What kind of administrators
control ACSA? The Region
18 Chair Ed Brand (term
expires July 2009)
Should superintendents like
Ed Brand direct our SDCOE
He is on the San Diego
County School Legal
Services Council until 2008!
As demonstrated by the Mary
Anne Weegar case, and many
other cases handled by the
SDCOE JPA, Ed Brand
contributes to, and helps
enforce, SDCOE's culture of
dishonesty and secrecy.
Should superintendents like Ed
Brand be in a position over
SDCOE lawyers, when such
superintendents are the very
individuals for whose
wrongdoing SDCOE must pay?
Isn't that putting the fox in
charge of the hen house?
The taxpayers have to keep
paying and paying, while Ed
Brand violates the law.
National School Boards Association (NSBA);
Attorneys who have helped cover up crimes in schools are in charge of
training both new board members and new school attorneys.
California Council of School Attorneys CCSA/CSA Joint Annual Meeting
November 29, 2007
San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina
Session for New Attorneys and for Those Who Can’t Remember: The Basics
of Personnel/ Student Discipline/ Client Relations
Mark Bresee, Counsel, Orange CDE
1) Mark Bresee
formerly of Parham/Rajcic--now works for Orange County Dept.
Education; as of July 2008 works for San Diego Unified School
Who trains new school attorneys?
2) Dan Shinoff trains board members and employees as
well as attorneys
SP ED AFTER
Title: GR K-12 SP EDUC
Date: 3/14/2005 8:00AM
Details: Daniel Shinoff and Jack
Sleeth will present vital
information to keep you up-to-date
with the latest changes and best
practices in the implementation of
IDEA as reauthorized...agenda
topics include legislative updates;
determinations & IEPs; related
services & assistive technology;
discipline; behavioral intervention
procedures; confidentiality of
student records and most common
mistakes. $205; Four Points Hotel
by Sheraton, San Diego; sponsored
Shinoff and Sleeth Present "The Forensics of Special Education Litigation"
Daniel R. Shinoff and Jack M. Sleeth presented at the 2008 Association of
California School Administrators Symposium on January 17, 2008 in
Monterey, California. The presentation addressed pre-litigation strategies
that educational institutions should consider implementing in order to
prevent a variety of civil rights claims, such as violations of the Hughes Act
or discrimination based on disability. Strategies include proper
documentation of all events that may trigger a civil rights claim, and
methods to ensure that negotiations which occur in the context of private
converstation (sic) are not damaging. The seminar also covered issues of
privileged communications, and the interplay of the litigation process in
special education beyond due process procedures.
For more information or to request a workshop, please contact us at
from Stutz website
Training new attorneys
Fagen, Friedman &
San Marcos office
Melanie A. Petersen...
served fifteen years as in-
house counsel for San
Diego Unified School
Ms. Petersen is the chair of
the firm’s Charter School
Practice Group...[She] is a
frequent presenter at ACSA,
CSBA, NSBA and several
organizations. She is the
2008-09 President of
the California Council
of School Attorneys.
From FFF website
From the Lozano
"... Our attorneys are
routinely asked to speak
at all of the major
Association of California
(ACSA) labor and
California Council of
School Attorneys (CCSA),
the National School
(NSBA), and the California
Association (CSBA) as
labor and employment
From the Stutz Artiano
Shinoff & Holtz website:
"...Our attorneys are frequent
speakers at local and national
education conferences and
seminars on advisory, special
education and litigation topics.
We develop and conduct
workshops on legal issues of
importance to our clients in an
effort to keep them current on
important changes in the laws
that affect them. We are also
active members and
participants in many school
organizations including the
Association of California
(ACSA), California School
Boards Association (CSBA),
the California Association
of School Business
Officials (CASBO), the
Council of School
which one of our
attorneys was a
member, the National
School Boards Association
Teachers must sue for their right to due process [since school attorneys
don't obey the law].
