Justin Pearson

Managing Attorney of the Florida Office

Justin Pearson is the Institute’s Florida Office Managing Attorney and also directs IJ’s National Street Vending Initiative. 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 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 definition in U.S. history. His victory against Fort Pierce’s food truck ban included obtaining what is believed to be the first preliminary injunction ever issued in U.S. history in an economic liberty case applying the rational basis test. And 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 for over half a century.

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 signed into law that Justin has actively supported (and often personally drafted) have included occupational licensing reform, food truck reform, cottage food reform, fresh start reform, home-based business reform, repeals of certificate-of-need (CON) requirements, and civil forfeiture reform.

Justin’s work has appeared in countless media outlets, and Justin has spoken to scores of law schools and attorney organizations across the nation. The law schools that have hosted Justin’s talks include Yale, the University of Chicago, Duke, NYU, Cornell, Notre Dame, and the University of Michigan, among many others.

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. Justin has been honored by the Daily Business Review and Law.com for being one of South Florida’s “Most Effective Lawyers.”

Justin's Cases

Economic Liberty | First Amendment | First Amendment Retaliation | Immunity and Accountability | Other Property Rights Abuses | Private Property

Virginia food truck owners file federal lawsuit after raging town councilmember damaged truck, town council repeatedly harassed them

Theslet Benoir and Clemene Bastien are a married couple that immigrated to the United States from Haiti in 2005. They received asylum, settled in Parksley, Virginia, and opened a brick-and-mortar store that caters to the…

Economic Liberty | Food Freedom

Wisconsin Cottage Foods II

Wisconsin bans the sale of many homemade foods, including common and shelf-stable foods like candies, chocolates, granola and roasted coffee beans. Seven Wisconsinites have joined with IJ to challenge the state’s arbitrary law.

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Justin's Research & Reports

Justin's Amicus Briefs

Justin's News, Articles & Publications

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