Justin Pearson is the Institute’s Florida Office Managing Attorney and oversees the Institute’s national economic liberty efforts. Justin’s current cases include a major First Amendment challenge brought on behalf of a Maryland dairy farmer against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ban on honestly labeling additive-free skim milk as “skim milk,” another major First Amendment challenge brought on behalf of vegan food businesses against Mississippi’s ban on well-understood terms like “veggie burger,” and a state constitutional challenge brought on behalf of Florida food-truck owners against Fort Pierce’s 500-foot ban on competition.
Justin litigates on behalf of small-business owners across the nation, often winning 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 in Fort Pierce, Justin recently obtained the first preliminary injunction ever issued in a rational basis challenge anywhere in the nation.
In addition to litigation, Justin has testified to numerous Florida Senate and House committees on issues ranging from the constitutional implications of occupational licensing laws to the need for civil forfeiture reform, and provisions suggested by Justin have been enacted into law.
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.