Karen M. Rezendes

Partner | Walnut Creek, Sacramento, San Diego

Tel: 925.953.1620
Fax: 925.953.1625
Vcard   | Bio


Karen M. Rezendes is the Managing Partner of Lozano Smith. Karen has extensive expertise in all areas of private and public sector employment law including effective employee recruitment, retention, employee contracts, evaluation, investigations, equal employment opportunity issues and discipline. Karen is also an expert in employee/employer relations and negotiations. Over her 34 years of experience, Karen has negotiated hundreds of agreements with labor associations throughout the State of California. Karen also provides day to day employment and labor law support to public and private sector employers and supports education and public agency clients regarding the Brown Act and board governance, student issues and general school and public agency law.

She is a well-recognized and frequent presenter and writer on Board Governance, and employment and labor law, a proponent of Interest Based Bargaining and an experienced and certified Trainer of Trainers regarding effective negotiations practices. A significant portion of her practice is devoted to advising and assisting education and public agency clients including board members and administrators regarding preventive measures to avoid litigation, ensure excellent business practices, encourage positive labor relations.

Karen Rezendes' practice focuses on representing public entity clients in the following areas:
  • General governance
    • Brown Act issues
    • Effective Board Governance
    • Conflicts of interest
    • Public Records Act
  • Employee/Employer Relations and Employment Law
    • Employee discipline and dismissal
    • Effective evaluation systems
    • Affordable Care Act
    • Leave Laws
    • Employment Contracts
    • Labor Law
    • Negotiations
    • First Amendment issues
    • Investigations of discrimination and harassment complaints
    • Certificated and classified employee issues
    • Employment discrimination
    • Sexual harassment
    • Wrongful termination
    • Civil Rights Issues
    • Employee Complaint Investigations
    • Mandated Reporter Issues
    • Uniform Complaint Procedures
    • First Amendment Issues
  • Student issues
    • Civil Rights Issues
    • Local Control Accountability Plans
    • Investigations
    • Uniform Complaint Procedures
    • First Amendment Issues

Additional Experience

In addition to her work as an attorney, Ms. Rezendes has experience as a school administrator, hearing officer, and "pro tem" Superior Court judge. Ms. Rezendes served as Director of Human Resources and General Legal Counsel for a County Office of Education and a large K-12 unified school district. Her work as a school administrator has provided her with a client's perspective regarding the need for timely, cost effective, quality, and practical legal counsel.


In 1989, Ms. Rezendes received her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law and was admitted to the California State Bar. While attending Santa Clara University, she served as business editor of the Santa Clara University Law Review and won, together with her partner, the Santa Clara University Moot Court Competition. Ms. Rezendes also completed the Harvard Law School, Program on Negotiations, Master Negotiations Course. She earned her B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Personnel Administration and Industrial Relations. Ms. Rezendes has also received ATIXA certifications as a participant in Level 1 and Level 3 ATIXA Civil Rights Investigator Trainings.

E74 Artificial Intelligence for Public Agencies and School Districts: Part 2- The Use of AI in Special Education

By: Karen RezendesSarah GarciaKarina Demirchyan-

In episode two of our series on Artificial Intelligence for Public Agencies and School Districts, we delve into the ways AI is revolutionizing the field of special education. Join Lozano Smith attorneys Karen M. Rezendes, Sarah L. Garcia, and Karina Demirchyan as they discuss how AI technologies are enabling a more inclusive learning environment and creating more equitable educational opportunities for students with diverse needs. We also discuss real-world applications and success stories involving AI, ethical considerations, and our future outlook regarding AI tools in special education.

E73 Artificial Intelligence for Public Agencies and School Districts: Part 1- AI Primer

By: Karen RezendesRobert LomeliKarina DemirchyanNicholas Clair-

Dive into the evolving world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the first episode in our new series, designed to cut through the hype and uncover the real impact of AI on public agencies. Lozano Smith's Managing Partner, Karen M. Rezendes, along with Lozano Smith attorneys Robert A. Lomeli, Karina Demirchyan, and Nicholas J. Clair, offer a foundational exploration of AI technologies like ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot, and Google Gemini. This episode provides an accessible overview on how public employees are leveraging AI, the importance of keeping humans in the loop, and practical examples of AI in school environments and beyond. The team also addresses crucial concerns such as bias, accuracy, and the legal landscape surrounding AI, including copyright issues and cybersecurity risks. As we embark on this series, join us for essential insights and recommendations to navigate AI's promising yet challenging terrain in public agency operations.

Looking at the Bottom Line - How California's State Budget Process Directly Impacts Your School District's Options

By: Karen RezendesMartha Scott-

Host Devon Lincoln talks with veteran experts Karen Rezendes and Mattie Scott about the California budget process, Governor Newsom's first State budget (just passed on June 13), and the high stakes local school districts face when planning around the annual budget process.

Are We There Yet? The Long March Toward Equity and Equality in School Finance

By: Karen RezendesMartha Scott-

Following the release of the new California governor's first proposed budget, Lozano Smith attorneys Devon Lincoln, Karen Rezendes and Mattie Scott sit down to discuss the long history of school finance in the state and how that history reverberates in our schools today - and why the issue should matter to every Californian.