Office of General Counsel

The Office of General Counsel provides objective, timely legal advice to the Board of Education, the Superintendent, Senior Management and District administration, as well as representing the District in all legal proceedings.

The areas in which we provide legal advice include, but are not limited to, the following:

General School District/Public Agency Issues

  • The California Education Code
  • The California Government Code
  • Board Governance
  • Election issues and filling of governing board vacancies
  • The Ralph M. Brown Act
  • The California Public Records Act
  • The California Tort Claims Act
  • Compliance with court-ordered desegregation plan

Labor and Employment

  • Personnel matters arising from the Education Code and other statutory provisions
  • Constitutional rights - due process, free speech rights, free exercise of religion, freedom of association, establishment clause issues
  • Representation of the governing board in certificated and classified employee suspension and termination proceedings
  • Review and/or preparation of responses to complaints filed with administrative agencies
  • Planning, strategy and compliance in the collective bargaining arena, including agreement interpretation and administration
  • Employee and retiree benefit rights
  • Collective bargaining

Student Issues

  • Pupil records privacy and access
  • Child custody conflicts and abuse reporting responsibilities
  • Interdistrict and intradistrict attendance issues
  • Suspension, expulsion and transfer of students
  • Civil rights issues related to student speech, searches of students, student dress standards
  • Coordination of Investigations of student issues by state and federal agencies such as California Department of Education and Office for Civil Rights
  • Review and update required notices to students

Special Education

  • Compliance issues regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Representation of the District at special education mediations and due process hearings
  • Representation of the District in all stages of administrative, state and federal special education litigation
  • Discrimination and bullying

Business Issues: Contracts, Construction, Facilities, Purchasing

  • Contract review and analysis
  • Construction, facilities, purchasing issues
  • Issuance of bonds and Certificates Of Participation
  • Use of bond funds
  • California Public Contract Code
  • Use, conveyance and acquisition of District property
  • Building and zoning codes, Division of State Architect regulations, and county and city ordinances
  • Compliance with competitive bidding requirements


  • Periodic written summaries of legal developments on issues important to educational agencies
  • Training of District staff in all areas of education law as requested
  • Presentations and updates to administrative groups