Amanda E. Ruiz is Senior Counsel in Lozano Smith's Fresno office. Ms. Ruiz represents school district clients, focusing on the Special Education, Students, Labor & Employment and Litigation practice areas. Ms. Ruiz assists clients with a wide-variety of Special Education and Student issues, such as expulsion proceedings, IEP meetings, settling cases at resolution sessions and mediations, due process hearings, as well as ensuring compliance with Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
In employment matters, Ms. Ruiz assists school districts with collective bargaining, employee discipline, grievances and arbitrations. She is a regular presenter on various labor and employment issues. Ms. Ruiz also advises clients in many areas of charter schools, including, drafting MOUs, oversight, and facility requests.
Ms. Ruiz has experience as a full-time staff attorney at a County Counsel's Office, where she counseled and represented the County in civil and criminal cases, including civil commitment proceedings, bench trials, and examination of witnesses. Her experience extends to the California Welfare and Institutions Code, California Evidence, Criminal, Probate, Family Law, and Civil Procedure. She has represented county departments of behavioral health, social services and agriculture, and assisted with research and drafting of documents related to a high-profile personnel matter and Public Employment Relations Board appeal.
During law school, Ms. Ruiz was a legal intern for the California Attorney General's Office, Criminal Division and the San Diego Public Defender. She also served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Charles S. Poochigian, California Court of Appeal. These experiences have given her deep experience in analytical and legal research and writing.
Ms. Ruiz earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
October 2019Number 43The recent opinion of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Paul G. v. Monterey Peninsula Unified School District clarifies that dismissal or settlement of a special education due process hearing inadvance of a hearing and final administrative decision from the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), does not satisfy the requirement that a plaintiff exhaust administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) before initiating a lawsuit in federal c...
December 2018Number 90The California Legislature recently passed a new law aiming to promote student rights and safety by imposing limits on the use of behavioral restraints and seclusion in schools. Assembly Bill (AB) 2657, which prohibits the use of restraint or seclusion for any student except in specified circumstances, becomes effective on January 1, 2019.Current LawExisting law limits the use of seclusion and restraints in schools for students with exceptional needs. Specifically, Calif...
In J.M. v. Huntington Beach Union High School District (Mar. 6, 2017, No. S230510) ___ Cal.5th ___ 2017 [Cal. LEXIS 1609] < http://www.courts.ca.gov/ opinions/documents/S230510.PDF >, the California Supreme Court determined a high school football player was not entitled to court relief for his personal injury claim against a school district because he failed to strictly comply with the timelines spelled out in the California Government Claims Act (Act), often r...