Michelle L. Cannon

Partner | Sacramento

Attorney Insights

Tel: 916.329.7433
Fax: 916.329.9050
Vcard   | Bio


Michelle L. Cannon is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Sacramento office and co-chairs the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group. For over 25 years Ms. Cannon has worked closely with a variety of public entities including school districts, county offices of education and community colleges. She is an active member in the Labor & Employment, Students, Community Colleges, Charter Schools and Litigation Practice Groups. Ms. Cannon has extensive experience in board governance, labor and personnel-related matters, student discipline, and charter school facilities. She was named to the Northern California Super Lawyers list each year from 2013 to 2020, and a Top Lawyer in Schools & Education by Sacramento Magazine from 2016 to 2020.

Ms. Cannon's practice focuses on representing public entity clients in the following areas:
  • General governance
  • Brown Act issues
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Public Records Act
  • Labor and personnel-related matters
  • Employee discipline and dismissal
  • Collective bargaining
  • Investigation of discrimination and harassment complaints
  • Certificated and classified employee issues
  • Student issues
  • Title IX
  • Student discipline
  • First Amendment issues
  • Search and seizure related to students
  • Charter school issues
  • Review of charter petitions
  • Revocation of charters
  • Charter school facilities
  • Litigation
  • Sexual discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Wrongful termination
  • 42 U.S.C. section 1983 claims
  • Contract disputes
  • Writs and appeals in both state and federal courts

Additional Experience

Michelle has worked extensively in the collective bargaining arena in various roles. These roles include, but are not limited to, working as a facilitator in Interest Based Bargaining, acting as lead negotiator in the creation of new contracts, and advising clients through impasse proceedings.

Ms. Cannon has also prosecuted numerous successful permanent certificated and classified termination proceedings. Ms. Cannon was recently published in the Daily Journal as a co-author of an article entitled "The Right to Education in California: It's for the Legislature to Decide Education Policy."

Presenter Experience

Ms. Cannon is a frequent speaker at workshops and CSBA and ACSA conferences. She regularly presents on topics such as sexual harassment prevention training, board issues, including the Brown Act and conflicts of interest, collective bargaining, discrimination, employee discipline and dismissals, student discipline, certificated employee lay off procedures, First Amendment issues, and charter schools.

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, California School Boards Association
  • Member, California Council of School Attorneys
  • Member, Placer County Bar Association
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • Member, Animal Legal Defense Fund


Ms. Cannon received her law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She earned a B.A. from St. Mary's College of California. Ms. Cannon has received certification through ATIXA as a participant in Level 1 and Level 3 ATIXA Civil Rights Investigator Trainings.

Legislative Update: Changes in DOJ Background Checks and Expansion of the Statewide Immunization Database

By: Michelle CannonSophia Cohn-

New Legislation Expands Employee Leave Rights

By: Michelle Cannon-

U.S. Department of Education Releases Proposed New Title IX Regulations

By: Michelle CannonSarah FamaEmma Sol-

New Case Highlights Interplay Between Special Education and Sexual Harassment Laws

By: Michelle CannonSarah Fama-

Important Changes to PERB Regulations Effective January 1, 2022

By: Michelle CannonCourtney de Groof-

Deadline Approaching to Begin Process to Repatriate Collections of Native American Remains and Cultural Items

By: Michelle CannonJennifer Thompson-

SB 95 - COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

By: Michelle Cannon-

CDPH Guidance for Schools Creates Challenges and New Reopening Criteria

By: Michelle CannonJoshua Whiteside-

Layoffs Under SB 98

By: Gabriela FlowersMichelle Cannon-

New Title IX Regulations Issued by the Department of Education Take Effect August 14, 2020

By: Michelle CannonSarah Fama-

Ninth Circuit Rejects Constitutional Challenge to School Safety Plan Allowing Transgender Student Use of Single Sex Facilities

By: Michelle CannonCarolyn Gemma-

Framework for Labor-Management Collaboration Jointly Issued by Governor and Statewide Organizations

By: Michelle CannonCourtney de Groof-

Complainants Now Have 3 Years To File Charge Of Employment Discrimination

By: Michelle CannonAngela Okamura-

AB 1353 Limits Classified Employee Probationary Period To Maximum Of Six Months

By: Michelle Cannon-

State Clarifies Compliance Timeline For Employer Harassment Prevention Training

By: Michelle Cannon-

AB 5: New Law Further Limits Employers' Ability To Classify Workers As Independent Contractors

By: Michelle CannonTravis Lindsey-

Supreme Court Curtails Availability Of Defense To Employers In Employment Discrimination Cases

By: Michelle CannonCourtney de Groof-

Significant Cases

  • Cole v. Oroville Union High School District (9th Cir. 2000) 228 F.3d 1092 - Assisted in the successful defense of a Northern California school district's decision not to allow graduates to deliver a sectarian invocation and proselytizing co-valedictorian speech.

  • PLANS, Inc. v. Sacramento City Unified School District (9th Cir. 2003) 319 F.3d 504 - Successfully defended the school district's innovative Waldorf Methods instruction in public schools.

Episode 58 Reflections on Kennedy v. Bremerton School District After Half a School Year

By: Michelle CannonKendra Tovey-

The United States Supreme Court's June 2022 Opinion in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District marked a potential sea change for the considerations school districts must account for in relation to employee private religious expression in the school context, whether as a matter of constitutional free speech rights vs. regulation of employee speech, free exercise of religion, or the Establishment Clause. With the benefit of several months and almost half a school year to consider the impacts and ramifications of Kennedy, host Sloan Simmons talks with Michelle Cannon and Kendra Tovey on their understanding of Kennedy's immediate and anticipated potential impacts, as well as options and challenges for school districts looking ahead.

Episode 52 Personnel Actions and the March 15th Deadline - Are You Ready?

By: Michelle CannonGabriela Flowers-

Host Sloan Simmons joins partners and Lozano Smith Labor and Employment Co-Practice Group Leaders Michelle Cannon and Gabriela Flowers to discuss several important school district labor and employment deadlines that all fall on March 15. This brief but information packed episode includes discussion on various types of release from employment as well as layoffs. Additionally, this year, for the first time ever, classified layoffs are subject to the same deadline.

Fall 2019 Legislative Roundup - Labor & Employment Bills

By: Sloan SimmonsMichelle CannonGabriela Flowers-

Host Sloan Simmons talks with Lozano Smith partners Michelle Cannon and Gabriela Flowers, co-chairs of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group, about important new labor and employment laws passed in 2019 and how they will impact public agency employers in the new year. Topics covered include employment classifications, probationary periods for classified public school employees, new lactation accommodation requirements, settlement agreements with employees, and expansion of anti-discrimination laws, among others. This a must listen as we head into the new year, as most of these new laws become effective January 1, 2020, and may require changes to agency policies.

The Evolving Landscape of Title IX Compliance

By: Michelle Cannon-

Title IX impacts more than just college athletics. Host Sloan Simmons talks with Michelle Cannon and Stephanie White of Lozano Smith's Title IX Impact Team about the current status of the law, including the proposed regulations which contain sweeping revisions to existing practices. This conversation explores the depth and breadth of Title IX and provides important insights for all public school administrators in K-12 through college.