James Burling is an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit, tax-exempt public interest legal foundation. The Foundation was formed in 1973 to litigate nationwide in defense of individual and economic freedoms and to represent responsible citizens supporting sound environmental and land use litigation. Jim has worked with Pacific Legal Foundation since 1983, litigating cases from Alaska to Florida. He currently serves as the Foundation’s Director of Litigation and principal attorney in PLF’s Property Rights practice group.
Jim litigates in a wide variety of private property, natural resource, public land, and environmental legal issues. He is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education courses and before community and property rights organizations on subjects ranging from the regulation of wetlands and endangered species, federal land policy, zoning, regulatory exactions, the public trust doctrine, and the “taking” of private property. He is also the Chairman Emeritus of the Federalist Society’s Environmental Law and Property Rights Practice Group and a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers into which he was inducted in 2006
Significant Eminent Domain and Property Rights Representations and Reported Decisions
- In 2001, Mr. Burling successfully argued Palazzolo v.Rhode Island before the United States Supreme Court.
- American Law Institute: Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “Novel Takings Theories: Testing the Boundaries of Property Rights,” February 7, 2015, San Francisco, CA.
- American Law Institute: Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “The Law of Development Exactions,” January 25, 2014, New Orleans, LA.
- Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, “Implications of the Court’s Recent Takings Cases,” October 18, 2013.
- American Law Institute: Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “Vested Rights and Black Holes: The Birth and Many Deaths of Vested Rights,” January 26, 2013, Miami Beach, FL.
- American Law Institute: Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “The Use and Abuse of Property Rights in Preserving the Environment,” January 28, 2012, San Diego, CA.
- Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, “Property Rights and the Environment,” November 2011, Beijing, China.
- American Law Institute-American Bar Association: Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “Takings and Torts: The Role of Intention and Foreseeability in Assessing Takings Liability,” February 19, 2011, Coral Gables, FL.
- American Law Institute-American Bar Association: Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “Stop the Beach Renourishment vs. Florida Department of Environmental Protection: If the Doctrine of Judicial Takings Did Not Exist, Would We Have To Invent It?,” February 6, 2010, Scottsdale, AZ.
Published Articles and Papers
- The Use and Abuse of Property Rights in Saving the Environment, 1 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conf. Jour. 373 (2012).
- Co-author with Graham Owen, The Implications of Lingle on Inclusionary Zoning and Other Legislative and Monetary Exactions, 28 Stanford Environmental L. Jour. 397 (2009).
- Do Economic Results of a Transfer to a Private Developer Constitute “Public Use?,“ 2006 ALI-ABA Course of study on Study on Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation.
- The Challenge of Due Process, 1983, and Property Rights, 2005 ALI-ABA Course of study on Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, Available on Westlaw at SK045 ALI-ABA 713.
- When Is a Claim Against the Government Ripe? Takings, Equal Protection, Due Process and First Amendment Challenges, in 2004 ALI-ABA Course of Study on Inverse Condemnation and Related Government Liability. Available on Westlaw at SJ052 ALI-ABA 35.
- The Theory of Property and Why it Matters, 2004 ALI-ABA Course of Study on Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, SJ051 ALI-ABA 491.
- Blight Lite, 2003 ALI-ABA Course on Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, available on Westlaw at: SH053 ALI-ABA 43.
- The Latest Take on Background Principles and the States’ Law of Property After Lucas and Palazzolo, 24 University of Hawaii Law Review 497 (2002); reprinted in 2003 Zoning and Planning Law Handbook, at 137 (Patricia F. Salkin, ed.) (2003).
- Private Property Rights and the Environment after Palazzolo, 30 Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review 1 (2002).
- American College of Real Estate Lawyers
- Federalist Society, Environmental Law and Property Rights Practice Group, Chairman Emeritus