Education Litigation

From IEP, disability accommodation and labor and employment disputes to facilities management, safety, environmental issues and financial constraints — education institutions must overcome far more than the typical hurdles public agencies face. Handling these and a host of other issues requires a wide range of regulatory and legal knowledge and experience. 

Best Best & Krieger LLP’s cross-disciplinary Education Litigation team represents public and private K-12 schools, school districts, county offices of education, community colleges and universities, special education local plan areas and education foundations. We help these clients minimize risk, avoid potential pitfalls, and resolve litigation while managing costs when going to court proves unavoidable. 

Our litigators have successfully represented educational institutions at all levels of state and federal court. We manage every aspect of litigation, preparing and responding to discovery requests including depositions, requests for admissions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and motions for physical and mental examinations. We represent our clients at motion hearings and litigate disputes in trial courts and on appeal, when necessary. BB&K attorneys also have extensive experience in handling collective bargaining negotiations, administrative hearings and proceedings, impasse procedures, grievances, discipline appeals, and layoff hearings. 

Meeting Our Clients’ Needs In & Out of Court
Our attorneys have litigated disputes involving a wide range of issues, including: 


Beyond the courtroom, we assist school districts in responding to federal and state complaint investigations and compliance reviews, in conducting audits and complaint investigations, and in mediations, arbitrations and settlement discussions. We also advocate regarding legislative initiatives and assert and defend our clients’ interests before government agencies and regulatory bodies, including the Public Employment Relations Board, the National Labor Relations Board, the California Department of Education, the California Office of Administrative Hearings and the federal Office for Civil Rights. 

Comprehensive Risk Avoidance and Litigation Prevention Strategies 
We recognize the benefits of avoiding litigation whenever possible. Taking a proactive approach, we work with clients on developing risk avoidance strategies and complaint/response procedures. We help create and revise student handbooks, and school policies and practices. We offer training to assure staff compliance. 

Lauri A. Arrowsmith

Lauri A. Arrowsmith

Of Counsel

(949) 263-6564

Areas of Focus: Education Law | Education Litigation | Public Finance | Special Education
Jack B. Clarke

Jack B. Clarke

Partner

(951) 826-8233

Areas of Focus: Board Governance & Administration | Business Services & School Facilities | Charter Schools | Education Law | Education Litigation | Special Education
Maria E. Gless

Maria E. Gless

Partner

(951) 826-8333

Areas of Focus: Education | Education Law | Education Litigation | Special Education | Student Affairs
Cathy S. Holmes

Cathy S. Holmes

Partner

(951) 826-8218

Areas of Focus: Board Governance & Administration | Business Services & School Facilities | Charter Schools | Education Law | Special Education | Student Affairs
Kandice L. Kim

Kandice L. Kim

Associate

(949) 263-2613

Areas of Focus: Business Litigation | Environmental Litigation | Labor & Employment Litigation | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Epiphany Owen

Epiphany Owen

Partner

(949) 263-6589

Areas of Focus: Business Services & School Facilities | Education Law | Education Litigation | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Special Education | Student Affairs
Arlene Prater

Arlene Prater

Partner

(619) 525-1334

Areas of Focus: Education Law | Education Litigation | Labor & Employment | Labor & Employment Litigation | Municipal Law
Joseph R. Sanchez

Joseph R. Sanchez

Partner

(619) 525-1372

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Education Law | Labor & Employment | Labor & Employment Litigation
Mary K. Stracke

Mary K. Stracke

Paralegal*

(951) 826-8334

Areas of Focus: Education Law | Education Litigation
Andrea Swinhart

Andrea Swinhart

Paralegal*

(951) 826-8463

Areas of Focus: Business Services & School Facilities | Charter Schools | Education Law | Education Litigation | Special Education | Student Affairs
Christine N. Wood

Christine N. Wood

Director of PRA Services and E-Discovery Counsel

(213) 542-3861

Areas of Focus: Board Governance & Administration | California Public Records Act | Education Law | Education Litigation | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law
Public Bus Ad Gets a Free Ride
Legal Alerts Oct 10, 2018

Public Bus Ad Gets a Free Ride

County Cannot Prohibit Ad Content Solely Because it’s Disparaging or Potentially Disruptive, Ninth Circuit Holds

Ninth Circuit: No “Amen” to School Board Invocation
Legal Alerts Aug 7, 2018

Ninth Circuit: No “Amen” to School Board Invocation

Prayers Violated First Amendment

“Protected Activity” Rejected by California Appellate Court Under Anti-SLAPP Statute
Legal Alerts Jun 21, 2018

“Protected Activity” Rejected by California Appellate Court Under Anti-SLAPP Statute

School District Officials’ and Board Members’ Actions at Issue

Event May 23, 2018

Occupational and Physical Therapy: Legal Issues and Best Practices

Orange County Department of Education - Special Education Services

Event Apr 18, 2018

2018 Federal Civil Practice Seminar

Federal Bar Association Inland Empire Chapter

Event Feb 15, 2018

What are Student Records and What are Public Records

ACSA Every Child Counts Symposium

Event Jan 30, 2018

Discipline and Expulsion Best Practices

NBI Workshop - IEPs and 504 Plans

Event Dec 1, 2017

Bullying: The Legal View and Cost

CSBA Annual Education Conference and Trade Show

Event Jul 20, 2017

The Difficult Issue of School Bullying from a Legal Perspective

8th Annual Safe Schools Conference

School District Can’t Stop Transgender Student from Using Restroom of Choice
Legal Alerts Jun 2, 2017

School District Can’t Stop Transgender Student from Using Restroom of Choice

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Temporary Injunction Against District

Event Apr 20, 2017

2017 Federal Civil Practice Seminar

Federal Bar Association Inland Empire Chapter

School District Prevails in Special Education Placement Case
Client Successes Apr 5, 2017

School District Prevails in Special Education Placement Case

Partner Karen Van Dijk Earns Victory Before the Ninth Circuit

New Standard for FAPE
Legal Alerts Mar 24, 2017

New Standard for FAPE

Program Must Allow Child to Make Progress “Appropriate in Light of Child’s Circumstances”

Event Jan 26, 2017

Special Education Legal Panel

The Orange County Special Education Alliance

Federal Judge Halts Implementation of Waters of the United States Rule
Legal Alerts Aug 28, 2015

Federal Judge Halts Implementation of Waters of the United States Rule

Injunction Applies Only to 13 States That Are Parties to the Case

Key Contacts

Connected Industries

Related Practices