Lozano Smith's Student Practice Group is recognized statewide for its steadfast, proactive and creative assistance to school districts and expertise on a broad range of student issues, due to the large number of school districts that we represent and the fact that we have represented schools for more than 30 years.

Areas of Practice

To best serve the needs and promote the success of its clients, the firm's Student Practice Group has broad expertise in:

• Student Free Speech Rights
• Student Publications
• Dress Codes
• Religion in Schools
• Search & Seizure
• Constitutional Due Process
• The Equal Access Act
• Jurisdiction for Discipline
• Suspension & Expulsion
• Expulsion Hearings
• Rehabilitation Plans
• Alternative Discipline
• Expulsion Appeals
• Involuntary Transfers
• Continuation Schools
• Student Fees & Charges
• Student Records
• Directory Information
• Access to Records
• Grade Changes
• Custody & Education Rights
• Caregiver Affidavits
• Retention of Records
• Public Records Act
• Law Enforcement at School
• Gang-Related Activity
• Child Abuse Reporting
• Megan's Law
• Media Access to Campus
• Community Day Schools
• Compulsory Education
• Student Residency
• Residency Verification
• Student Truancy & SARB
• All Student Transfers
• Open Enrollment
• Extracurricular Activities
• Student Athletics
• Athletic Eligibility
• Student Drug Testing
• Title IX, Title XI, Section 504
• Harassment & Discrimination
• Cyberbullying
• Graduation Requirements
• Promotion & Retention
• Electronic Records Systems

Title IX

Lozano Smith’s Title IX Practice Area is comprised of specialists dedicated to the pressing issues faced clients. From athletics to sexual violence, this team advises, trains, and educates clients on the various components of Title IX – from prevention and mitigation to investigations resulting in disciplinary action. Areas in which the group provides advice and training include:

  • Athletics, including audits of athletic programs
  • Sex-based discrimination
  • Pregnant and parenting students
  • Single-sex education
  • Issues relating to transgender and students
  • Developing and auditing complaint grievance procedures and policies
  • Responding to reports of sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Investigating complaints of sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Title IX Coordinator roles and responsibilities
  • District and employee liability
  • Reporting obligations
  • Interaction with law enforcement agencies
  • Discipline of students
  • Litigation
  • VAWA/Clery Act
  • Trainings
Read More

Real World Applications

The Student Practice Group at Lozano Smith understands the hurdles and opportunities facing its clients, and has an unsurpassed level of experience and expertise to protect the interests and promote the success of school districts, their staff and students. Of particular significance is the firm's leadership in student discipline matters. Lozano Smith regularly helps districts to develop comprehensive policies and regulations aimed at preventing student discipline problems, as well as all other policy issues impacting student rights, including student speech, student clubs, student transfers, and student fees, to name only a few. When discipline problems do surface, the firm provides practical advice and assistance as to all aspects of suspensions, expulsions, involuntary transfers and alternative forms of discipline.

Alyssa R. Bivins Senior Counsel
Sacramento, Fresno abivins@lozanosmith.com
Los Angeles, San Diego acordova@lozanosmith.com
Andrew  Fausto Associate
Los Angeles, Fresno afausto@lozanosmith.com
Carolyn L. Gemma Senior Counsel
Sacramento, San Luis Obispo colsonmurphy@lozanosmith.com
Sacramento, San Diego dmaruccia@lozanosmith.com
Emma J. Sol Associate
Walnut Creek esol@lozanosmith.com
Joshua  Whiteside Senior Counsel
San Luis Obispo jwhiteside@lozanosmith.com
Walnut Creek, Sacramento, San Diego krezendes@lozanosmith.com
Kendra G. Tovey Senior Counsel
Kyle A. Raney Senior Counsel
Sacramento, Fresno, San Luis Obispo msmith@lozanosmith.com
Ryan P. Tung Partner
Los Angeles, Walnut Creek rtung@lozanosmith.com

Emotional Distress Damages Unavailable in Section 504 Actions

By:Jennifer Baldassari, Amanda Cordova -

May 2022Number 20On April 28, 2022, the United States Supreme Court narrowed the scope of damages available under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), ruling that emotional distress damages are not recoverable in private actions to enforce Section 504 and other similar Spending Clause antidiscrimination statutes, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Title VI, and Title IX.BackgroundPlaintiff Jane Cummings is deaf, legally blind, and communicates primarily in Americ...

Updates to Masking Requirements for Students and Employees

By:Sloan Simmons, Joshua Whiteside -

March 2022Number 16The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new guidance, which includes changes to the legal requirements for face masks and new health and safety recommendations for local educational agencies to consider.On February 25, 2022, the CDC released new guidance describing how the CDC now measures the impact of COVID-19 on local health and healthcare systems within each U.S. county. This new guidan...

Foreseeability in Sexual Abuse Cases: Appellate Court Clarifies Legal Standards for Claims Against School Districts

By:Manuel Martinez, Juliane Rossiter -

March 2022Number 15In a recent case, the California Court of Appeal held that school administrators may breach a duty to protect students from sexual abuse by district employees by failing to take reasonable measures to prevent abuse, even if the school does not have actual knowledge of the employee’s history of committing, or propensity to commit, sexual abuse. The court further ruled that a plaintiff suing for breach of the mandatory duty to report suspected abuse must prove it was ob...

Ninth Circuit Holds that "Specific Learning Disability" Evaluation and IEP Satisfied FAPE for Dyslexic Student

By:Mark Waterman, Kyle Raney, Selina Ayala-Patlán -

February 2022Number 10In Crofts v. Issaquah School District No. 411 (9th Cir. Jan. 12, 2022, No. 19-35473)   F.4th   , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a school district properly assessed a student for dyslexia when it conducted an evaluation for a “specific learning disability,” as provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The court said that, under the circumstances, no formal evaluation for dyslexia was r...

Student Not Entitled to Receive Medical ABA Therapy on Campus from Private Provider

By:Sarah Garcia, Roxana Khan, Rebecca Seldin -

February 2022Number 8Although a seven-year-old boy with autism had an established medical need for 40 hours per week of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, his school district properly denied his private provider from serving him on the public school campus during the school day, according to the December 27, 2021 decision from the United States District Court, Central District of California, in O.A. vs Orcutt Union School District (C.D.Cal. Dec. 27, 2021, 2:20-cv-00087-RGK-MAA).The Dist...

Superior Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging the State's Face Mask Mandate in California K-12 Schools

By:Sloan Simmons -

February 2022Number 7On November 12, 2021, San Diego Superior Court Judge Cynthia Freeland ended a lawsuit filed against Governor Gavin Newsom, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and other California state health officials. The lawsuit was filed by two organizations, Let Them Breathe and Reopen California Schools. The plaintiffs’ complaint alleged nine causes of action and challenged, among other things, the CDPH’s guidelines and mandate for face coverings in K-12 ...

Legal Challenges to Student Vaccine Mandates Produce Varying Results

By:Sloan Simmons, Alyssa Bivins -

January 2022Number 5Vaccine mandates enacted by and affecting local education agencies have faced various legal challenges, with differing outcomes. Divergent court rulings regarding student vaccine mandates have been issued, often within days of rulings regarding mask mandates, resulting in a changing and sometimes confusing legal landscape. This Client News Brief addresses the legal challenges to student vaccine mandates.LAUSD Student Vaccine Mandate – Los Angeles Superior Court Rulin...