JANUARY 2007                                    SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA                                      Vol. 1, No. 2
The law firm of Currier &
Hudson was retained by the
GUHSD board in a 3 to 2 vote
on Dec. 21, 2006.  We have
every reason to believe that
this new firm will give better
legal advice than  the Stutz,
Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz law
firm and other past district

GUHSD’s new lawyers
achieved a victory in the
California Court of Appeal
when they took on Beverly
Tucker, the chief legal
counsel for California
Teachers Association, on
behalf of Turlock Joint
Elementary school district.
They ended Ms. Tucker’s
bizarre quest to have
teachers wear CTA
campaign buttons during
class time-- WHILE THEY
CTA was conducting a
campaign against a rival

Shame on the legal counsel
of the Public Employment
Relations Board, which
wasted precious tax dollars
at the height of the 2003
California budget crisis.  

And shame on CTA for
wasting teachers’ union
dues. Teachers have a right
to choose whatever union
they want!
Ken Sobel addressed the
GUHSD board on December
21, 2006, urging the board to
appoint new attorneys, and
citing two glaring problems
that the District’s longtime
lawyers allowed. Referring
to oddities in the Super-
intendent’s contract, Sobel
noted, “…if counsel had
been careful and had
represented the best
interests of the district, they
would not have allowed it.”

The first oddity pointed out
by Sobel is the clause that
prevents new board
members from firing
Superintendent Ryan, who is
board member Jim Kelly’s
extremely close associate
and supporter. In 2006,
How good is lawyer Daniel Shinoff’s performance?
The Carter Case
In 2000, James “Ted” Carter was the basketball coach at Monte Vista High School
in Spring Valley. He informed administrators when football coach Ed Carberry
urged a student to take weight-gaining supplements. When it became clear that
the school had no problem with this, Carter took a job at Orange Glen High School
in Escondido. The student, Harlan Edison, was eventually hospitalized with kidney
failure.  Carter began to have problems at his new school when Dianna Carberry,  
the wife of the coach who urged the supplements, became principal of Orange
Glenn.   Dianne Carberry fired Coach Carter.  In the lawsuit
that followed, jurors found that Carter's reporting of his concerns ultimately
led to his firing as an act of retaliation by the wife of coach Ed Carberry.  
Dianna Carberry swore under oath that she knew nothing about any problems
between her husband and Carter, or that any such disagreement affected her
decision to fire Carter.  Not a single juror believed her.  They decided
Escondido Union School district should pay verdict on the $1.18 million to
Who represented Escondido School District?  None other than our own GUHSD
attorney Daniel Shinoff.
Next assignment for
the board: Get rid of
(see pages 3-4)
GUHSD REPORT                                Page 2                                         JAN. 2007
Published by
Maura Larkins

How much do bad lawyers
cost?  They cost a lot more
than their hourly rate
would indicate.  To make
more money, they prolong
problems.  They end up
charging millions of dollars
for cases that would never
have arisen if schools were
given good legal advice, or
had been advised to settle
early.  Instead of agreeing
to do the right thing for
students and teachers who
have been damaged, bad
lawyers cover-up
documents and witnesses,
clog up the courts with
cases that should have
been settled, and clog up
schools with bad
Find more details at San Diego
Education Report Blog
regarding Shinoff and Stutz
law firm.
Shinoff is NOT listed by SDCOE
Legal Services Council

Jim Kelly and Terry Ryan kept urging
the board to hire lawyers approved
by the San Diego County Office of
Education Legal Services Council.  
Well, that doesn’t seem to include
Daniel Shinoff.  

SDCOE’s website lists only the
following approved firms:

1. Atkinson, Andelson, Loya

2. Best, Best & Krieger

3. Lozano Smith  (A federal judge
ordered all 80 lawyers in this firm to
take an ethics course!)

4. Parham & Rajcic  
Check the Facts!       
Facts cited below
can be checked at
San Diego
County Office of
Education (SDCOE)
GUHSD REPORT                                       Page 3                                 JAN. 2007
San Diego Union Tribune
described Ryan’s contract
and GUHSD’s ‘nightmare’

On July 13, 2006 The SDUT
published an editorial that noted
that Dr. Ryan’s new contract
contains a 4 percent raise,
retroactive to July 1, 2005; an
additional 10 percent raise; and
another 20 percent
remuneration called “incentive
compensation.”  (Incentive to do
what?  Political favors for James
Kelly?)  Not only that, reported
the UT, but “the ruling board
troika led by President Jim Kelly
voted to extend Superintendent
Terry Ryan's contract a year to
2009 even though the board's
makeup could change
dramatically after November's
Sure enough, the board’s
makeup did change.  But we’re
stuck with Dr. Ryan for at least
six months.
“Worse is the way all of Ryan's
raises were approved at the
June meeting,” wrote the UT.  
“Kelly rescheduled the matter to
a closed session at the end of a
five-hour meeting when the
public would be gone. No copy of
Ryan's modified contract was
made public until after it was
then voted on in a final open
GUHSD REPORT                                Page 4                                          JAN. 2007
Is Jim Kelly Still Playing Games?

