Since opening its doors in 2011, IJ-FL has become a dynamic force for liberty in the Sunshine State and across the nation. Its members have obtained both litigation and legislative victories in all four of IJ’s Pillars: free speech, school choice, economic liberty, and property rights.

For instance, the Miami-based office fights to protect entrepreneurs’ right to free speech. In 2017, IJ-FL’s win at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vindicating a small creamery’s right to tell the truth on its labels was the first victorious First Amendment challenge against a food standard of identity in U.S. history. This precedent resulted in subsequent cases by IJ-FL attorneys, including a similar First Amendment challenge in Pennsylvania against the FDA and a challenge against Mississippi’s ban on “veggie burgers,” both of which resulted in complete capitulation by the government.

IJ’s Florida office also fights for its clients when educational freedom is under attack. IJ-FL attorneys victoriously argued at the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of six families who rely on Florida’s popular Tax Credit Scholarship and McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities for their children to attend private schools. As a direct result of the state supreme court victory, over 120,000 students in Florida have access to scholarships that empower them to attend the schools of their choice.

IJ-FL also fights for economic liberty. IJ-FL attorneys recently obtained a rare rational basis preliminary injunction while representing food truck owners in their challenge to Fort Pierce’s 500-foot ban. Additionally, IJ-FL attorneys defeated Little Rock, Arkansas’s ban on taxi competition in court using the state constitution’s anti-monopoly clause.

And IJ-FL is on the front lines to protect property rights. This includes IJ-FL attorneys’ recent court victory over Wilmington, North Carolina’s attempt to raffle off citizen’s property rights using a process called “amortization.” It also includes their victorious defense of Anaheim, California property owner Tony Jalali, when the city wrongly attempted to use the “equitable sharing loophole” to seek civil forfeiture against his property for simply doing something the city government had told him he could do.

In addition to litigation, IJ-FL has achieved dramatic legislative victories. IJ-FL attorneys were extremely involved in Florida’s recent, historic occupational licensing reform, which removed the most occupational licensing barriers in U.S. history. Bills IJ-FL attorneys have successfully advocated for that have become law include bills to prevent cities from banning front-yard vegetable gardens, to prevent cities from banning food trucks, to increase school choice programs, to make it easier for incarcerated individuals to overcome occupational licensing barriers, to allow professionals to accurately describe the work they are performing, and to make it easier for Floridians to sell cottage foods.

Finally, IJ-FL attorneys travel the nation, speaking and training future attorneys and activists. 

Florida Team

Justin Pearson
Managing Attorney of the Institute for Justice Florida Office
Ari Bargil
Senior Attorney
Katrin Marquez
Rebekah Ramirez
Paralegal and Office Manager

Directions to IJ-florida Office

The Institute for Justice Florida office is located in Miami:

2 South Biscayne Boulevard
Suite 3180
Miami, FL 33131

Phone: (305) 721-1600
Fax: (305) 721-1601

Law Student Clerkships

To apply for semester clerkships in our Florida office, please submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample via email to [email protected]. If you are interested in applying for a summer clerkship please visit our Students page.

Guest Speaker Information

If you would like to invite an Institute for Justice attorney to a debate or to speak to your group. please email [email protected]. To see if there are any events near you, go to our Speakers & Events page.

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