Our attorneys are well versed in the Brown Act and related provisions found in the Education Code, and we advise our clients on these provisions on nearly a daily basis. In addition to routinely reviewing meeting agendas and providing telephonic advice to districts regarding closed session and disclosure requirements, the firm also provides periodic instructional pamphlets and conducts training seminars for board members and administrators on Brown Act requirements and compliance.
Public Records Request
We regularly advise our clients concerning the response to Public Records Act requests, including requests for compensation information and discipline records for employees, contracts and bids following competitive bidding, and other public records requests.
Conflicts of Interest
We have often advised our clients about conflict of interest issues involving employees, governing board members and vendors.
Community College Budgeting and Funding Mechanisms and Process
Our attorneys are thoroughly familiar with college and school district budgeting and funding mechanisms. As part of the preparation for collective bargaining, it is our practice to advise our clients to thoroughly analyze the cost of each and every proposal that is being considered or placed on the table. In addition, we have frequently assisted our clients in preparing useful and powerful fiscal analysis demonstrating the total compensation received by each employee, the impact of any increases proposed by management, comparisons of the financial condition of the district with other districts local and statewide, as well as financial projections which attempt to estimate the future impact of present proposals.
Contracts and Agreements
Our attorneys are thoroughly familiar with the review and drafting of contracts and agreements. We have drafted and reviewed terms and conditions (i.e., General Conditions and Special Conditions) for use in construction contracts by numerous school districts and community college districts. Further, we have negotiated various different types of contracts, including the negotiation of contracts for installation of energy management systems in school districts, student exchange programs, student transportation agreement, naming and sign sponsorship agreements, right of entry agreements, educational partnerships with businesses and enterprises, cooperative agreements between educational entities, agreements for apprentice/training/internships with hospitals and EMT’s, among others.
We have also represented our public sector clients in litigation involving CEQA and environmental issues. We have assisted our clients in all manner of pre-bid, bidding, and contract award issues. In this regard, we have evaluated and advised our clients on bid protests, and we have assisted our clients to establish and apply pre-qualification standards to construction contractors. We have also successfully assisted our public sector clients with advice and guidance on the administration of construction contract claims.
Litigated Matters, Including the Type of Litigation
Our attorneys have litigated a wide variety of matters through all phases of the civil process up to and including bench and jury trials, as well as subsequent appeals. Administrative and litigation matters handled by our attorneys include lawsuits involving wrongful termination, wrongful death, automobile collision, partnership disputes, unfair business practices, unlawful detainer, invasion of privacy, wrongful death, marital dissolution, writ of mandate, sexual harassment, property boundary disputes, breach of contract, dissolution of partnerships, construction contracts, bid protests, sex discrimination, race discrimination, Americans With Disabilities Act, religious discrimination, personal injury, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title 5, First Amendment speech, disputes arising from the administration of collective bargaining agreements, negligence, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, false imprisonment, unfair labor practice charges, Personnel Commission Regulations, fraud and misrepresentation, alleged Brown Act violation, retiree benefits, and numerous other areas of litigation. Additionally, we have provided insurance defense representation for insurance and insurance management companies in accordance with their policies, including Carl Warren.
Our staff of attorneys has experience in all aspects of governmental tort law. Our staff of attorneys work regularly in assisting community colleges, school districts and other public sector clients in the implementation and processing of claims filed against them and the defense thereof.
In the area of construction law, we have successfully represented district clients in numerous litigations against architects, contractors and sureties.
Claims and Litigation
Our extensive experience in personnel matters includes representing our clients in numerous matters in State and Federal courts on a broad range of legal issues, including claims of unlawful discrimination, matters relating to leaves of absence, employee discipline and termination, health and welfare benefits (including retiree benefits), and wage and hour claims. Nevertheless, the majority of the work we do for our clients is targeted to help the client avoid disputes. In our experience, we have found that positive labor relations require that the parties work to resolve the underlying problems in a cooperative fashion which addresses the needs and interests of both parties.
We also have extensive experience and knowledge of the requirements set forth in the California Tort Claim Act (CA. Government Code section 900 et seq.). In fact, our clients have prevailed in a number of cases where we have successfully asserted affirmative defenses based on the plaintiff’s failure to comply with the requirements of the Tort Claims Act.