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Manuel F. Martinez

Partner | Walnut Creek

Attorney Insights
Tel: 925.953.1620
Fax: 925.953.1625
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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.

Presenter Experience

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.

FTC Issues New Guidance Regarding Child Online Privacy Law in Light of COVID-19

By: Manuel MartinezTina Mirzazadeh-

April 2020Number 32In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools have transitioned to distance learning. Almost overnight, schools have become dependent on technology in order to provide students with education. This dependence, however, brings with it a multitude of questions, costs, and risks. For example, we all know that online user information is being actively gathered by countless companies. When schools provide access to district-owned or procured computers and software, is it the softwa...

Public Agencies Can Be Liable For Attorney’s Fees In Reverse-CPRA Actions

By: Manuel MartinezSophia Cohn-

December 2019Number 80The risks involved in asking a court to halt the disclosure of documents sought under a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request were just expanded to public agencies. About a year ago, we reported that a pair of court decisions held that private parties who lose in a lawsuit, to prevent government agencies from disclosing personal information, may be required to pay the requester's attorney's fees (see 2018 Client News Brief Number 35). In the recent case of City of...

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,...

Letter Saves City From Potential Brown Act Violations

By: Manuel MartinezTina Mirzazadeh-

June 2019Number 27Sometimes public entities stumble despite their best efforts to dutifully comply with the Brown Act. Fortunately, the Brown Act allows these entities to fix certain violations by identifying the problem and promising never to do it again.Public entities faced with allegations of Brown Act violations can look to TransparentGov Novato v. City of Novato as a guide to avoid ensuing litigation.TransparentGov Novato v. City of NovatoIn TransparentGov Novato, a group of city reside...

Court Of Appeal Shields Personnel Records From Disclosure

By: Manuel MartinezBenjamin Brown-

February 2019Number 10In 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 response t...

Supreme Court To Decide Whether Local Agencies Can Recover Costs Associated With Redacting Video Footage Under The Public Records Act

By: Manuel MartinezJessica Mejorado-

February 2019Number 8Rarely 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 case ...

Directory and Personal Information Must Be Withheld from Board Meeting Minutes upon Request

By: Manuel MartinezBradley Sena-

November 2018 Number 72 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...

California Bans For-Profit Charter Schools

By: Manuel MartinezErin Hamor-

September 2018Number 52Governor 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.BackgroundAmidst a growing nationwide movement to privatize public schools, for-profit corporations known as educational management organizations (EMOs) and charter management organizations (CMOs) are ...

Records Requesters May Recover Attorney Fees in Reverse-CPRA Actions

By: Manuel MartinezJessica Mejorado-

August 2018Number 35The 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.BackgroundThe CPRA requires public entities to disclose public records ...

Immigration Enforcement Actions in California

By: Sloan SimmonsManuel Martinez-

March 2018 Number 9 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...

Feds Offer Guidance on Recent School Data System Hacks

By: Manuel Martinez-

October 2017 Number 69 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,...

Discovery of Public Records after Requester Filed Lawsuit Leads to Attorney Fee Award for Plaintiff

By: Manuel MartinezSteve Ngo-

September 2017 Number 51 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...

The Rising Costs of the Public Records Act

By: Manuel MartinezJessica Mejorado-

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.