Peter Wright of Wrightslaw November 9, 2004
Pamella Settlegoode's contract was not renewed in 2000 after she repeatedly
complained about services available to students. She filed suit, contending that the
district violated the Disabilities Act of 1978, her First Amendment rights to free speech
and the Oregon Whistleblower Act.
A jury deliberated nine hours before awarding her $1 million in 2001. A
federal magistrate set aside the verdict, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals restored the judgment earlier this year.
Settlegoode started teaching in the district in the 1998-1999 school year after earning a
doctorate in education from the University of Oregon. She was hired to work with
disabled high school students in physical education. Settlegoode developed her own
curriculum and had students taking part in track, tennis, hiking and self-defense classes.
She complained that some of the equipment was missing or unsafe, and it was tough to
find locations to teach her students.
The Millgram experiments
proved that 65% of
ordinary Americans will
follow the directions of a
man in a white coat who
tells them to continue
giving shocks to someone
who gave the wrong
answer on a memory test!
Most people will not stop
even when the victims
pound on the wall and
complain about a heart
condition--if the authority
figure directs them to
In the experiments, as
wrong answers were given,
the voltage went up and
up--to the highest voltage
Jason Bellows says, "One
might hope that we've
evolved to the point that
we can question authority–
where we can look our
leaders in the face and ask
In San Diego, the SDCOE
JPA contributes to a culture
where teachers follow
orders without asking why.
What happens to the 45%
of people who refuse to
continue the experiment?
What happens to whistle-
Usually, they get fired, as
happened to Coach Carter
in Escondido, Maura Larkins
in Chula Vista, Mary Anne
Weegar in Sweetwater, etc.
than you'd think.
witnesses and lie
under oath if they
are instructed to do
Federal Judge Approves Record $6.7 Million Settlement in Porter
v. Manhattan Beach Unified School District, et. al.
State Allowed District to Flout Authority
In his December 2004 decision, Judge Feess stated, “it seems that the
District has endeavored to use the power it has over [the student’s]
education as a means of retaliating against the Porters for their criticisms
of, and challenges to, the District.”
Judge Feess also took the California Department of
Education to task for its failure to exercise appropriate
oversight over the District: “...although it is true that the District
repeatedly flouted the State’s authority by failing to comply with two state
agency orders, it was only successful in doing so because of the CDE ’s
As interim relief, in a separate order entered on November 23, 2004, Judge
Feess transferred control over the student’s education from the Manhattan
Beach USD and the CDE to a Special Master, Ivor Weiner, Ph.D. Under the
settlement agreement, Manhattan Beach USD (in Los Angeles County) and
the CDE have been ordered to set aside approximately $1.1 million to pay
for the education of the student at the direction of the Special Master.
School District Used Power to Retaliate Against
Arthur M. Palkowitz...has
appeared as speaker at
State Controller conference,
School Business (CASBO)
annual conventions and San
Diego County of Education
Stutz law firm website
downloaded April 14, 2010
National School Boards Association asks federal judges to block
employee free speech: appeal of Johnson v. Poway USD
See also Poway Unified School District in Education Reform Report
Lawyers from the National Council of School Attorneys seem to have talked the School
Boards Association into fighting the First Amendment. These lawyers have a tendency to
badmouth students and employees who sue schools that caused harm to them, but it's
the school lawyers that are the premier practitioners of lawsuit abuse.
School boards ask federal judges to block employee free speech
July 30, 2010
Corey G. Johnson
School boards are trying to reverse a federal court ruling banning administrators from controlling the
free-speech rights of teachers and other school employees.
According to a brief filed yesterday in 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the National School Boards
Association (NSBA) and the California School Boards Association (CSBA) argue that public K to 12
schools need discretion to regulate their employees’ expressions in the workplace.
