Manuel F. Martinez is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Walnut Creek Office. His practice focuses on labor and employment, charter school, student, technology and facilities and business issues.
He is well-versed in all areas of civil litigation, trial practice and appellate work. He has advised clients on cutting edge issues such as cloud computing, electronic records, and public private partnerships regarding web-based applications. He is also skilled in various aspects of employment law, including dismissals, discipline, investigations and employee/employer relations and negotiations. He also advises clients regarding the Brown Act, Public Records Act, Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and elections.
Mr. Martinez is experienced in all aspects of charter schools, including drafting and negotiating MOUs, charter reviews, assisting clients with Prop. 39 facility requests, charter oversight, facility issues, petition review and revocation.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Martinez served as Associate County Counsel for the County of Alameda. He successfully negotiated the settlement of several cases through formal mediation and informal discussions. As a Deputy City Attorney in Los Angeles, he conducted jury trials, researched and briefed appeals before the Los Angeles Superior Court, and regularly assisted and advised attorneys with pretrial, trial, and post-conviction matters.
Mr. Martinez has been a speaker for the California School Boards Association (CSBA), co-presented at the California Latino School Board Associations Unity Conference (CLSBA), and at the Association of Superintendents with Innovative Charter Schools.
Mr. Martinez received his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School at Loyola Marymount University, where he was a member of the Scott Moot Court Honors Board. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he majored in Political Science.
In Associated Chino Teachers v. Chino Valley Unified School District (Nov. 29, 2018, E068163) __ Cal.4th __, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District determined that complaints regarding a high school teacher's alleged aggressive behavior were not substantial enough to require disclosure under the California Public Records Act (CPRA). Chino Valley Unified School District ("District") had sought to release these documents in resp...
Rarely are state and local government agencies permitted to charge for the labor that goes into responding to a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request. In National Lawyers Guild v. City of Hayward (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 937, the First District Court of Appeal held that the City of Hayward was entitled to reimbursement of costs associated with necessary redactions of body camera footage to produce the non-exempt portions of footage requested under the CPRA. This...
Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 1036, which will allow parents and adult pupils to prevent the governing board of a local education agency from including the directory and personal information of a student and/or the student's family in the governing board's meeting minutes. SB 1036 is set to take effect on January 1, 2019.
Federal and State law define the extent to which local educational agencies (LEAs), including schools districts, c...
Governor Jerry Brown has signed new legislation banning for-profit corporations, for-profit educational management organizations, and for-profit charter management organizations from operating charter schools in California. Assembly Bill (AB) 406 takes effect July 1, 2019.
Amidst a growing nationwide movement to privatize public schools, for-profit corporations known as educational management organizations (EMOs) and charter management organizatio...
The stakes of asking a court to halt the disclosure of documents sought under a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request just got higher for private parties. California appellate courts have handed down a pair of decisions holding that private parties who sue to prevent the government agency from disclosing their personal information may be required to pay the requester's attorney fees if they lose.
The CPRA requires public entities to disclose p...
In recent weeks, media outlets have reported on immigration raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents that targeted various areas in California. These raids have focused on the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Sacramento areas. Other reports have confirmed ICE agents raiding dozens of 7-Eleven stores throughout the nation, and serving notices of inspection at 77 Northern California businesses within San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento.
As these en...
An arm of the U.S. Department of Education is warning schools and colleges to prepare themselves to address a new threat from cyber criminals hacking into schools' data systems.
On October 16, 2017, the Department's Federal Student Aid office (FSA) warned that cyber criminals attempted to extort money from school districts in Texas, Montana and Iowa by threatening to publicly release sensitive student information. According to news reports, the hacker or hackers,...
A California appeals court has found a city liable for attorney's fees after determining that a related lawsuit prompted the city to produce records during the litigation that the plaintiff had first sought through a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request.
In Sukumar v. City of San Diego, the Court of Appeal held that the City of San Diego, although acting in good faith and having ultimately disclosed all records responsive to a CPRA request, had to pay a...
Emails, text messages and other written communications sent to or from a public official's private account may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously in a highly anticipated decision published on March 2, 2017. (City of San Jose et al. v. Superior Court (March 2, 2017, No. S218066) ___ Cal.5th ___ < http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S218066.PDF>.)
The court held that t...
The California Supreme Court has ruled that invoices from a public agency's legal counsel are subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), with limited exceptions. Invoices for work in pending and active legal matters may generally be shielded from disclosure under the attorney-client privilege.
In Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court (Dec. 29, 2016, No. S226645) ___ Cal.4th___ < http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/d...
This podcast addresses the tension between protecting personal information and the obligation to disclose public records. Striking the wrong balance may burden either the local agency, or the individual employee, with significant costs. Hear how best to contend with the money pitfalls of the CPRA.