At the Dec. 21, 2006 board
meeting, member Jim Kelly
demanded over and over that
the board have legal counsel
present so it could ask them
whether or not the board should
hire Currier & Hudson!               
Does Mr. Kelly listen to himself?  
Get real, Mr. Kelly.  Do you
expect them to say:  “Good idea!  
Get rid of us and hire someone
else!”?  Your suggestion smells
strongly of a conflict of interest,
Mr. Kelly.  Do the lawyers you
want include the person who
drew up Ryan's contract?
Schrieber        You said you
didn’t have that information.  
What’s in your [pink] packet?  
The costs of our attorneys?

Ryan:        I’m really puzzled
by the level of
comprehension of what I
said.  You want me to say it
again.  I’ll try to say it more
clearly.  I have not had an
opportunity for staff to
compile all the information
you would like. I took it upon
myself for several hours
trying to get you as much
information as I could in the
absence of staff. That’s what
I have in the packet.  Now if
you want me to be more
specific I’ll be happy to do
that.  I am reasonably
intelligent.  I’ll be happy to
explain it to you.  

Wow!!! He worked for several
hours?????  And he thinks
that’s a big deal?  Let’s give
him a big pat on the back,
and be thankful he’s not
teaching our kids!  
Besides apparently being
lazy, he would very likely
exhibit toward our children
the same contempt he
shows to some board
It seems to me that
someone needs to teach Dr.
Ryan how to access financial
records on his computer.  

But perhaps this just proves
my ignorance regarding the
matter.  When Priscilla
Schrieber suggested that
payments to lawyers should
be easy to access, Ryan put
her in her place:

Schrieber:  In this high
technology world, I think you
could have answered these
questions quite quickly.

Ryan:        In my opinion that
shows your lack of
knowledge on the subject.

So I guess Priscilla and I
were wrong to think that
payments to lawyers would
show up on the
superintendent’s computer.

My question: what IS on the
superintendent's computer?
Link: Scanned
document Ryan
brought to
Is Dr. Ryan intending to sue the district?

On May 9, 2006, Superintendent Ryan (or, more likely, one of his favorite
GUHSD lawyers) wrote a letter to Currier & Hudson.  The letter said,  “I
[Ryan] intend to continue to focus on doing my job and to continue to take
direction from the Governing Board majority…”

Ryan is clearly not doing this.  He appears to be a disgruntled employee who
is hostile to the interests of GUHSD.  He is insubordinate, refusing to do the
work the board asks for, and he is disrespectful.  He seems to be gearing up
for a lawsuit.  At the Dec. 21, 2006 board meeting, when Ryan was arguing
about the pink packet he wanted to pass out, Schrieber wanted to know what
was in it.  At first, he avoided answering the question:

Schrieber: What is the summary of information you want to hand out?

Ryan:  Best way to describe it is to hand it out.

Schrieber:  What is it, Dr. Ryan?  You can’t tell me what it is?  You worked
hard on it but you can’t tell me what it is?

Ryan:        You know if you give me a chance to answer you and respond--If
you’ll give me a chance to respond without asking multiple questions, with no
opportunity to respond--Otherwise, IF THAT COMES ACROSS AS
HARRASSMENT, I can take that, too.

End of transcription

The above sounds like an implied threat by Dr. Ryan to sue the district for
harassment.  He implied this same threat in the May 9, 2006 letter he sent to
Currier & Hudson.  I can imagine what Mr. Ryan’s court testimony against
GUHSD would consist of.  

[The keyword here is imagine.  THIS PARAGRAPH IS NOT FACT, IT’S
FICTION.]  I can see Mr. Ryan in court, as his anger builds during questioning
on the witness stand.  

“You betcha, your honor,” he says.  “I DID NOT bring the information she
asked for.  I decided to bring something else.  Well, to be honest, it wasn’t
actually my idea.  The school district attorney told me to do it.  But Mrs.
Schrieber had the nerve to think that my pink packet had nothing to do with
the action item!  Who does she think she is?  It’s me, not her, who decides
what is pertinent. She asked me to tell her what was in my pink packet so
she could decide if it was pertinent!  I didn’t answer her at first, because I
don’t think I should have to answer her questions.  But she insisted, so I
finally told her, but I gave her a good piece of my mind first.  I let her know
how close she was  to a harassment lawsuit!”

