Alyse  Pacheco Nichols

Associate | Walnut Creek

Attorney Insights
Tel: 925.953.1620
Fax: 925.953.1625
Vcard   | Bio


Alyse Pacheco Nichols is an Associate in Lozano Smith's Walnut Creek Office. She represents clients in the facilities and business, litigation, and construction aspects of education law.


Ms. Nichols frequently assists clients through Brown Act compliance, particularly related to agenda questions and issues; reviews vendor contracts; and helps conduct investigations into both employee and student Title IX complaints.

Ms. Nichols prepares and assists clients in presenting expulsion cases, on behalf of school sites, before school boards and admin panels. She assists admin panels throughout the expulsion hearing process, and presents on student discipline, including expulsion appeals. She has also negotiated stipulated expulsion agreements for school sites. Additionally, Ms. Nichols supports clients in handling grade challenge appeals and requests for student records.

Ms. Nichols previously worked as a staff attorney at the California Supreme Court, where she reviewed and researched criminal writ petitions, and petitions for review in direct appeal and habeas corpus cases. She then proposed resolutions of the legal issues in each case to the court. Ms. Nichols also served as a judicial extern for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, where she gained extensive experience researching and drafting proposed procedural and dispositive orders in prisoners’ cases.


Ms. Nichols received her Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and earned Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Spanish from Westmont College. While in law school, Ms. Nichols was a member of the USF Law Review, and the McAuliffe Honor Society, and served as President of the USF Law La Raza Student group.

Students Suspended For Two Or More Days Must Now Be Provided Homework Assignments

By: Manuel MartinezAlyse Pacheco Nichols-

October 2019Number 64In an effort to prevent suspended students in grades 1-12 from falling behind in class assignments or homework, Governor Newsom has signed Assembly Bill (AB) 982, requiring all public and charter school teachers to provide homework assignments to suspended students, upon request. Teachers have historically had the option whether or not to require suspended students to complete any assignments and tests missed during the term of their suspension.AB 982 Beginning January 1,...

Appellate Court Concludes That Public Entities May Initiate Substitution Of A Subcontractor

By: Arne SandbergAlyse Pacheco Nichols-

June 2019Number 25In Synergy Project Management, Inc. v. City and County of San Francisco, certified for publication on March 14, 2019, the California Court of Appeal concluded that awarding agencies, like prime contractors, have the power to request substitution of a subcontractor under Public Contract Code section 4107 (hereafter referred to as Section 4107).BackgroundThe City and County of San Francisco (City) had awarded a contract to Ghilotti Bros., Inc. (Ghilotti) for a major renovation...

Mandatory Prequalification on Certain School District Projects is Here to Stay

By: Devon LincolnAlyse Pacheco Nichols-

November 2018Number 73California 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 factors ...

New Law Indefinitely Extends Community College Use of Best Value Process in Bidding

By: Devon LincolnAlyse Pacheco Nichols-

November 2018Number 74An 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 expect "lon...

New Law Updates Bidding Preferences for Various Public Agencies

By: Devon LincolnAlyse Pacheco Nichols-

November 2018Number 75The 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 business prefe...

California Supreme Court Limits Employers' Ability to Classify Workers as Independent Contractors

By: Mark KitabayashiAlyse Pacheco Nichols-

May 2018Number 20In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Apr. 30, 2018, No. S222732) ___ Cal.5th ___, the California Supreme Court adopted a new test for determining whether a worker should be considered an employee or an independent contractor for the purposes of wage orders adopted by California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC). Under this new test—called the “ABC test”—a worker is presumed to be an employee unless the em...

Charter Schools Must Obtain Separate Approvals for New Schools, Renewals, and Revisions, Court Rules

By: Edward SklarRyan TungAlyse Pacheco Nichols-

March 2018 Number 10 A California appellate court has published a decision affirming that charter schools must obtain separate approvals for new initial petitions, charter renewals, and material revisions to charter school petitions. InToday's Fresh Start Charter School v. Inglewood Unified School District, et al. (Feb. 7, 2018, Case No. B280986) ___ Cal.App.5th ___, the Second District Court of Appeal issued a published decision, concluding that: (1) Charter schools may not use a renewal p...

New Laws Update Nutrition Program Purchasing Rules

By: Kelly RemAlyse Pacheco Nichols-

October 2017 Number 62 Governor Jerry Brown has signed four bills that update purchasing rules related to school food and nutrition programs and improve access to healthy food. Each of these bills will take effect January 1, 2018. Senate Bill 544: Bill Offers Clarity on Food Contract Award Rules Senate Bill (SB) 544 resolves an inconsistency between state and federal law regarding the award of contracts in support of child nutrition programs by clarifying that school districts can c...

California Supreme Court Holds Disclosure Is the Rule, Not the Exception, in Public Record Requests

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenAlyse Pacheco Nichols-

October 2017 Number 59 Automated license plate reader (ALPR) scan data is not subject to the "records of investigation" exemption under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), the California Supreme Court has ruled. The Court, however, did not foreclose the ability to withhold such information if it would invade an individual's privacy. In American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Aug. 31, 2017, No S227106) ___ Cal.5th ____, the Co...