Michael T. Travis

Senior Counsel | San Diego

Tel: 858.909.9002
Fax: 858.909.9022
Vcard   | Bio


Michael T. Travis is Senior Counsel in Lozano Smith's San Diego Office and is a member of the firm's Labor & Employment, Community Colleges, Litigation, and Governance Practice Groups.


Mr. Travis advises community colleges and school districts regarding labor and employment matters, including employee discipline, discrimination and harassment, investigations, and employee grievances. He also works with clients on general governance and transactional issues, including Brown Act compliance, Public Records Act responses, and general policy questions.

Mr. Travis also represents community colleges and school districts in administrative hearings, litigation, and arbitration. He has prevailed on behalf of public entities in cases involving alleged unfair labor practices, workplace violence, personal injury, contract interpretation, construction, and student expulsion. He is frequently able to resolve disputes creatively and effectively, saving clients valuable time and resources.

Court Admissions

Mr. Travis is admitted to practice before all courts in the State of California.


Mr. Travis received his Juris Doctorate from Chapman University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Pepperdine University. While in law school, Mr. Travis was a recipient of the Dean's Law Academic Scholarship, and participated in mock trial board competitions.

  • In re RG (2022) Tenured Faculty Dismissal. The Office of Administrative Hearings upheld the termination of a long-time tenured community college faculty soccer coach after 11 days of trial for permitting a sexually harassing and intimidating environment on the women's soccer team, and for failing to stop retaliation for protected activity.
  • In re AF (2021) Permanent Classified Dismissal. Successfully obtained arbitration award sustaining the termination of a permanent classified employee for theft, dishonesty, and failure to cooperate with an investigation. The case was based entirely on circumstantial evidence.
  • Somin v. Porter (2018) Successfully obtained a three-year civil harassment restraining order in favor of community college instructor against a former student who threatened to kill her in a series of messages sent on the social media site Facebook. The decision was unanimously upheld by the Court of Appeal.  Read the full Court of Appeal opinion here.
  • J. v. Torrance Unified School District (2016) Litigation pertaining to alleged injuries sustained in a trip-and-fall incident at a middle school. Settled on the first day of trial.
  • Pellenbarg v. Desert Community College District (2020) Obtained dismissal of litigation filed by former adjunct instructor alleging discrimination and failure to assign classes for nuisance value following a successful demurrer and limited discovery.
  • El Camino Community College District v. P.E. (2011) Workplace Violence Restraining Order. Successfully obtained workplace violence restraining order pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 527.8 against former student who sent hundreds of e-mail messages, made numerous telephone calls, and engaged in threatening conduct toward college employees.
  • Californians Aware et al. v. Orange Unified School District et al. (2008) 4th District Court of Appeal, Division 3, No. G038499 [2008 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 7487] Appeal upholding Board of Education's right to participate in public debate and awarding attorney fees under California anti-SLAPP statute (Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16).
  • In re EH (2020) Permanent Classified Suspension. Prevailed in a contested hearing on behalf of a community college which suspended a classified employee without pay for repeated instances of harassing and threatening conduct.
  • In re DC (2020) Permanent Certificated Dismissal. School district filed charges seeking to dismiss long-time classroom teacher following erratic and threatening behavior toward colleagues. The teacher resigned following receipt of the written charges for a nominal settlement amount.
  • In re DB (2019) Student Expulsion Appeal. Successfully defended a school district's expulsion of a student for terroristic threats before the Los Angeles County Board of Education, despite a LACOE staff recommendation that the expulsion be overturned.
  • In re TM (2017) Tenured Faculty Dismissal. Community college District sought to dismiss a long-time tenured faculty member due to dishonesty and mismanagement resulting in more than $40,000 of fraudulent requisitions. The faculty member agreed to resign before a seven-day hearing commenced.
  • In re PG (2017) Permanent Certificated Dismissal. School district terminated a certificated employee of 20+ years due to falsification of District records, dishonesty, and unsatisfactory performance. Employee settled for less than nuisance value at the mandatory settlement conference before the Office of Administrative Hearings.
  • In re KU (2016) Student Expulsion Hearing. School district expelled high school student for repeated incidents of bullying and threatening another student with a gun.  Student agreed to proposed settlement following presentation of District's evidence before administrative hearing panel.
  • AFSCME Local 3112 v. Anaheim Union High School District (2015) Unfair labor practice charge filed with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) alleging bad faith bargaining and impasse conduct by the District on multiple grounds. The administrative law judge ruled in the District's favor on every issue and dismissed the unfair practice charge. The decision was upheld on review by PERB. (41 PERC 80.)
  • In re WD (2014) Permanent Classified Employee Termination. Community college district terminated permanent classified employee for sleeping on the job and poor performance. The hearing officer rejected all of the affirmative defenses offered by the employee in upholding the District's decision to terminate.
  • R. v. Bonita Unified School District (2013) Employee filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) alleging discrimination and retaliation for engaging in protected activity. The administrative law judge dismissed the unfair practice charge following a contested hearing.
  • In re RT (2012) Permanent Classified Employee Termination. School district terminated a classified employee with more than 15 years of service for poor performance and insubordination. The District prevailed in a three-day arbitration hearing, receiving a favorable advisory arbitration award.