Non-profit

Public Justice Foundation

Website:

www.publicjustice.net/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

59-1730478

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $6,152,153
Expenses: $6,060,524
Assets: $11,604,530

Formation:

1977

Formerly:

Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ)

Type:

Civil Liberties Advocacy [24]

 

President:

Dan Bryson [25]

The Public Justice Foundation is a charitable organization affiliated with the left-of-center nonprofit Public Justice, a legal advocacy firm that specializes in lawsuits against government and large businesses. [1]

Funding for the foundation, which was over $6 million in 2019, comes mostly from memberships fees from plaintiff’s attorneys and law firms. There were 1,515 donors to the Public Justice Foundation in 2020. [2]

Background

The Public Justice Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports Public Justice, a left-of-center nonprofit legal advocacy organization that specializes in high impact lawsuits challenging government agencies and private firms to seek increased market regulations. [3]

It was originally founded as Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ). [4] TLPJ was founded in 1982 at the urging of left-wing activist Ralph Nader. [5] In 2006, TLPJ became the Public Justice Foundation. [6]

Projects

The Public Justice Foundation argues that businesses are necessarily corrupt and that increased government intervention into the marketplace will supposedly limit this corruption and protect citizens. As such, the foundation embraces left-of-center market regulations. [7]

Food Project

The Food Project is Public Justice Foundation’s largest investment, with the foundation spending $1,451,611 on the project in 2019. [8] Under this project, Public Justice Foundation attorneys litigate and advocate against large food producers. The project claims that corporate food producers have taken over the food system and use methods to increase their bottom lines while disregarding risk and animal suffering. The project seeks to impose greater, left-of-center regulations on food production. [9]

Access to Justice

Public Justice spent $773,062 on Access to Justice in 2019. [10] The project focuses on legal and advocacy efforts to eliminate non-disclosure agreements, arbitration agreements, and the practice of keeping court documents private, claiming that they block people’s rightful access to courts. [11] [12]

Debtor’s Prison Project

The foundation’s third largest project was the Debtors Prison Project, on which it spent $435,572 in 2019. [13] The Public Justice Foundation has claimed that the prison system targets low-income people and people of color, alleging that they go to prison because they cannot afford court fees. [14] The foundation has supported class action litigation on behalf of low-income criminals. [15]

Financials

In 2019, the Public Justice Foundation received over $6 million in contributions and grants. The foundation spent 46% of its total income on salaries and other compensation, including over half a million dollars paid out as salaries to chairman Arthur Bryant and executive director Frank Paul Bland. [16] [17]

Most of the foundation’s funding is sourced through memberships, which are primarily held by plaintiff attorneys and law firms. There were 1,515 donors to the foundation in 2020. [18]

Senior Staff

Dan Bryson, a left-progressive attorney, was named president of the Public Justice Foundation on July 21, 2021. [19] He has been a founding partner at Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP since 2011. [20]

Chairman Arthur Bryant started at the foundation when it was still known as Trial Lawyers for Public Justice in 1984. He became chair in 2014, a position which he held until 2019. [21] Executive director Frank Paul Bland joined the Public Justice Foundation in 1997. [22]

Jessica Culpepper is director of the Food Project, the organization’s largest project. She was previously a staff attorney at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a large left-of-center vegetarian advocacy organization. [23]

References

  1. Public Justice – About. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.publicjustice.net/who-we-are/mission/ ^
  2. Guidestar profile – Public Justice Foundation. Accessed August 14, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/59-1730478 ^
  3. Public Justice – About. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.publicjustice.net/who-we-are/mission/ ^
  4. Activist Facts – Organizations – Public Justice Food Project. Accessed August 14, 2021.  https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/public-justice-food-project/ ^
  5. Discover the Networks – Public Justice (PJ). Accessed August 14, 2021. https://www.discoverthenetworks.org/organizations/public-justice-pj ^
  6. A 990-PF: Public Justice Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2006, Part I. ^
  7. Discover the Networks – Public Justice (PJ). Accessed August 14, 2021. https://www.discoverthenetworks.org/organizations/public-justice-pj ^
  8. Charity Navigator – Public Justice Foundation. Accessed August 14, 2021. https://www.charitynavigator.org/ein/591730478 ^
  9. Guidestar profile – Public Justice Foundation. Accessed August 14, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/59-1730478 ^
  10. Charity Navigator – Public Justice Foundation. Accessed August 14, 2021. https://www.charitynavigator.org/ein/591730478 ^
  11. A 990-PF: Public Justice Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2019, Part III ^
  12. Public Justice – What We Do – Access to Justice. Accessed August 14, 2021. https://www.publicjustice.net/what-we-do/access-to-justice/ ^
  13. Charity Navigator – Public Justice Foundation. Accessed August 14, 2021. https://www.charitynavigator.org/ein/591730478 ^
  14. Guidestar profile – Public Justice Foundation. Accessed August 14, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/59-1730478 ^
  15. A 990-PF: Public Justice Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2019, Part III ^
  16. A 990-PF: Public Justice Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2019, Part I ^
  17. A 990-PF: Public Justice Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2019, Part VII ^
  18. Guidestar profile – Public Justice Foundation. Accessed August 14, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/59-1730478 ^
  19. “Dan Bryson Named Public Justice President” Public Justice website. August 2, 2021. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.publicjustice.net/dan-bryson-named-public-justice-president/ ^
  20. LinkedIn – Dan Bryson. Accessed August 15, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-bryson-1183a748/ ^
  21. LinkedIn – Arthur Bryant. Accessed August 15, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/arthur-bryant-092a878/ ^
  22. Linked In – Paul Bland. Accessed August 15, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-bland-2780494/ ^
  23. Public Justice – Who We Are – Team – Jessica Culpepper. Accessed August 14, 2021.  https://www.publicjustice.net/team/jessica-culpepper/ ^
  24. Guidestar profile. Public Justice Foundation. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/59-1730478 ^
  25. “Dan Bryson Named Public Justice President” Public Justice website. August 2, 2021. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.publicjustice.net/dan-bryson-named-public-justice-president/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1977

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990 $6,152,153 $6,060,524 $11,604,530 $1,035,692 N $6,002,559 $0 $208,553 $588,100 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $6,381,205 $4,920,179 $10,804,276 $924,250 Y $6,327,869 $0 $66,817 $642,084 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $6,542,158 $4,795,413 $9,830,676 $1,073,208 N $6,381,615 $0 $131,443 $680,695 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $5,242,628 $4,042,339 $7,824,542 $1,115,843 N $5,131,521 $0 $127,097 $418,450 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $4,782,480 $3,988,297 $5,565,819 $167,439 N $4,664,552 $0 $66,782 $413,172 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $4,089,722 $4,759,228 $4,861,011 $150,496 N $4,063,991 $0 $94,154 $514,033 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $3,203,297 $4,455,902 $5,593,456 $252,713 N $2,931,698 $0 $92,753 $320,207 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $4,871,621 $4,864,278 $6,973,361 $152,106 N $4,801,897 $0 $61,741 $541,783 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $4,296,889 $3,207,338 $6,758,805 $111,755 N $4,102,829 $0 $85,358 $321,810 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Public Justice Foundation

    1620 L ST NW STE 630
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-5600