Trevin E. Sims serves clients throughout Southern California from both our Los Angeles and San Diego offices. In addition to managing the San Diego office, he leads the firm’s public safety practice.
He serves as general and special counsel to public education agencies in a wide variety of areas including:
- School and Public Safety
- Governance and Inter-governmental Relations
- Brown Act, Public Records Act and Conflict of Interest Law
- Executive Contracts
- Real Property Sale, Lease and Exchange
- Surplus Property Disposition
- Municipal Finance
- Charter Schools
Mr. Sims has particular experience and expertise in school safety-related issues, including safety planning, violence prevention, threat assessment, and crises management. Over his career, his practice has also touched on virtually every other area of public education law, including special education, student discipline, classified and certificated employee discipline, and school district reorganization.
Mr. Sims is a frequent author of Lozano Smith Client News Briefs, and his articles are frequently published by state-wide organizations. His article Concealed Weapons on Campus Requires Careful Consideration was published by ACSA.
Mr. Sims has been a speaker for the California School Boards Association, the Coalition for Adequate School Housing, the California Latino School Boards Association, and the Association of California School Administrators Superintendent's Academy, and the Association of California Construction Managers.
He is a regular speaker at the firm's annual Facilities and Business Workshops. He also conducts governance training sessions for school boards throughout the state.
Mr. Sims is a member of the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys and the California Council of School Attorneys.
He was admitted to the California Bar in 1993 and is also admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and United States District Court for the Southern, Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of California.
Mr. Sims earned his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition, he holds an MBA from Duke University, with international study at the Rotterdam School of Management, and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Oral Roberts University.
In September 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed three new bills addressing public agency response to disasters and emergencies including school violence.
Senate Bill (SB) 833: Emergency Alerts
In response to the unprecedented 2017 wildland fire disasters, SB 833 aims to improve California's emergency alert system by requiring the Office of Emergency Services (OES) to develop guidelines for alerting and warning the public of an emergency. At a minimum, the Guid...
August 2018Number 38The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the United States Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) have released two important documents that offer insight into the pre-attack behavior of shooters and advice to help prevent targeted school violence through the use of threat assessments.The FBI reportThe FBI report, which was issued in June, is part of an FBI initiative to understand why shootings in confined and populated areas, like schools, occur ...
July 2018Number 33UPDATE:The Governor has vetoed AB 3120, which is another bill related to this subject and referenced below, but distinct from SB 1053. His veto message can be found here.In response to a recent state court case, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 1053 to explicitly prohibit local agencies from adopting local claim procedures that limit the presentation of childhood sexual abuse claims. The law, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on July 23, goes into e...
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...
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a university's request to dismiss a student's lawsuit alleging retaliation for protected speech under the First Amendment.
In O'Brien v. Welty (9th Cir. 2016) 818 F.3d 920, a student intruded into the university offices of two faculty members, questioned the faculty members about a poem published in the student newspaper and proceeded to video record the interactions. The university disciplined the student under its stude...
While school bullying is not a new phenomenon, the media attention upon school shootings and suicides alleged to involve bullying victims is greater than ever. According to the experts, school bullying has widespread and harmful impacts on victims and other students, and it can push a student down the path toward self-harm or causing harm to others. School districts now see bullying as a major concern that must be confronted, rather than avoided, and they have increased efforts to discourage,...
Preventing school violence and ensuring school safety have become dominant topics and part of an ongoing national conversation. But what can a school district do, practically, to address these issues? This podcast will examine two recently released resource documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Secret Service which provide guidance on preventing school violence as well as pending California legislation to improve school climate and safety.