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Sloan R. Simmons

Partner | Sacramento

Attorney Insights
Tel: 916.329.7433
Fax: 916.329.9050
Vcard   | Bio


Sloan R. Simmons is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Sacramento office and co-chair of the firm's Litigation Practice Group. His areas of expertise are civil rights and all forms of school district and public agency trial court litigation and appeals, as well as student issues. Mr. Simmons' years of experience on student issues for school districts of all sizes and in all regions of the state has resulted in his expertise in nearly all student related matters. Mr. Simmons was named a Top Lawyer in Schools & Education by Sacramento Magazine in 2020.

Presenter Experience

Mr. Simmons has presented on the intersection of student free speech and other constitutional and statutory rights, discipline, and the technology and several other issues before the California School Boards Association (CSBA), Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), California Small School Districts' Association (SSDA), California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance (CASCWA), the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), the Council of School Attorneys (COSA) associated with the National School Boards Association (NSBA), and the California Council of School Attorneys (CCSA).


While attending law school he received the honor of Outstanding Oral Advocate, was selected as a member of the Order of the Barristers, and as a member of the University of California, Davis, National Moot Court Team. He also held the position of Senior Articles Editor for the 2002-2003 and co-chaired the law school's Advocates for the Rights of Children student organization. As an undergraduate, Mr. Simmons presented his Honors Thesis, "Justice William J. Brennan Jr.: Bringing Justice to Education" at the 2001 Western Regional Honors Conference.

U.S. DOE Releases Updated Federal Guidance Regarding Religious Expression in Public Schools in Light of Kennedy

By: Sloan SimmonsKendra Tovey-

Ninth Circuit Confirms Title IX Protections for Perceived Sexual Orientation

By: Sloan SimmonsSarah Fama-

Ninth Circuit Upholds Student Discipline for Social Media Posts

By: Sloan SimmonsJoshua Whiteside-

U.S. Supreme Court Holds USERRA Damages Claims Viable Against Arms of the State in Federal Court

By: Sloan Simmons-

New OCR Guidance Regarding Title IX and Pregnancy

By: Sloan SimmonsSarah Fama-

Updates Regarding CDPH Guidance for Schools and Student Vaccine Mandates Heading into the 2022-2023 School Year

By: Sloan SimmonsAlyssa BivinsDavis Adams-

UPDATE: Ninth Circuit Finds Lawsuit Regarding COVID-19 Limits on In-Person Learning Now Moot

By: Sloan SimmonsKaitlyn Tucker-

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Football Coach Conducting Brief, Quiet, and Personal Post-Game Prayer on the Field

By: Sloan SimmonsKendra Tovey-

United States Supreme Court Speaks on Government Versus Private Speech in Residents' Display of Flags on Public Property

By: Sloan SimmonsJames McCann-

Federal District Court Upholds Consequences for Student's Offensive Tweet

By: Sloan Simmons-

Updates to Masking Requirements for Students and Employees

By: Sloan SimmonsJoshua Whiteside-

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

By: Sloan Simmons-

Legal Challenges to Student Vaccine Mandates Produce Varying Results

By: Sloan SimmonsAlyssa Bivins-

Ninth Circuit Refuses to Enforce OCR's "Dear Colleague Letters" as Binding Law in Disability Discrimination Suits for Money Damages

By: Sloan Simmons-

UPDATE: Please Note, this Opinion has Been Vacated to Be Heard En Banc by Ninth Circuit

Ninth Circuit Finds COVID-19 Limits on Public School In-Person Learning Permissible, but Not for Private Schools

By: Sloan SimmonsKaitlyn Tucker-

Appellate Court Ruling Sheds Light on the Government Claims Act, Sexual Abuse Cover Up and Related Damages

By: Sloan Simmons-

School District Properly Placed Coach on Leave After He Refused to Cease Public Prayers Following Football Games

By: Sloan SimmonsAlyssa Bivins-

Supreme Court Sets Aside Student's Cheer Team Suspension, but Confirms Schools' Authority to Regulate Off-Campus Expression

By: Sloan SimmonsAndrew Blan-

New Appellate Court Case Holds College Not Required to Hold Live Evidentiary Hearing before Issuing Written Reprimand

By: Sloan Simmons-

Public School Districts Cannot be Sued Under California's Unruh Civil Rights Act for Disability Discrimination

By: Sloan SimmonsErin Frazor-

Supreme Court Keeps DACA in Place, Emphasizing Importance of Procedural Requirements for the Program's Rescission

By: Sloan Simmons-

Status of Federal and State Laws on Student Gender Identify Rights: Federal Lawsuit Seeks to Block Participation of Transgender Athletes and the Office for Civil Rights Weighs In

By: Sloan Simmons-

Pair of Cases Uphold School Districts' Limitations on Parent Communications and Access to Campus

By: Sloan Simmons-

Court of Appeal Issues Opinion in School Districts' Favor in Latest Round of P.E. Minutes Litigation

By: Sloan Simmons-

California Supreme Court Sides Against School Districts in State Mandates Case

By: Sloan SimmonsNicholas Clair-

Court of Appeal Confirms Limits on Severance Payouts to Public Employees

By: Sloan SimmonsKyle Raney-

Ninth Circuit Addresses Impact Of Dismissals And Settlement Of Due Process Complaints On The IDEA's Administrative Remedy Exhaustion Requirement

