Dana Berliner serves as Senior Vice President and Litigation Director at the Institute for Justice, where she has worked as a lawyer since 1994.
The focus of Dana’s litigation at IJ has been property rights. She successfully represented the Community Youth Athletic Center, a boxing gym and mentoring program for at-risk youth, which challenged the city of National City’s authorization of taking the CYAC’s property for private development. Dana also represented the home and business owners in Norwood, Ohio, who, on July 26, 2006, secured a unanimous ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court that the city could not take their property for a privately owned shopping mall and “lifestyle center.” Along with co-counsel Scott Bullock, she represented the homeowners in Kelo v. New London.
On issues of free speech and economic liberty, Dana successfully defended Carla Main and Encounter Books, who wrote and published a book about eminent domain abuse in Texas and across the country, against a defamation suit brought by a developer who stood to receive property taken by eminent domain. She secured a victory in favor of two New Orleans entrepreneurs in a federal First Amendment challenge to the city of New Orleans’ ban on sidewalk book vending. As trial counsel, Dana also secured a ruling that the Nevada Transportation Services Authority violated the rights of several would-be limousine entrepreneurs by subjecting them to an onerous and arbitrary licensing process that gave undue power to existing companies opposing competition.
In 2012, Dana became IJ’s Litigation Director. She now oversees all of IJ’s litigation, helping other attorneys craft both their major legal theories and their day-to-day litigation strategies. She also helps to set the litigation directions that IJ will take. In 2016, Dana began her role as IJ’s Senior Vice President.
Dana received her law and undergraduate degrees from Yale University where she was a member of the Yale Law Journal and represented clients through the legal services program. After law school, she clerked for Judge Jerry Smith on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.