Bert Gall serves as a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice. Gall litigates economic liberty, free speech, school choice and property rights cases nationwide in both federal and state courts.
Gall directs IJ’s National Street Vending Initiative, a nationwide effort to vindicate the right of street vendors to earn an honest living by fighting unconstitutional vending restrictions in courts of law and the court of public opinion. He served as co-counsel in IJ’s successful challenge to El Paso’s protectionist restrictions on mobile vendors, which resulted in El Paso repealing those restrictions. He is also a co-author of Streets of Dreams, IJ’s report on how regulations in America’s fifty largest cities stifle street vending for no other purpose than to protect brick-and-mortar businesses from competition.
In his First Amendment practice, Gall served as co-counsel in SpeechNow.org v. FEC, in which IJ successfully challenged federal campaign finance laws’ restrictions on free speech and the right of association. He was lead counsel in the Institute’s successful challenge to Florida’s “electioneering communications” law, which required groups and individuals to register with the state and comply with onerous regulations if they merely wanted to mention candidates or ballot issues in their publications. Bert also successfully defended a group of home and business owners in Clarksville, Tenn., who were sued by two developers (one a local politician) for criticizing the developers and their local government for abusing the power of eminent domain for private development.
In the area of property rights, Bert served as co-counsel for home and business owners in Norwood v. Horney, the first eminent domain abuse case to be argued and decided by a state supreme court in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo decision. In ruling for the property owners, the Court unanimously held that taking private property for private economic development violates the Ohio Constitution.
Bert received his law degree from Duke University in 1999, where he served as an articles editor on the staff of Law and Contemporary Problems. He received his undergraduate degree from Rice University in 1996 where he majored in history and political science. Before coming to the Institute, he spent two years in private practice at a Helms Mulliss & Wicker in Charlotte, where he worked on a wide variety of commercial litigation cases. After law school, he clerked for Judge Karen Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
In 2009, Bert was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of its “Rising Stars: Washington’s 40 under 40,” which honored the top 40 lawyers under the age of 40 in the Washington, D.C. area.
Bert Gall is a member of the DC and North Carolina bars.