“Public-school officials need authority over what teachers say and do in the classroom,” said NSBA
Executive Director Anne L. Bryant in a press release. “Nearly every teacher posts artwork and other
materials on their walls, and schools have a responsibility to ensure those materials are appropriate for
The case stems from an incident in Poway Unified School District. According to published reports,
Principal Dawn Kastner of Westview High School asked teacher Bradley Johnson to remove banners
he posted around his classroom with the phrases: "In God we trust," "One nation under God," "God
bless America," "God shed his grace on thee" and "All men are created equal, they are endowed by their
Johnson claims the school violated his First Amendment free-speech rights and contradicted an
internal policy that allowed teachers to display messages and items in their classrooms “that reflect the
individual teacher’s personality, opinions and values, as well as messages relating to matters of
political, social and religious concerns, so long as these displays do not materially disrupt school work
or cause substantial disorder or interference in the classroom.”
In February, a federal judge agreed with Johnson, saying the district had practiced viewpoint
Howard Fulfrost: member of the School Attorney
LRP's Special Education School Attorneys Conference
Jan. 29 - 31, 2009
San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter
San Antonio, Texas
School Attorney Advisory Board
MELINDA BAIRD, Law Office of Melinda Baird, Jacksboro, Tenn.
JACK CLARKE, JR., Best, Best & Krieger, Riverside, Calif.
HOWARD FULFROST, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP, Los Angeles
ZVI GREISMANN, Montgomery County Board of Education, Rockville, Md.
VIOLA LORDI, Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A., Woodbridge, N.J.
KATHLEEN MEHFOUD, Reed Smith LLP, Richmond, Va.
GARY RUESCH, Quarles & Brady LLP, Milwaukee, Wis.
JIM WALSH, Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Schulze & Aldridge, P.C., Austin, Texas
CHARLES WEATHERLY, Weatherly Law Firm, Atlanta, Ga.
JULIE WEATHERLY, Resolutions in Special Education, Mobile, Ala.
GERALD ZELIN, Drummond Woodsum, Portsmouth, N.H.
..."Once again the conference
covered many relevant aspects
of special ed for the school
attorney. It covered the basics,
introduced concepts and
provided practical practice
pointers for all. Whether you’re
a novice to special education
or an experienced practitioner,
this conference will enlighten
Roetzel & Andress, Akron, Ohio
"This is the most worthwhile
conference I've attended. Every
single presenter provided
specific, helpful advice that I
will use in my practice."
Harding & Shultz, Lincoln, Neb.
Who Should Attend
"To encourage open dialogue and discussion, participation in this conference is
limited. Registrants MUST BE ATTORNEYS who do not currently represent
parties with special education interests adverse to school districts."
[Maura Larkins' note: What exactly is it that participants WOULDN'T SAY if they
knew that someone with opposing interests was present? Would they keep
certain illegal tricks and tools of the trade secret?]
Founded in 1977 by Kenneth Kahn, then a practicing employment law attorney, LRP Publications
has been serving business and education professionals for more than three decades. Originally
known as Labor Relations Press, the company first published case reporters for the legal
profession. As the company expanded into other specialty areas, it became known as LRP
Today, LRP publishes two industry-leading magazines, Human Resource Executive® and Risk &
Insurance®, as well as hundreds of newsletters, books, videos and case reporters in the fields of:
• human resources
• federal employment
• workers' compensation
• public employment law
• education administration and law
Complementing these suites of resources are dedicated Web sites including Title1admin.com,
EducationDaily.com®, SpecialEdConnection.com®, cyberFeds.com® and HREOnline.com™. For
a complete list of our resources, visit www.shoplrp.com.
LRP Publications also provides top-quality training and professional development in national
conferences and trade shows, plus an ever-growing offering of live audio conferences and
|San Diego Education Report
Downloaded from Stutz, Artiano Shinoff & Holtz website on Sept. 14, 2012:
Stutz Artiano knows prevention and education are key to avoiding costly litigation.
Therefore the firm’s attorneys provide on-going and specialized training workshops
on legal topics that affect our wide range of clients including public entities, school
districts, and companies of all sizes from start-ups to Fortune 500. The training
workshops include legal updates and overviews on a variety of topics including:
Corporate: Business formation, business succession, buy-sell agreements, contracts,
business disputes and litigation.
