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We represent individuals and businesses who sue or are sued by the federal, state, or local government in a matter of constitutional law.

We provide pro-bono representation for individuals and entities who cannot afford private counsel or who do not have an economic stake in the case that justifies private litigation. PLF is funded entirely by private donations and therefore operates with limited resources. We focus on litigating precedent-setting cases that advance a specific and predetermined set of public policy objectives approved by our Board of Trustees.

PLF Litigation Areas

The following are examples of the areas of constitutional law in which PLF specializes. Although we sometimes take cases outside these areas, cases that fall in these categories are more likely to be reviewed by our case review team.

  • Property owners’ rights - challenging unreasonable conditions on building or development permits, defending against unjustified takings of private property including inverse condemnation actions, defending coastal property owners’ rights to develop their own property in the face of overzealous coastal commission regulation.
  • Eminent Domain - property taken by government for private use.
  • Race and Sex-based discrimination - discrimination on the basis of race and gender in state hiring, education, and contracting.
  • Endangered Species Act abuse - limitations on the use of property based upon the presence of listed species.
  • Environmental overregulation - federal government regulations overburdening property use; water rights.
  • Economic Liberty and Free Enterprise - unreasonable restrictions on the ability to do business; licensing restrictions; tort reform.

Learn more about the issues we litigate

PLF does not represent individuals in the following types cases:

  • Criminal Law, petitions for writ of habeas corpus (except environmental enforcement actions)
  • Family/Divorce Law
  • Personal Injury tort claims
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workers Compensation, Labor, Employment Law, or Harassment claims
  • International Law
  • Tax Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Business Law
  • Bankruptcy proceedings
  • Foreclosures
  • Failures to comply with building codes
  • Discrimination based upon age, occurring in private companies.
  • Disputes which do not involve federal, state, or local government action.
  • Disputes between neighbors or private parties. (The government is always one of the parties in our lawsuits.)

We are looking for cases that will have a broad impact, rather than cases with unique facts that are not likely to affect a large number of people. Similarly, we take cases where there is a current dispute with a government agency, as opposed to a dispute between private parties. Please bear in mind that just because your case has similar facts to a PLF case highlighted on the website, does not mean that the law involved is necessarily the same. While similar facts indicate that a case may be in a PLF litigation category, the issues presented may be different and therefore may not be appropriate for PLF involvement.

How to submit your case:

If your case falls within one of the above listed areas, please fill out our online application form.

Please bear in mind that only those requests for assistance that are submitted online or by mail will be reviewed.

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PLF Testimonial

"Most people wouldn't stick it out, and since PLF is litigating for principle, we have to thank PLF for doing what they do."
Trevor Burrus, Research Fellow at CATO Institute

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"PLF allowed me to keep operating my business, even in the midst of a crisis. My business means the world to me and my family - PLF saved it for us. Thank you."
R.J. Bruner, Wildcat Moving Co.

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"A 20 year battle is over, thanks to Pacific Legal Foundation.  My father would be proud. Thank you PLF for your support."
Coy Jr. and Linda Koontz

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A PLF Victory for Freedom

Supreme Court Victories

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"For PLF, it's not a job - it's a passion. You can feel very good about how well your money is used in support of the programs they have."
Dr. Robert S. Pepper

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"Individuals for whom a major case is a one shot deal are far more aggrieved. Most individuals cannot afford to do anything with that grievance, and that's where organizations like PLF come in."

Professor Steven Eagle, George Mason School of Law

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