Brenda E. Arzate is an Associate in Lozano Smith's Walnut Creek Office. Ms. Arzate represents clients through a wide-variety of issues in the students and special education aspects of education law.
Ms. Arzate assists numerous clients through all aspects of Special Education matters, and frequently prepares pleadings and motions for the Office of Administrative Hearings. She is skilled at supporting clients through the IEP process, including review, assessment, attending IEP meetings, and drafting prior written notices. She represents school districts at mediation and prepares settlement agreements. She has guided clients through complex complaints, including discrimination complaints and complaints that arise with the California Department of Education. She advises districts on issues related to the IDEA, student records and student discipline. She works to proactively develop preventive practices to help avoid costly disputes, including reviewing current policies, practices, and procedures for systemic issues and legal compliance.
Prior to joining the law firm as an attorney, Ms. Arzate was the legal division manager for the San Francisco Unified School District, where she gained valuable experience managing programs, operational activities, and projects of the Legal Department, Labor Relations Department, and the Office of Equity. She understands the intricacies of how school districts operate, and the challenges they face on a daily basis.
Ms. Arzate received her Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco, School of Law, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Management, from the University of San Francisco. While in law school, Ms. Arzate was selected as a Legal Extern in General Student Matters and Special Education for the San Francisco Unified School District. She also participated in an International Summer Externship Program focused on International Human Rights Law, and completed an intensive advocacy program where she learned litigation and trial techniques and strategies. Ms. Arzate has received certification through ATIXA as a participant in Level 1 and Level 3 ATIXA Civil Rights Investigator Trainings.
January 2020Number 3Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1172 this fall, which imposes additional requirements upon nonpublic schools (NPSs), as well as the local educational agencies (LEAs) that place students in NPSs, in order to increase the safety and protection of students in NPS placements. This legislation was passed following the high profile death of a 13-year-old special education student, who passed away after being placed in a prone restraint at an NPS.AB 1172 places ne...
January 2019Number 5The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) made a second round of revisions to its Case Processing Manual (CPM), effective November 19, 2018. The CPM outlines the procedures OCR uses to investigate and resolve complaints under the civil rights laws which it enforces. The CPM last underwent revisions in March of 2015 and March of 2018. The most recent changes are wide ranging and include how OCR will evaluate, investigate and resolve complaints. Key re...