Education: Special education, student rights and discipline, certificated and classified
employment issues, school financing and bonds, collective bargaining, No Child Left
Behind Act, the Brown Act, Government Tort Claims Act, and the California Public
Employment: Hiring practices, prevention of workplace violence, preparation of
employee handbooks and personnel policies, wrongful termination, discrimination
and harassment, Americans with Disabilities Act, wage and hour compliance and
Family and Medical Leave Act.
CSBA tries to eliminate transparency in California; California
Court of Appeal refuses to go along
Dan Morain: A Willows gadfly resists swatting
By Dan Morain
May. 12, 2013
...[Tim] Crews is the founder, owner, publisher, editor, reporter, photographer, ad
salesman and delivery boy for the paper that loyal readers call "The Smirror." It's an
irreverent, scrappy and opinionated rag of 2,960 circulation that operates by the motto:
"If we don't report it, who will?"...
The story began as his stories often do, with a tip that someone in power – the school
superintendent, in this instance – was doing something bad, using public money for
Crews delivered a Public Records Act request seeking a year's worth of the
superintendent's emails on March 5, 2009. The district said it could not produce
documents before April 28, 2009.
When the district didn't turn over the emails on that date, Crews sued. The district
subsequently did give him many of the records, but withheld 3,200 pages of emails.
The case landed in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Peter Twede – another
official who has appeared on the Mirror's front page, not in a nice way. In 2009, Crews
disclosed that Glenn County spent $25,500 on a "complete makeover" of Twede's
"swank new chambers."
In a hearing in September 2010, Twede said he would review the disputed 3,200 pages
of the superintendent emails in his chambers. Evidently a fast reader, Twede returned
to the bench 45 minutes later, declared Crews' suit was frivolous and ordered him to
pay $56,595 in attorneys' fees and costs.
Karl Olson, another San Francisco First Amendment lawyer who defends Crews, told
Twede that Crews' income is $20,000 a year, and that such a penalty would silence the
Sacramento Valley Mirror.
"I understand that the court wants to deter future Public Records Act litigation by Mr.
Crews," Olson told the judge, which elicited a rise.
"How dare you make a comment like that, that this court is trying to prevent him from
further actions under the CPRA. How dare you, counsel," Twede said, leaving the
$56,000 charge in place
The California School Boards Association wants the fine
upheld, telling the appeals court that schools are "plagued" by costly records
The school boards' attorneys contend it is "irrelevant that a requesting party is a
newspaper … because it is well established that the media has no greater right of
access to public records than the general public." True enough....
California School Boards Association (CSBA)
Council of School Attorneys (COSA) is affiliated with both NSBA
Oregon School Boards Association
See also fired teacher whistle-blower settlement
WESD board members in state ethics probe
WESD officials being investigated over legality of closed-door sessions
Oct. 18, 2013
The Oregon Government Ethics Commission will formally investigate whether
Willamette Education Service District Board members violated public meeting laws while
hiring a new superintendent.
The case began in April, when the Statesman Journal reported that the board had
discussed new Superintendent Dave Novotney’s candidacy, hiring and contract in
illegal closed-door sessions over a 10-month period.
State law allows public bodies to hold such closed-door meetings, called executive
sessions, but only under certain conditions set out in the statute.
In an interview, WESD’s attorney, Paul Dakopolos, admitted that the meetings
violated the statute, but took the blame, saying he assumed the board had met
those conditions when he suggested the closed-door meetings.
...WESD Board members are being represented by Morgan Smith, an
attorney for the Oregon School Boards Association.
In a letter to the commission, Smith said the allegation that there had been no public
discussion of the superintendent hiring process before a contract was offered was false.
“In fact, on May 22, 2012, the board discussed in public their options for filling the
vacancy for superintendent, including whether to engage in an active recruitment or to
ask Dr. Dave Novotney to become acting superintendent instead,” Smith wrote.
However, in their report, the ethics commission investigators responded, “A review of
the audio of the 5/22/12 public WESD meeting conducted for this preliminary review
reveals no such discussion.”