Please note: the previous paragraph was fiction, not fact.
                                                                   by Maura Larkins
Congratulations to
Currier & Hudson
What are the
hidden costs of
bad lawyers like
Dan Shinoff?

Why did school
administrators in the Carter
case allow the harming of
children’s health and the
firing of a good employee?  
Why did school board
members in Escondido
prefer to pay hundreds of
thousands of dollars to
Shinoff and Morris when
James Carter would almost
certainly have been willing
to settle for an amount
similar to, or, more likely,
less than what the lawyers
were paid in this case?
Because school
administrators and school
board are influenced by the
unethical lawyers who work
for insurance companies and
joint powers authorities.  
When the Carter verdict
came out, Shinoff should
have said to the Escondido
school board: “Look.  You’ve
spent lots of money on my
services, which just got you
bad publicity.  Don’t spend
more on me.  Use the money
to settle with Carter. This is
very bad for schools to treat
good employees like this,
and to spend huge amounts
of money to defend bad
employees like Carberry.”  
Instead, Shinoff
recommended an appeal.  
Shame on you, Dan.  Your
advice is not only bad for
schools, it doesn’t even pass
the human decency test.
Logan Jenkins said in a San Diego Union Tribune piece on
April 9, 2005:  “If I were the district's attorney, I'd advise
this simple…action plan to be completed before the end of
the school year: You lost. Settle.”

But Shinoff doesn’t believe in doing right by good school
employees.  He prefers to protect bad ones like Dianna
Carberry and her husband.

One of his favorite tactics is bankrupting the opposition,
who so often tend to be middle-income school employees.

The North County Times reported on April 6, 2005:  “During
the three years since his termination [Carter] has been
unable to get a job interview at any school district in the
region.  Carter said the court battle has cost him about
$300,000 in legal fees, and that he has had to refinance his
La Mesa home a few times.

Instead of settling, Shinoff recommended that Escondido
School District appeal the case.  That would push Carter
even further into financial difficulties.  Did Shinoff think he
had any basis on which to appeal?  Apparently not.  After
another year and a half, on December 20, 2006, Shinoff’s
partner Jeffery Morris wrote to the Court of Appeal that he
had recently begun settlement talks with Carter.  

What was the purpose of Stutz law firm’s strategy, other
than to enrich themselves, waste taxpayer dollars and
burden the overcrowded court system?

The purpose was to make a good man desperate to settle,
so desperate that he would settle for less than he was
entitled to.  And probably a lot less than the district paid to
Shinoff and Morris. Lawyers like Shinoff and Morris are not
clearly working to benefit the schools, the students or the
taxpayers.  Who are they working for?  Themselves, and
the school board members who care more about
maintaining their own power than they care about anything
Shinoff tries to force
winners into bankruptcy
GUHSD REPORT                          Page 5                           JAN. 2007
How good is the job
Dr. Ryan is doing?
by Maura Larkins

Superintendent Ryan was
asked to bring to the Dec.
21, 2006 board meeting
the names of all law firms
currently working for
GUHSD, along with a
description of the work
they have done, and how
much they were paid to do
it.  President Schrieber
believed that was a simple
request.  Ryan begged to

Here’s a transcript of
what happened:

I asked you for simple
information and look what
you’ve brought here
instead. [The one-page
document Schrieber is
describing here is
attached to this

I would say the
information is not simple.  
If you like to be ill-
informed to make a
decision, then I need not
have brought these

You gave me six attorneys
and you have it x’d what
they do and you have no
dollar amount to what
they’ve done during this
period of time.  

[Ryan wanted to pass out
a pink packet that he had
not given to the board or
the public before the
meeting.  It turned out to
be pages he had printed
out from his favorite
attorneys’ public web
GUHSD’s lawyers allowed a
strange contract to be drawn
up for Superintendent Ryan.  
The contract says the board
IF HE commits serious
violations of law, for SIX
MONTHS after any board
member is sworn in.

The second oddity gives Ryan
a $35,000 bonus every
December for his
“performance.” BUT THERE

In pushing through this
contract, former Board
President Jim Kelly appears
to have been trying, with the
help of longtime district
lawyers, to defeat the will of
the voters and keep Kelly in
power through his control of
Dr. Ryan.
Was Shinoff approved in the
past by the Legal Services
Garvin,  who
suborned the
perjury of a law
officer, seems to
have left the firm
of Currier &
Hudson.   Garvin's
partners don't
seem to like what
she did.  John
McCormick parted
ways with Garvin
last year after
many years as
partners.  Garvin
lasted only a few
months at Hudson
& Currier.