Devon B. Lincoln is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Monterey office and co-chair of the firm's Facilities and Business Practice Group. She is also involved in the firm’s Charter Schools Practice Group. After practicing international, environmental and transactional law in Washington, D.C., Ms. Lincoln relocated to California and joined Lozano Smith in 2003.
Drawing on her experience as a corporate attorney on large transactions, Ms. Lincoln focuses her practice on construction, bidding, solar projects and clean energy, general facilities and business issues, and matters involving charter schools, including charter school governance and facilities issues and creating dependent charter schools. She also coordinates the firm's Client News Brief Program.
Ms. Lincoln has presented at numerous Lozano Smith Facilities and Business Consortia on topics such as "A Primer on Paper Cuts: Document Retention, The Public Records Act, The Brown Act and Email" and "What To Do When Third Parties Come Knocking To Use School Facilities," and the Webinar, "Going Green and Conserving Energy." She has also presented at the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) Annual Conference on technology legal issues facing school districts, the Small School Districts Association (SSDA) and the California School Boards Association (CSBA) conferences on charter school matters. Ms. Lincoln recently presented a webinar in collaboration with CASBO on the topic of How Understanding the Private Financing of Public Agency Solar Transactions Can Get You a Better Deal.
Ms. Lincoln received her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law in 1999. She was a visiting student at Georgetown University Law Center. She earned a B.A. degree in English and Political Science from Columbia University in 1996.
California has extended a school district prequalification requirement that was nearing sunset. Prequalification of general contractors and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers on certain school district projects has been mandatory since January 1, 2015. Specifically, under Public Contract Code section 20111.6, prequalification is required on all lease-leaseback projects and on other school district public works projects when all three of the following fa...
An expiring law allowing special bidding procedures for community college districts has been amended and extended. Although competitive bidding is the default rule for procurement of personal property and non-construction related services by community college districts and other public agencies, under Public Contract Code section 20651.7, a community college district is allowed to award bids on the basis of "best value," if the district determines that it can expec...
The Legislature has significantly expanded local agencies' ability to use a small business preferences on a public works projects, and has expanded the use of preferences for small businesses, disabled veterans businesses and social enterprises in some counties. This new law seems to indicate the Legislature is responding to the desire of local agencies to support local businesses.
Assembly Bill (AB) 2762, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, increases the small busi...
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...
As a result of California's affordable housing crisis, school districts face challenges in retaining teachers and school district employees, particularly in regions with high housing costs. California lawmakers sought to address the problem by proposing Assembly Bill (AB) 1157 and AB 45 to make it easier for districts to promote housing development for district employees, though Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the latter bill.
AB 1157 was part of a package of 15 hous...
Schools, colleges and other local and state agencies have a continuing obligation to address lead in the course of new construction, modernization and maintenance projects. Various provisions of California law found in the Lead-Safe Schools Protection Act, the Health and Safety Code and Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations ban the use of materials containing lead in new construction and require that public agencies use properly trained and certified person...
Now that the California Supreme Court has directly addressed the universe of records accessible under the Public Records Act, it is more important than ever that school district employees and elected officials familiarize themselves with their obligations in retaining school district records to ensure that emails, texts and other electronic communications made or stored in private devices and accounts are maintained in accordance with these obligations. This article outlines California regul...
State lawmakers have extended the deadlines to apply for and encumber money dedicated to energy efficiency projects at schools and community colleges - the program known as Proposition 39 - and have created a new program to fund such projects indefinitely.
Proposition 39 was scheduled to sunset June 30, 2018. Now, Senate Bill (SB) 110 has extended the deadline for encumbering Proposition 39 funds by one year, to June 30, 2019. At the same time, the bill creates the ...
The law regarding what obligations a design professional may assume to defend and indemnify a client against liability has been amended once again, and the resulting changes will affect the terms that can be included in design professionals' contracts. On April 28, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 496, which partially limits the duty of design professionals to defend and indemnify a client against liability for claims arising from a design pro...
