Steve Ngo is a litigator in Lozano Smith’s Walnut Creek office. He has extensive experience representing local governments across the state, covering an array of complex legal disputes. In addition to co-chairing the firm’s Community College practice, he is active in several other practice groups, including Litigation, Technology & Innovation, Public Finance, Local Government/Special Districts, and Labor & Employment.
Mr. Ngo is an adept advocate with a record of successfully navigating public agencies and organizations through novel and formidable litigation from inception through appeal. This record has included advice on significant financial disputes; prosecution of disciplinary charges against employees for sexual offenses and sexual harassment; litigation of claims for writ of mandate, administrative mandamus, or injunctive relief; and defense of claims for money damages against local governments. He is also one of the firm’s experts in Public Records Act litigation.
Mr. Ngo has presented on the Brown Act, effective business practices, open government policies, and labor and employment issues before the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA), California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA), the Alameda County Office of Education, and Santa Clara County Office of Education.
Mr. Ngo earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he was elected president of the Associated Students. In law school he clerked for the California Attorney General’s Energy Task Force, which investigated conduct by power generators and traders. He earned a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles. After college, he received the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship, serving as staff to the State Assembly Budget Committee.
Mr. Ngo serves on the Board of Governors for the University of California, Hastings College of the Law Alumni Association. Mr. Ngo is also a member of the Asian American Bar Association of the Bay Area and an active supporter of the Asian Women's Shelter.
Mr. Ngo received the Next Generation Champion Award from Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth and the Policy Innovation Award from the San Francisco Family Support Network for his leadership on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Community College District.
State lawmakers have approved an overhaul of the funding system for California's community colleges. The new Student-Focused Funding Formula for general purpose apportionments will be phased in over three school years, starting in 2018-19. The formula aims to equalize access and improve outcomes for community college students by tying a portion of annual funding to student equity and success.
The formula was included in a budget trailer bill, Assembly Bill (AB) 18...
A California appeals court has found a city liable for attorney's fees after determining that a related lawsuit prompted the city to produce records during the litigation that the plaintiff had first sought through a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request.
In Sukumar v. City of San Diego, the Court of Appeal held that the City of San Diego, although acting in good faith and having ultimately disclosed all records responsive to a CPRA request, had to pay a...
The Second District Court of Appeal has rejected arguments that sought to bar the University of California (UC) from making certain financial aid programs available to undocumented students. In decidingDe Vries v. Regents of University of California (2016) 6 Cal.App.5th 574, the appellate court has reaffirmed undocumented students' eligibility for such programs.
As some colleges express concern about the potential for federal policies that could impact their undocumen...
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a university's request to dismiss a student's lawsuit alleging retaliation for protected speech under the First Amendment.
In O'Brien v. Welty (9th Cir. 2016) 818 F.3d 920, a student intruded into the university offices of two faculty members, questioned the faculty members about a poem published in the student newspaper and proceeded to video record the interactions. The university disciplined the student under its stude...