Michelle L. Cannon

Partner | Sacramento

Attorney Insights

Tel: 916.329.7433
Fax: 916.329.9050
Vcard   | Bio


Michelle L. Cannon is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Sacramento office who works closely with school districts, county offices of education and community colleges in all areas of education law. She is an active member in the Labor & Employment, Students, Community Colleges, Charter Schools and Litigation Practice Groups. Ms. Cannon represents clients in all areas of education law, and has extensive experience in board governance, labor and personnel-related matters, student discipline, and charter school facilities. She was named a Northern California Super Lawyer each year from 2013 to 2018.

Ms. Cannon's practice focuses on representing public entity clients in the following areas:
  • General governance
  • Brown Act issues
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Public Records Act
  • Labor and personnel-related matters
  • Employee discipline and dismissal
  • Collective bargaining
  • First Amendment issues
  • Investigation of discrimination and harassment complaints
  • Certificated and classified employee issues
  • Student issues
  • Student discipline
  • First Amendment issues
  • Search and seizure related to students
  • Charter school issues
  • Review of charter petitions
  • Revocation of charters
  • Charter school facilities
  • Litigation
  • Sexual discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Wrongful termination
  • First Amendment issues
  • 42 U.S.C. section 1983 claims
  • Contract disputes
  • Writs and appeals in both state and federal courts

Additional Experience

Michelle has worked extensively in the collective bargaining arena in various roles. These roles include, but are not limited to, working as a facilitator in Interest Based Bargaining, acting as lead negotiator in the creation of new contracts, and advising clients through impasse proceedings.

Ms. Cannon has also prosecuted numerous successful permanent certificated and classified termination proceedings. Ms. Cannon was recently published in the Daily Journal as a co-author of an article entitled "The Right to Education in California: It's for the Legislature to Decide Education Policy."

Presenter Experience

Ms. Cannon is a frequent speaker at workshops and CSBA and ACSA conferences. She regularly presents on topics such as sexual harassment prevention training, board issues, including the Brown Act and conflicts of interest, collective bargaining, discrimination, employee discipline and dismissals, student discipline, certificated employee lay off procedures, First Amendment issues, and charter schools.

Professional Affiliations

  • Board Member, Roseville Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Member, Roseville City School District Foundation
  • Member, California School Boards Association
  • Member, California Council of School Attorneys
  • Member, Placer County Bar Association
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • Member, Animal Legal Defense Fund


Ms. Cannon received her law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She earned a B.A. from St. Mary's College of California.

Colleges Have a Duty to Warn or Protect Students from Foreseeable Violence

By: Michelle CannonCarrie Rasmussen-

April 2018Number 14Colleges have a legal duty, under certain circumstances, to protect their students from or warn them about foreseeable violence in the classroom or during curricular activities, the California Supreme Court has ruled.In The Regents of the University of California, et al., v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the Court considered whether colleges owe a duty of care to their students to protect them from or warn them about foreseeable violence. This question is critical t...

Vanquishing "Vaping" on Campus

By: Michelle CannonAlyssa Bivins-

March 2018 Number 11 This article originally appeared on the Association of California School Administrators' ACSA Resource Hub. School administrators are facing a growing threat to student health that is often disguised as a standard school tool. JUULs are a type of vaporizing device-commonly referred to as "vapes"-that is soaring in popularity among young people. The use of vapes, JUULs, and similar products is extremely prevalent among high school students, creating a new generat...

New Requirements for Placing Community College Employees on Paid Leave

By: Michelle CannonAria Link-

November 2017 Number 73 Assembly Bill (AB) 1651 adds a new hurdle community college districts must clear before placing an academic employee on paid administrative leave. AB 1651 specifies new requirements for placing academic employees on paid administrative leave, including two days' advance notice of such a placement unless an exception applies. The bill becomes effective January 1, 2018. Academic employees are individuals employed by a community college district in academic positio...

Significant New Title IX Guidance on Handling Sexual Misconduct: What Schools Need to Know

By: Michelle CannonTrevin SimsStephanie White-

October 2017 Number 56 New guidance on schools' responsibilities for addressing claims of sexual misconduct under Title IX places greater emphasis on the rights of those accused of sexual misconduct. The new guidance marks a significant departure from prior guidance but lacks details, creating the potential for many issues requiring legal consultation. On September 22, the United States Department of Education issued interim guidance on schools' responsibilities in addressing sexual mi...

Court Reaffirms Undocumented Students' Eligibility for Higher Education Aid Programs

By: Michelle CannonSteve Ngo-

February 2017 Number 6 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...

Governor Signs New Law Requiring Schools to Adopt Pupil Suicide Prevention Policies

By: Michelle Cannon-

October 2016 Number 82 Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill (AB) 2246, which requires all county offices of education, school districts, state special schools and charter schools serving pupils in grades 7-12 to adopt pupil suicide prevention policies. Signed into law during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, AB 2246 represents an effort to address rising youth suicide rates. AB 2246 contains a number of requirements that local educational agencies (LEAs) must follow...

Significant Cases

  • Cole v. Oroville Union High School District (9th Cir. 2000) 228 F.3d 1092 - Assisted in the successful defense of a Northern California school district's decision not to allow graduates to deliver a sectarian invocation and proselytizing co-valedictorian speech.

  • PLANS, Inc. v. Sacramento City Unified School District (9th Cir. 2003) 319 F.3d 504 - Successfully defended the school district's innovative Waldorf Methods instruction in public schools.