The Legal Department’s work focused on understanding legal requirements for schools as they return to in-person learning and the many challenges left for boards to grapple with after remote and hybrid learning. Additionally, the department reviewed and provided updates to members on various court’s decisions, particularly those from the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

In addition, CSBA’s Legal Office shared relevant legal information with CSBA’s membership through analyses of cases and new laws in CSBA publications, including four Legal Insight columns for California Schools magazine, one feature article, 11 newsletter stories and numerous blog posts.

“Law is order, and
good law is good order.”

—Greek philosopher Aristotle

Year in Review

Oversaw and coordinated Education Legal Alliance activities including the following cases:

  • Kennedy v. Bremerton School District: Filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the district, arguing that the case centered on the question of whether a school district should be liable for an employee who chooses to pray with students while on duty at school events after having been given accommodations for private prayer, and that the Court should rely on previous precedent related to public employee speech to make the determination;
  • Brennon B. v. West Contra Costa Unified School District: Filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit arguing that the Unruh Act does not apply to LEAs because they are not business establishments under the law;
  • E.E. et. al. v. State of California: Filed an amicus brief in the district court discussing the numerous issues associated with enjoining Assembly Bill 130; and
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes, et al. v. San Jose Unified School District, et al.: Filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit advocating for a school district’s right to uphold state law, which requires LEAs to maintain nondiscrimination policies prohibiting discrimination based on various protected classes in school programs and activities.

Whether initiating
civil litigation and administrative actions, filing amicus briefs with state and federal courts, challenging legislation and regulations, or providing analysis on key legal cases for ELA members, CSBA’s Education Legal Alliance continues to deliver for every LEA in the state of California.”

Marisa Lincoln, president-elect, CA Council of School Attorneys