February 1st, 2013 — By — In News & Events

Owners’ Counsel of America Honors PLF Attorney, James Burling, For His Dedication to Private Property Rights


PLF Attorney, James Burling Awarding

OCA presented the 2013 Crystal Eagle Award to PLF’s Director of Litigation, James S. Burling. (Pictured L to R: Andrew Brigham, Jim Burling and Robert Thomas.)

January 31, 2013, Jacksonville, Florida — The Owners’ Counsel of America recently honored one of the country’s leading Constitutional attorneys, James S. Burling, Esq., for his commitment to protecting individual liberty, especially the right of private property ownership.  For over 29 years, James Burling has battled the government on behalf of private property owners across the United States in eminent domain, land use regulation and regulatory takings challenges.  As the Director of Litigation and principal attorney in Pacific Legal Foundation’s Property Rights practice group, Mr. Burling has represented landowners from Alaska to Florida.

A graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law, Mr. Burling joined the Pacific Legal Foundation as an attorney in 1983.  Over the last 3 decades, he has litigated cases involving regulatory takings, environmental and land use regulations, eminent domain, and Indian law. In 2001, Mr. Burling successfully argued a landmark property rights case, Palazzolo v. Rhode Island, 533 U.S. 606 (2001), before the United States Supreme Court.  Palazzolo established that government is not freed from liability for regulatory infringements against property rights simply because the property might be transferred to a new owner.

PLF's Jim Burling speaks to OCA Members on January 26, 2013 after receiving the Crystal Eagle Award.

PLF’s Jim Burling speaks to OCA Members on January 26, 2013 after receiving the Crystal Eagle Award.

Mr. Burling is 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. He is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education courses on topics such as the regulation of wetlands, eminent domain, and the taking of private property. He has also been a panelist at the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, including the 2011 international conference in Beijing, China.  Mr. Burling is often invited to speak 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 condemnation of private property.

A leading property rights scholar, Mr. Burling has published numerous articles on land use regulation and regulatory takings including: James Burling, The Use and Abuse of Property Rights in Saving the Environment, 1 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conf. Jour. 373 (2012); James Burling and Graham Owen, The Implications of Lingle on Inclusionary Zoning and Other Legislative and Monetary Exactions, 28 Stanford Environmental L. Jour. 397 (2009); Burling, The Latest Take on Background Principles and the States’ Law of Property After Lucas and Palazzolo, 24 University of Hawaii Law Review 497 (2002); and Private Property Rights and the Environment After Palazzolo, 30 Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, 1 (2002).

Before becoming an attorney with PLF, Mr. Burling received a Masters of Science degree in geological sciences from Brown University and an undergraduate degree from Hamilton College in New York.  After working as an exploration geologist in Tucson, Arizona, he returned to school at the University of Arizona College of Law, where he served as an articles editor for the Arizona Law Review.

“Annually, the Owners’ Counsel of America identifies individuals who have made a substantial contribution toward protecting the civil right of private property ownership and presents the Crystal Eagle Award,” explained Cathy Newman, Owners’ Counsel Executive Director. “This year, OCA is pleased to recognize Jim Burling for his 30 years of advocacy and scholarship championing the cause of private property rights.  In addition to his work protecting property rights, we are grateful to Jim and PLF for mentoring the next generation of constitutional lawyers who seek to protect individual liberties.”

The Crystal Eagle Award is presented annually to individuals who have contributed toward advancing the cause of property rights.

The Crystal Eagle Award is presented annually to individuals who have contributed toward advancing the cause of property rights.

See the full release here.


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