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
- Executive Contracts
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...
The 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 report
The FBI report, which was issued in June, is part of an FBI initiative to understand why shootings in confined and populated areas, like s...
UPDATE: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 in...
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,...
Recently, various school district officials nationwide received anonymous communications threatening violent attacks. These events, and the school districts' responses, highlight the importance of having appropriate plans in place to evaluate and respond to threats.
The California Education Code establishes the basic framework for school districts to take steps to make schools safe. Each school in a district is required to develop a comprehensive school safety plan "t...
Small school districts sometimes have difficulty finding people to fill all seats on a five member board. To address this issue, the California legislature recently passed Assembly Bill (AB) 331, providing county committees on school district organization (County Committees) the authority to decrease school district governing boards from five members to three members in districts with an average daily attendance (ADA) of less than 300 during the preceding year. Spe...
Beginning January 1, 2015, Assembly Bill (AB) 1606 will allow academic and classified community college employees to use up to 30 days of paid sick leave to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child.
Under prior law, academic employees at community colleges could use up to 6 days of earned sick leave for personal reasons or personal necessity. Similarly, contract and permanent classified employees could use up to 7 days of earned sick leave for personal necessity...
In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (June 24, 2013) __ U.S. __ 2013 WL 3155220, the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed that public higher education institutions may only consider race in admissions if the means of doing so is narrowly tailored to further a compelling state interest. The Court also clarified that a reviewing court may defer to a higher education institution's good faith determination that a diverse student body is essential to its educational...
Traditionally, school districts and community college districts have turned their attention to classified layoffs in late April or early May, after the rush of the certificated/academic layoff process is over. However, due to a change in Education Code sections 45117 and 88017, school and community college districts must now give notices no later than May 2nd in order for classified layoffs due to lack of work or lack of funds to be effective July 1, at the start of t...
On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which provides sweeping changes to key aspects of college and university disclosure and reporting mandates.
Section 304 of the law, titled "Campus Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Education and Prevention," made significant revisions to the Clery Act provisions of the Higher Education Act of 1965, requiring, among other things:
Number 55On September 30, the Governor signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1565, adding Section 20111.6 to the Public Contract Code. The bill requires a school district with ADA over 2,500 to prequalify bidders for construction contracts awarded on or after January 1, 2014 if (1) the contract value is $1,000,000 or more, and (2) the project is funded, in whole or in part, with State bond funds. In addition, the prequalification forms used by the district must cover, at a minimum, the issu...
With the ongoing uncertainty of state funding, school districts are forced to continue exploring local funding options to address funding shortfalls. A parcel tax is an attractive option because a school district can use parcel taxes for any purpose identified in the ballot measure, including operating expenses. As a result, a parcel tax can be a significant source of unrestricted general fund dollars to support any district programs and needs.
In 2011, 18 of 27 (67%...
U.S. Supreme Court Will Consider Greene V. Camreta Case Regarding Interviews Of Students At School By Law Enforcement With Regard To
Suspected Child Abuse...
CLIENT NEWS BRIEF
STATE ALLOCATION BOARD LEAVES LEVEL 1 DEVELOPER FEES
UNCHANGED AND DECREASES SCHOOL FACILITY
PROGRAM GRANT FOR 2010
Every other year at its January meeting, the State Allocation Board ("SAB”) adopts an
inflationary adjustment to the statutory school impact fee, commonly referred to as the
"Level 1” developer fee. On January 27, 2010, the SAB elected to leave the current Level
1 fee unchanged. Accordingly, the residential Level 1 fee remain...