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Brian T. Hodges

Senior Attorney
PLF Northwest Center

(425) 576-0484

Practice areas
Property Rights

Mr. Hodges is a Senior Attorney and the Managing Attorney of the PLF’s Northwest Center. He has over 15 years of experience litigating cases on a variety of property rights issues, including exactions, regulatory takings, temporary takings, growth management, critical area regulation, and privacy.

Mr. Hodges’ work in the Foundation’s Property Rights Practice Group has led to several important decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, including Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, which established that demands for money—just like property—must satisfy the constitutional nexus and proportionality standards set forth in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission and Dolan v. City of Tigard. He also drafted amicus briefs in Brandt v. United States (holding the federal government subject to the same property rules as everyone else) and and Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States (overturning a rule that excluded some government actions from liability for a temporary taking).

Mr. Hodges’ work within Washington has also set positive precedents for property owners. Most notably, Mr. Hodges led the effort to overturn a King County critical areas ordinance that required all rural property owners to “set aside” at least half their land as native vegetation areas as a mandatory condition of any new development. The case, Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights v. Sims, is one of the first appellate decisions to apply the nexus and proportionality rules to critical area buffers.

Mr. Hodges property right publications have been cited by courts, treatises, case books, and practice guides. He regularly lectures on the topic at law schools and legal conferences.

Mr. Hodges graduated cum laude from University of Washington with two Bachelor’s Degrees in 1996 and a Master of Arts in 1998, focusing on language and public policy. In 2001, he obtained his law degree with honors from Seattle University School of Law, where he was an invited member of the Order of Barristers. After which, he served a two-year term as a judicial clerk to the honorable Mary K. Becker of the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division One.
Select Publications
  • Horne v. Department of Agriculture: The Takings Clause and the Administrative State, 16 Engage 34 (2015)
  • Horne v. Department of Agriculture: California Raisin Farmers Strike Blows for Property Rights and Limited Government, JURIST – Professional Commentary (July 5, 2015)
  • Ruling a Win for Property Rights, Limited Government, San Francisco Daily Journal (June 25, 2015)
  • Outdated Law Tested in Raisin Case, San Francisco Daily Journal (April 21, 2015)
  • When the Common Law Runs Into the Constitution: The Train Wreck Avoided in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, 39 Vermont Law Review 673 (2015)
  • Will Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States Provide a Permanent Fix for Temporary Takings? 41(2) Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review (2014)
  • Brandt v. United States: Should the Common Law of Property be Scrapped?, JURIST – Hotline (Nov. 1, 2013)
  • Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District and Its Implications for Takings Law, 14(3) Federalist Society Engage (2103)
  • Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States: U.S. Supreme Court Disapproves of Per Se Defenses in Takings Cases, 65(3) Planning & Environmental Law (2013)
  • Have Washington Courts Lost Essential Nexus to the Precautionary Principle? Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights v. Sims, 40 Environmental Law Review 829 (2010)

Select Presentations

  • Koontz and its Impacts on Washington Land Use Practice, Washington Ass’n of Prosecuting Atty’s Conference, Moses Lake & Chelan, WA (2013 & 2014)
  • Non-Conforming Uses, Vested Rights, and Regulatory Takings Cases With Implications for Washington’s Growth Management Act, Annual Growth Management Act CLE, Law Seminars Int’l (2013)
  • Existing Development: Resolving Issues Relating to Setbacks, Buffers and Vegetation, Shoreline Management & Permitting CLE, Law Seminars Int’l (2012)
  • The Unconstitutional Conditions Doctrine: A Reexamination of the Doctrine’s Application to Regulatory Takings, Regulatory Takings Conference, Law Seminars Int’l (2012)
  • Mitigation, Enhancement, and Restoration: How Far is Too Far? Shoreline Master Program Updates, Law Seminars Int’l (2011)
  • Incentive Zoning and TDRs: Takings or Giveaways? Regulatory Takings CLE, Law Seminars Int’l (2011)
  • Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights v. Sims – The Impact of RCW 82.02.020 on All Things Land Use, Hot Topics in Land Use and Environmental Law, Washington State Bar Association (2009)
  • What Does the Future Hold for King County’s Critical Area Ordinance after Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights v. Sims? King County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section (2008)
  • The Implications of Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights v. Sims on Development Regulations, Annual Growth Management Act CLE, Law Seminars Int’l (2008)
  • Designating and Protecting Critical Areas Under the Growth Management Act After Swinomish Indian Tribal Community v. Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, Washington Farm Bureau Annual Conference (2007)
  • Policy Priorities for the Growth Management Act: Protecting Property Rights, Annual Growth Management Act CLE, Law Seminars International (2007)

Bar Memberships

  • Washington Courts
  • Oregon Courts
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • United States Court of Federal Claims

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