The preliminary review also found that WESD did not record or keep minutes of its
executive sessions, as required by state law and its own policies.
WESD officials declined to comment.
2011 CSBA Delegate
May 1, 2011
The CSBA Delegate
Assembly is CSBA’s
body and the key link
in CSBA’s governance
structure. Below is a
list of the delegates
who were elected, re-
(*) denotes incumbent
and (**) denotes
appointment by district.
(As of April 22, 2011)
County: San Diego
Richard Barrera** (San
Kevin Beiser** (San
(Lakeside Union SD)
Penny Halgren* (La
Mesa-Spring Valley SD)
Sharon C. Jones*
(San Diego COE)
Janet W. Mulder*
Susan Hartley** (San
2012 election results
Rodriguez (Del Mar
Katie Dexter (Lemon
James Grier, Jr.
Barbara Groth (San
Dieguito Union HSD)*
Steve Lilly (Vista
Dan Lopez (Ramona
Maden (San Ysidro
Jay Petrek (San
Do CSBA delegates from all over the state tend to have
ethics problems, or is it just the San Diego region?
Stutz Education Team
Sponsors & Presents
March 12, 2014
Stutz Artiano attorneys
exhibited at the 21st Annual
CA Charter School Event in
San Jose and will return as
an exhibiting sponsor to the
CASBO California School
Expo April 4-5 at the
Center. Partner Daniel
Shinoff will present a one-
hour presentation on “Ethics
& Conflicts of Interests in
Public Schools” on April 10th
during the 31st Annual Small
School District Conference
at McCellan Conference
Center in Sacramento.
Also from Stutz website Mar.
Jack M. Sleeth, Jr.
Daniel R. Shinoff
Since 1982, Stutz Artiano
has prided itself as being
one of the state’s leading
education-focused law firms,
representing more than 56
California. Our attorneys are
experienced in all aspects of
education law, providing
general and litigation
counsel to school and
community college districts
that require expert,
representation at all levels.
In addition to their expert
legal backgrounds, many of
the firm’s education law
team attorneys previously
served as school board
members, as well as
teachers in the classroom,
making them even more
sensitive to and uniquely
qualified in the education
As general counsel,
attorneys keep clients up to
date on the latest laws
affecting districts and the
clients they serve, and
provide expert counsel and
strategic planning advice on
how to deal with potential
issues before they become
real problems. Special
education, student rights
and discipline, certificated
and classified employment
issues, discrimination and
sexual harassment, school
financing and bonds,
charter schools, No Child
Left Behind Act, facilities,
the Brown Act, the California
Public Records Act,
government tort claims and
liability – are all areas in
which attorneys provide
counsel and litigation
support to protect the
interests of our clients.
Attorneys are frequent
speakers at local and
conferences and seminars
on advisory, special
education and litigation
topics. We develop and
conduct workshops on legal
issues of importance to our
clients in an effort to keep
them current on important
changes in the laws that
affect them. The firm’s
attorneys are also active
participants in many
the Association of
California School Boards
the California Association
of School Business
Council of School
Attorneys for which
one of our attorneys
was a founding
the National School
(NSBA) and the
Coalition for Adequate
School Housing (CASH).
Stutz Education Attorneys
Present to School
Latest news downloaded Sep.
Attorneys Daniel Shinoff and
Jeanne Blumenfeld will present
“Navigating the Disability
Process” at the Association of
California School Administrator’
s (ACSA) Personnel Institute
on October 10th . The
presentation, to be held at the
Irvine Marriott, will give an
overview of employers’
obligations as well as
guidelines and tips on how to
interact effectively with your
employees and thereby avoid
a claim of retaliation. For
more on the Personnel
From the Lozano Smith
"... Our attorneys are routinely
speak at all of the major
labor and employment
School Employees Association
California Council of School
(CCSA), the National School
Association (NSBA), and the
School Boards Association
labor and employment
Who trains school attorneys? Who trains board members? (See below)