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144. Free Speech Challenges to Professional Regulation: Suing Over Dietetics Licensure

Tuesday, October 23
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
CE: 1.0

Session Level 2 - Intermediate

Nutrition and dietetics licensure—and other professional regulation—protects the public from physical, financial, and other harm. However, these licensure laws are facing multiple challenges in legislatures, regulatory agencies, and now in the courts, frequently based on claims of free speech rights of unlicensed practitioners. How can the public be protected when these consumer safeguards are weakened? Does an unqualified individual seeking to provide certain nutrition services (such as medical nutrition therapy) have a First Amendment right to do so that supersedes a state’s ability to protect the public?

Join us for a conversation with Paul Sherman, a lawyer representing the Institute for Justice, an organization presently suing Florida on behalf of an unlicensed provider of nutrition services. This session will examine the rationale of the Institute’s challenge of Florida’s nutrition and dietetics licensure law on free speech grounds.

Planned with the Consumer Protection and Licensure Subcommittee

Learning Objectives:

Learning Need Codes:

  • 1080 - Legislation, public policy
  • 1010 - Career planning, job search, goal setting
  • 1050 - Ethics

Pepin Tuma, JD

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Send Email for Pepin Tuma

Paul Sherman, JD

Paul Sherman is a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice. He joined the Institute in July 2007 and litigates cutting-edge constitutional cases protecting the First Amendment, economic liberty, property rights and other individual liberties in both federal and state courts.

Paul has extensive experience litigating First Amendment cases and has helped to develop IJ’s occupational-speech practice, which seeks to create greater constitutional protection against occupational-licensing laws that burden speech. Paul currently represents Heather Del Castillo in a challenge to Florida's dietetics law. Paul also represented blogger Steve Cooksey in a First Amendment challenge to North Carolina’s dietetics law, which resulted in the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition producing new guidelines that provide broad protection for the right to give dietary advice.

Paul is a prolific media writer and his views on the First Amendment and constitutional law have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, National Law Journal, and other media outlets.

Paul received his law degree from the George Washington University Law School in 2006. While at GW, he served on the board of the Public Contract Law Journal. He earned a master’s degree in political campaigning from the University of Florida in 2003, and bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida in 2001.


Send Email for Paul Sherman


144. Free Speech Challenges to Professional Regulation: Suing Over Dietetics Licensure

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