legal Foundation
Formation March 5, 1973
Headquarters Sacramento, California
Website

Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is the first and oldest conservative/libertarian public interest law firm in the United States.[1] PLF was established for the purpose of defending and promoting individual and economic freedom in the courts.[2] To that end, PLF attorneys litigate, file amicus curiae briefs, and participate in administrative proceedings with the goal of supporting free enterprise, private property rights, reasonable environmental regulations, and the principal of limited government.

PLF is a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions to the Foundation qualify for a charitable tax deduction.[3] PLF does not charge for legal services, but instead provides representation in cases raising important policy issues that go beyond the narrow interest of the parties before the court.

Incorporated in Sacramento, California, on March 5, 1973, PLF’s staff was originally comprised mainly of individuals who had been a part of then-Governor Ronald Reagan’s welfare reform team.[4] Operating on a proposed budget of $117,000 for the first 10 months of operation, PLF attorneys began litigation activities in June of 1973 under the direction of Ronald A. Zumbrun, PLF’s first president.[5] Over the four decades of PLF’s existence, its attorneys have obtained favorable decisions from many of the nation’s courts.

Contents

Locations

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National Litigation Center

Pacific Legal Foundation
3900 Lennane Drive, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95834

Atlantic Center

Pacific Legal Foundation
1002 SE Monterey Commons Blvd.
Suite 102
Stuart, FL 34996

Pacific Northwest Center

Pacific Legal Foundation
10940 NE 33rd Place, Suite 210
Bellevue, WA 98004

Hawaii Center

Pacific Legal Foundation
P.O. Box 3619
Honolulu, HI 96811

Legal Program

Property Rights

PLF's property rights cases have focused on regulatory takings. The Foundation's attorneys have successfully argued three takings cases at the United States Supreme Court: Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, Suitum v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and Palazzolo v. Rhode Island.

Environmental Law

PLF's environmental law litigation has frequently involved challenges to federal regulation of private property under the Clean Water Act or the Endangered Species Act. For example, PLF attorneys represented a Minnesota property owner who was denied the right to build on his property in Contoski v. Scarlett,[6] a case that resulted in the removal of the bald eagle from the endangered species list.

Individual Rights

PLF has participated in cases challenging government-sponsored race and sex preferences, both under the federal Constitution's Equal Protection Clause and state constitutional provisions such as California's Proposition 209 and Washington's I 200. Under its "Free Enterprise Project," PLF argues that certain licensing laws and similar regulations violate the individual right to earn a living and result in a loss of jobs and a lower standard of living for Americans.

Cases

PLF has been involved in many important cases before the United States Supreme Court and other courts. PLF’s Supreme Court victories include Nollan v. California Coastal Commission (1987),[7] Keller v. State Bar of California (1990),[8] Suitum v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (1997),[9] Palazzolo v. Rhode Island (2001),[10], and Rapanos v. United States (2006)[11] PLF also won a significant victory in the California Supreme Court case, Hi-Voltage Wire Works v. San Jose (2000),[12] upholding the constitutionality of Proposition 209.

Programs

Program for Judicial Awareness

PLF's Program for Judicial Awareness facilitates the publication of scholarly articles in legal-academic journals, operates an annual essay competition for law students, and awards grants for faculty research leading to the publication of important legal scholarship.

College of Public Interest Law

Since 1979, PLF has offered College of Public Interest Law (CPIL) fellowships to recent law school graduates who want hands-on experience and who wish to pursue public interest litigation.

References

  1. ^ Zumbrun, Ronald A. (2004). “Life, Liberty, and Property Rights,” in Bringing Justice to the People: The Story of the Freedom-Based Public Interest Law Movement (Lee Edwards, ed.). Washington, DC: Heritage Books, ISBN 0974366528, p.41.
  2. ^ Zumbrun, Ronald A. (2004). “Life, Liberty, and Property Rights,” in Bringing Justice to the People: The Story of the Freedom-Based Public Interest Law Movement (Lee Edwards, ed.). Washington, DC: Heritage Books, ISBN 0974366528, p.41-42.
  3. ^ http://community.pacificlegal.org/Page.aspx?pid=262
  4. ^ Zumbrun, Ronald A. (2004). “Life, Liberty, and Property Rights,” in Bringing Justice to the People: The Story of the Freedom-Based Public Interest Law Movement (Lee Edwards, ed.). Washington, DC: Heritage Books, ISBN 0974366528, p.42-43.
  5. ^ Zumbrun, Ronald A. (2004). “Life, Liberty, and Property Rights,” in Bringing Justice to the People: The Story of the Freedom-Based Public Interest Law Movement (Lee Edwards, ed.). Washington, DC: Heritage Books, ISBN 0974366528, p.43-44.
  6. ^ Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2006 WL 2331180 (D.Minn.), 63 ERC 1892, No. 05-2528, Aug. 10, 2006.
  7. ^ FindLaw for Legal Professionals - Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code
  8. ^ FindLaw | Cases and Codes
  9. ^ FindLaw for Legal Professionals - Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code
  10. ^ FindLaw for Legal Professionals - Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code
  11. ^ FindLaw for Legal Professionals - Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code
  12. ^ 24 Cal.4th 537, 12 P.3d 1068, 101 Cal.Rptr.2d 653, No. S080318, Nov. 30, 2000.

External links

  • [1] Pacific Legal Foundation's website.

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