This article was featured in the Spring 2017 Issue of Lozano Smith's TIPJar
State and federal law generally require agencies to protect the privacy of students, families and employees. Statutes like the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g) and Education Code section 49073 prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of student records. In recent years, the California Information Practices Act of 1977 (Civ. Code, § 1798, et seq.) was amended to address the...
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...
According to the California Department of Education Office of Financial Accountability and Information Services, pursuant to Public Contract Code section 20111(a), the bid threshold for K-12 school districts' purchases of equipment, materials, supplies and services (except construction services) has been adjusted to $88,300, effective January 1, 2017. This represents an increase of 0.626 percent over the 2016 bid limit. The notice may be viewed here.
Effective January 1, 2017, a new claims resolution process will be required for all public works projects. On September 29, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown approved Assembly Bill (AB) 626, which adds section 9204 to the Public Contract Code. The law is aimed at assisting contractors in enforcing claims against public agencies. Currently, the law requires public agencies to follow a certain claims process for claims that are $375,000 or less. Section 9204 will apply to all c...
In a case watched closely by the charter school community - including school districts, county offices of education and charter operators - California's Third District Court of Appeal has issued an opinion which holds that the geographic and site limitations of the Charter Schools Act (Ed. Code, § 47600 et seq.) are applicable to all charter schools, including "nonclassroom-based" programs. (Anderson Union High School District v. Shasta Secondary Home School (O...
Scrutiny regarding school districts' use of lease-leaseback (LLB) construction contracts has prompted the Legislature to impose additional contracting requirements that will make the use of LLB more complicated, and will limit a school district's discretion in selecting the LLB contractor. Assembly Bill (AB) 2316, which the Governor signed on September 23, 2016, will require school districts to use a comprehensive "best value" selection process for LLB contractors. A...
Local educational agencies (LEAs) must act soon to be eligible for funding under the Proposition 39 program. The California Energy Commission (CEC) stated earlier this month that energy expenditure plans (EEPs) will not be accepted after August 1, 2017. That leaves less than one year for LEAs to complete their EEPs.
The California Clean Energy Jobs Act, enacted by voter initiative (Prop 39) in 2012, provides funds to all LEAs in California for a variety of energy ...
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...
It’s that time of year, when California public servants must prepare and submit their annual statements of economic interest. The statement, commonly referred to as Form 700, is due on April 2 this year. Devon Lincoln talks to ethics expert Tom Gauthier about common pitfalls in filling out the form, what you need to know to get it right, and why it matters.
Labor and employment specialists Lou Lozano and Darren Kameya join Devon Lincoln for a discussion of the unique challenges arising at the public employee union bargaining table in 2019. The conversation covers the fallout from the 2018 Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the implications of the LAUSD strike and other labor actions, and how public agencies can attempt to navigate in these complicated times.
Lozano Smith is pleased to provide public agencies with an in-depth Janus Toolkit including important background information, answers to frequently asked questions, an implementation checklist, templates for communication, and more. Download the toolkit at: www.lozanosmith.com/janustoolkit
The role of law enforcement officers on school campuses is not well understood. Devon Lincoln is joined by attorney Tom Manniello, an expert in student discipline issues and discipline reform, and Jenell Van Bindsbergen, an attorney specializing in working with police officers and police departments. In a wide ranging discussion, the panelists lay out the complex issues that come up when an officer polices a school campus.
This special episode of the podcast features a discussion with negotiator Sarah Kaatz and shares extended excerpts from her successful keynote address at the 2019 ACSA Negotiators’ Symposium. Attorney Devon Lincoln talks with Sarah about the life insights she draws on to negotiate with public employee unions in a range of challenging scenarios.
Following the release of the new California governor’s first proposed budget, Lozano Smith attorneys Devon Lincoln, Karen Rezendes and Mattie Scott sit down to discuss the long history of school finance in the state and how that history reverberates in our schools today – and why the issue should matter to every Californian.