Endless innovation and the increasing use of technology - from cloud computing to harassment and cyberbullying - have created the need for best practices and sound policies. Our attorneys regularly counsel clients in the areas of governance, management of employees' and students' use of policies and regulations regarding technology, software and other technology licensing, email retention, and more.

Governance:

Questions regarding use of e-communications, and retention of and public access to electronic documents, continue to present challenges for local governments and their staffs. Lozano Smith regularly advises clients on evolving issues, including e-communications and the Brown Act, public records, social media, email retention policies, and use of personal devices.

Business:

Our procurement expertise and transactional experience enable us to assist clients in negotiating contracts in the areas of software agreements, cell tower leases, E-rate and technology equipment leases.

Students:

New technologies find their way into classrooms on a daily basis. Lozano Smith assists clients in establishing a framework for successfully utilizing and addressing new technologies while remaining legally compliant. This includes issues related to cloud computing, electronic student records systems, student discipline related to use of technology on and off campus, and social media.

Labor & Employment:

Employee privacy and free speech rights, along with employee discipline and technology use in the school and governmental setting continue to present legal challenges. Lozano Smith counsels clients on the developments in this area, including employee use of personal devices for public business, social media, appropriate use of the internet, and bring your own device (BYOD) policies.

Training for Administrators

Our attorneys regularly speak at major conferences for CASBO, CSBA, ACSA, CASCWA and other organizations on technology legal issues. Various presentations on technology in the workplace and in schools are updated annually to address the latest real-world issues faced by districts.

Editor's Note: The Aftermath of City of San Jose

By:Penelope Glover -

When WikiLeaks published more than 20,000 leaked Democratic National Committee emails in the heat of the 2016 presidential election, political journalist Olivia Nuzzi famously tweeted that one should “Dance like no one is watching; email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition.” Nuzzi’s adage has long been true for public agency officials and employees, whose work communications are generally a matter of public record.  But the California Supreme Court’...

Private Emails Discussing Public Business are Public Records. Now What?

By:Harold Freiman -

As public agency officials and employees have increasingly turned to text messages and email to facilitate communication anytime and anywhere, they lost touch with a basic truth: Electronic communications are writings. As such, they may fall within the reach of the California Public Records Act (CPRA). Now that the California Supreme Court has opened the door to disclosure of public agency-related communications made or stored on private devices and in private accounts, California’s ...

Hold On: Litigation Holds and Electronic Records

By:Mark Kitabayashi, Michael Linden -

You may have experienced the following situation working for a local public agency. You open your mail and you see a document entitled “Litigation Hold.” An attorney wants your employer to preserve records for discovery in a legal dispute, including emails and other electronic data. Initially, you have no idea where relevant emails and data might be kept, whether they are even being saved or what policies are in place regarding the retention of emails and other electronically s...

Paper Laws, Electronic Records: An Overview of Record Retention Laws for California School Employees

By:Devon Lincoln, Ryan Tung -

Now that the California Supreme Court has directly addressed the universe of records accessible under the Public Records Act, it is more important than ever that school district employees and elected officials familiarize themselves with their obligations in retaining school district records to ensure that emails, texts and other electronic communications made or stored in private devices and accounts are maintained in accordance with these obligations. This article outlines California regul...

Metadata: Insight from an Industry Expert

By:Darren Kameya, Penelope Glover -

In our technology-driven world, a California Public Records Act request typically seeks some form of electronic communication or record created using a computer and software program. Frequently, an agency’s response is to send an email attaching the requested record if it is not otherwise exempt from disclosure. Public agencies must be careful when responding to these requests. Without taking adequate precautions, this common response may actually reveal hidden electronic data, calle...

Curbing Troublesome Texts

By: -

It’s often a headache for school administrators:  A teacher opts to forego the district’s email system and instead gives out his or her personal cell phone number, reasoning that the most effective way to communicate with his or her smartphone-obsessed students is by text.  What’s a district to do? Fortunately, there are apps on the market that convert emails to text messages, allowing educators to communicate effectively with students without being forced to gi...

Introducing the TIP Jar

By:Penelope Glover -

This article was featured in the Spring 2017 Issue of Lozano Smith's TIPJar Technology offers a seemingly boundless array of opportunities: It can provide targeted learning to students with diverse abilities, make instruction available to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection, and aid law enforcement efforts to safeguard communities. But this virtual bounty and the constant change it imposes also creates many challenges, some obvious, others difficult to discern. Frequently, th...