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Justin Pearson

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Managing Attorney of the Institute for Justice Florida Office


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Justin Pearson is the Institute’s Florida Office Managing Attorney and oversees the Institute’s national economic liberty efforts. Justin has devoted his career to vindicating the constitutional rights of small-business owners, and he has victoriously litigated on their behalf in trial and appellate courts across the nation.

Justin often wins in novel ways. He was the lead counsel in a federal appellate court victory vindicating the right of a Florida dairy creamery to tell the truth on its labels, which was the first victorious First Amendment challenge to a food standard of identity in U.S. history. His win against Little Rock’s ban on taxi competition was based on a provision in the Arkansas Constitution that had not been successfully relied upon in over half a century. And his victory against Fort Pierce’s food truck ban included the first preliminary injunction ever issued in this type of challenge anywhere in the nation.

In addition to litigation, Justin has testified to Florida Senate and House committees dozens of times, and provisions suggested by Justin have been enacted into law. The successful bills that Justin has actively supported include Florida’s major occupational licensing reform in 2020, its repeal of the certificate of need requirements for hospitals in 2019, its “Fresh Start” reform making it easier for individuals with criminal records to obtain employment, which was also in 2019, and its overhaul of its civil forfeiture laws in 2016.

Prior to joining IJ, Justin founded and managed his own law practice to advocate for small-business owners, and Justin’s law practice was successful for many years before he made the decision to join IJ in 2012 to better fight against government power gone awry.

Justin received his law degree with honors from the University of Miami in 2002, where he was the research and writing editor for, and was published in, the University of Miami Business Law Review. Justin received his undergraduate degree in business management from North Carolina State University. In 2017, Justin was honored by the Daily Business Review and Law.com for being one of South Florida’s “Most Effective Lawyers.”

Outside of IJ, Justin is on the steering committee for the Federalist Society’s Miami Lawyers Chapter, is on the James Madison Institute’s Miami Board of Advisors, and is a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network.

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