Travis E. Cochran is Senior Counsel in Lozano Smith's Monterey office where he focuses his practice on facilities and business issues for public agencies.
Mr. Cochran advises public agencies on areas such as construction, bidding and alternative delivery methods, technology contracts, CEQA, and energy conservation projects. He also serves as the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Greenfield, and provides a full range of legal advice and services in all aspects of municipal law.
Mr. Cochran is particularly experienced in presenting topics related to the Public Records Act, Brown Act, compliance, and ethics and conflict of interest issues. He has also presented at various regional association events, such as the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) and Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) workshops.
Mr. Cochran earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he served as President of the Native American Law Students Association. As a law student, Mr. Cochran also served as a judicial clerk for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Court. He received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.
A new law aims to reduce the high costs public schools pay for energy. Throughout California, K-12 schools are spending a significant portion of their general fund-nearly $700 million-just to keep the lights on. This amount is nearly equal to what public schools dedicate to books and supplies for students. Assembly Bill (AB) 2068 seeks to reduce energy costs in the future by requiring public utilities to evaluate and report the feasibility and economic impacts of e...
On May 31, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal ordered publication of its decision in California Taxpayers Action Network v. Taber Construction, Inc. et al.(2017) 12 Cal.App.5th 115 (Taber), which upholds the validity of a lease-leaseback arrangement. This reversed the court's initial decision not to publish the case. Publication of the Taber decision means that it serves as citable precedent upon which school districts and others may now rely.
In Taber, the Co...
Another California appellate court has ruled that a lease-leaseback (LLB) contract made without competitive bidding is legally enforceable.
In California Taxpayers Action Network v. Taber Construction, Inc. et al. (May 2, 2017, No. A145078) [nonpub. opn.] (Taber), the First District Court of Appeal agreed withMcGee v. Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 235, finding that competitive bidding is not required for an LLB contract. Although the appella...
This article was featured in the Spring 2017 Issue of Lozano Smith's TIPJar
The Lindsay Unified School District, a K-12 school district that serves over 4,000 students in California's San Joaquin Valley, knows firsthand what a ransomware attack looks like: The district recently experienced one, when attackers infected servers through phishing emails that looked like legitimate communications. Fortunately, the district had policies and procedures in place that minimized the attack's effects...
On June 27, 2016, the California Energy Commission (CEC) issued a new set of proposed Proposition 39 Program Implementation Guidelines (guidelines). The proposed guidelines include a number of project-friendly changes, including a reduction in the Savings-to-Investment Ratio (SIR). These proposed guidelines are expected to be approved at the CEC's general business meeting on July 13, 2016.
The California Clean Energy Jobs Act, commonly referred to as the Proposition...
On May 4, the Second District Court of Appeal in McGee v. Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC, et al. (McGee) ordered publication of its decision upholding the validity of a lease-leaseback arrangement. Publication of the decision means that it now serves as precedent on which school districts and others may rely.
In McGee, the court reviewed the validity of a lease-leaseback arrangement that was challenged on the grounds that the arrangement did not comply with Educati...
An appellate court has ruled that a lease-leaseback (LLB) contract without competitive bidding was legally enforceable. In McGee v. Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC, et al. (Apr. 12, 2016) 2016 Cal.App.Unpub. Lexis 2626, a California appellate court rejected the holding of Davis v. Fresno Unified School District (2015) 237 Cal.App.4th 261, that competitive bidding was required for an LLB contract unless additional non-statutory contract terms were included. However, t...
The Third District Court of Appeal's recent decision in DeSilva Gates Construction, L.P. v. Department of Transportation (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 1409 (DeSilva), confirms the importance of ensuring that bidders on public construction projects comply with the express requirements of an invitation for bids. In DeSilva, the Court of Appeal held that a public entity incorrectly determined a contractor's bid to be nonresponsive where the contractor had complied with all requir...
Although the 'design-build' construction delivery method has been available to California school districts for several years, this method has been used somewhat infrequently, as districts have opted for more traditional construction methods, like design-bid-build (Public Contract Code § 20111,et seq.), or alternatives like lease-leaseback (Education Code § 17406). The Legislature recently amended the current laws governing the design-build method for scho...
On October 7, 2015, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 172 into law, suspending the administration of the California High School Exit Examination through the 2017-2018 school year. Under SB 172 students will no longer be required to pass the exit exam as a condition of graduating high school. Further, any student who previously completed grade 12 and met all graduation requirements, other than the passing the exit exam, will be granted a diploma of graduation. S...