9124 BB - Attorney

Bylaws of the Board
Board Bylaw No. 9124
Bylaw adopted:  October 16, 2008


ATTORNEY

The Governing Board recognizes the complex legal environment in which school districts operate and desires reliable, dependable legal advice at reasonable rates. In order to meet the district’s legal needs, the Board may contract with the county counsel, or attorneys in private practice, or appoint legal counsel as a district employee or independent contractor. The Board also supports collaborative legal efforts with other agencies and districts as appropriate. Duties of Legal Counsel The district's legal counsel may:

  1. Render legal advice to the Board and the Superintendent or designee.
  2. Serve the Board and the Superintendent or designee in the preparation and conduct of district litigation and administrative proceedings.
  3. Render advice on school bond and tax increase measures and prepare the necessary forms for the voting of these measures.
  4. Perform other administrative duties as assigned by the Board and Superintendent or designee.

Retaining Legal Counsel
 
When the district is seeking legal advice or representation, the Superintendent or designee shall initiate a Request for Proposals (RFP) to advertise and solicit proposals for legal services. In evaluating the proposals, the Board and Superintendent shall consider the firm's or attorney's background, experience, and reputation in education law; experience advising or representing school districts in California; fees; and experience of attorneys at the firm who will provide legal services.

The Superintendent shall annually evaluate the performance of the firm and/or attorneys providing legal services in such areas as efficiency and adequacy of advice; results obtained for the district; reasonableness of fees; and responsiveness to and interactions with the Board, administration, and community. Upon a successful evaluation, the Board may renew the agreement with legal counsel without initiating an RFP.

The Board may also contract for temporary, specialized legal services without initiating an RFP when a majority of the Board determines that the unique demands of a particular issue or emergency situation so requires.

Contacting Legal Counsel
 At his/her discretion, the Board president or Superintendent may confer with district legal counsel subject to any limits or parameters established by the Board. In addition, the Superintendent or Board president may contact district legal counsel to provide the Board with legal information or advice when so directed by a majority of the Board.

The Board also may authorize a specific member to confer with legal counsel on behalf of the Board.

(cf. 9200 - Limits of Board Member Authority)
(cf. 9321 - Closed Session Purposes and Agendas)

Legal Reference:
EDUCATION CODE
35041 Administrative adviser 3
5041.5 Legal counsel
35161 Powers and duties of governing board
35200-35214 Liabilities, especially:
35204 Contract with attorney in private practice
35205 Contract for legal services
GOVERNMENT CODE
814-895.8 Liability of public entities and public employees
995-996.6 Defense of public employees
26520 Legal services to school districts
53060 Special services and advice 

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