Dan Alban is a Senior Attorney and the co-director of IJ’s National Initiative to End Civil Forfeiture. He has served as an attorney with the Institute for Justice since September 2010, and was a summer law clerk at IJ in the summer of 2004.
Dan litigates cutting-edge constitutional cases nationwide and has secured numerous court victories in federal and state courts for victims of civil forfeiture, property owners fighting eminent domain abuse, and entrepreneurs challenging occupational licensing. Dan has successfully represented civil forfeiture clients in obtaining the unconditional return of all of their seized property in Oklahoma, Wyoming, Michigan, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
Dan is currently the lead attorney in two of IJ’s nationwide class action lawsuits challenges abusive forfeiture practices by federal agencies. One case seeks to end ongoing TSA and DEA airport seizures of domestic air travelers and their cash without probable cause, based solely on travelers legally traveling with what the agencies consider to be a “large” or “suspicious” amount of cash.The other case challenges abusive civil forfeiture practices by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including demanding that property owners waive their rights by signing a hold harmless agreement before CBP will return property that it is legally required to return.
Dan also serves as counsel in IJ’s federal class action lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia challenging numerous due process violations by Philadelphia’s civil forfeiture machine, including seizing homes from innocent people and pressuring them to waive their constitutional rights before allowing them to return to their homes, and requiring property owners seeking the return of their property to appear at a “courtroom” run by prosecutors.
Dan was the lead attorney in Loving v. IRS, representing three independent tax preparers who successfully challenged the IRS’s unlawful attempt to impose a nationwide licensing scheme on tax preparers. After arguing the case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Dan secured a unanimous affirmance for his clients. For his success in litigating that case, Dan was named a 2013 Tax Person of the Year by Tax Notes. Dan also represents African hair braiders in challenges to irrational cosmetology licensing requirements.
Dan’s writing has been published by outlets including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and TheNew York Times, among others. He has testified about eminent domain abuse before the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives on several occasions. His opinions and views on legal issues have been featured in numerous radio and television programs, including CNBC’s The Kudlow Report and CSPAN’s Washington Journal.
Before joining IJ, Dan practiced employment law in the Tysons Corner office of Littler Mendelson P.C., with a focus on employment litigation in both federal courts and Virginia state court. Prior to that, he served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Dan started his legal career in private practice at Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, DC, working primarily in telecommunications litigation and mass media regulatory law.
Dan received his law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2006, where he was an Executive Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. From 2000 to 2003, Dan worked at the Institute for Humane Studies in Arlington, Virginia. In 2000, Dan earned his undergraduate degree in Political Rhetoric from Berry College in Rome, Georgia. Dan originally hails from Nampa, Idaho.