By: Sloan SimmonsAmanda Cordova-

California Supreme Court Holds Firefighting Immunity Under California's Government Claims Act Is A Waivable Affirmative Defense

By: Sloan Simmons-

The United States Supreme Court Again Confronts The Reach Of The Establishment Clause

By: Sloan Simmons-

Supreme Court Says Plaintiffs In Law Enforcement First Amendment Retaliation Cases Must Prove No Probable Cause For Arrest

By: Sloan Simmons-

Appellate Court Addresses Evidentiary Issue Impacting Burgeoning Field Of Child Abuse Litigation Against Public Entities

By: Sloan Simmons-

Federal Agencies Withdraw Previously Issued Guidance On The Nondiscriminatory Administration Of School Discipline

By: Sloan Simmons-

New OCR Case Processing Manual - Significant Changes For Public School Civil Rights Enforcement

By: Sloan Simmons-

New Law Entitles Students To Wear Tribal Regalia Or Recognized Objects Of Religious, Ceremonial Or Cultural Significance As An Adornment At School Graduation Ceremonies

By: Sloan Simmons-

New Law Limits School District Collection of Debts from Students and Penalties for Debts

By: Sloan Simmons-

Significant Cases

  • In Anderson Union High School District v. Shasta Secondary Home School (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 262, Mr. Simmons was part of the Lozano Smith litigation team that successfully argued, in a case of first impression, that the geographic and site limitations of the Charter Schools Act (Ed. Code, § 47600 et seq.) are applicable to all charter schools, including “nonclassroom-based” programs.
  • In T. by and through L.T. v. Baldo et al. (9th Cir. 2019) 798 Fed.Appx. 80, Mr. Simmons successfully argued that a dozen school administrators and employees were entitled to qualified immunity for Fourth Amendment and substantiative due process claims alleging arising from their implementation of restraints provided for under a student’s IEP.
  • In Newark Unified School District v. Superior Court (2015) 245 Cal.App.4th 887, Mr. Simmons successfully obtained appellate writ relief in an opinion where the Court of Appeal held that a public entity may seek the return of and “claw back” documents protected by the attorney-client privilege that are inadvertently disclosed in a response to a Public Records Act request, establishing new precedent on this issue of first impression.
  • In Nathan G. v. Clovis Unified School District (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1393, Mr. Simmons successfully defended the district’s involuntary transfer of student to continuation high school and obtained first published opinion interpreting the involuntary transfer statute, appropriate level of review under same, and the nature of other means of correction necessary before imposing an involuntary transfer.
  • In Clovis Unified School District v. Chiang (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 794, Mr. Simmons assisted school district in invalidating audits of several state mandated cost reimbursement claims worth more than $30 million, based upon the use of invalid, underground auditing documentation rule by the State Controller's Office.
  • In N. v. Morgan Hill Unified School District (2018) 20 Cal.App.5th 607, Mr. Simmons successfully defeated a petition for writ of administrative mandate, which sought to reverse an expulsion of a student who repeatedly sexually assaulted a classmate, and later prevailed on appeal, obtaining the first published appellate opinion to clarify the evidentiary rules and standard of review for expulsion proceedings.
  • In T. by and through L.T. v. Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District et al. (E.D. Cal. June 20, 2017), Mr. Simmons successfully argued for the dismissal of education-related section 504 and ADA claims due to application of statute of limitations, among other successful arguments.
  • In Koenig v. Warner Unified School District (2019) 41 Cal.App.5th 43, Mr. Simmons successfully argued that the health benefits provision of employment termination agreement violated statutory limitation on noncash benefits paid upon termination of local agency administrators' contracts and that the plaintiff was otherwise not entitled the relief sought.
  • In A. v. Raymond (E.D. Cal. July 22, 2013) 2013 WL 3816565, assisted in successfully defeating a bid to halt school closures by way of preliminary injunction, where the district court agreed that plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their equal protection, American Disabilities Act, and due process claims challenging the school closures.
  • In McGuire v. Roseville Joint Union High School District (E.D. Cal. 2022) 2022 WL 4096014 and 2022 WL 4473391, Mr. Simmons successfully moved to dismiss a complaint alleging claims against a school district in relation to the district’s implementation of the State’s COVID-19 face covering requirement and related issues.
  • Simmons conducted briefing preparation on the published decision Alex G. v. Board of Trustees (E.D. Cal. 2005) 387 F.Supp.2d 1119, successfully defending against section 504 and ADA discrimination and retaliation claims in the special education context.
  • In Rimando v. Alum Rock Union Elementary School District (9th Cir. 2009) 356 Fed.Appx. 989, Mr. Simmons successfully argued that a California public school district is a “State employer” for purposes of the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) and consequently suits against school districts under USERRA must be filed in state court, a decision which is the first of its kind in the Ninth Circuit.
  • Simmons has also prepared many amicus curiae briefs on behalf of school district, state and national school and municipality associations, including briefs before the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, federal district courts, and over a dozen of such briefs in cases before the California Court of Appeal, on topic including employee speech, public finance, state mandates, student disability rights, charter schools, and state mandates.

Episode 51 (Part 2) Student Vaccines and Student Masks - Late February 2022 Developments

By: Sloan SimmonsJoshua Whiteside-

Hosts Joshua Whiteside and Sloan Simmons are back to discuss the latest litigation development related to a school district's student COVID-19 vaccination mandate and the rapidly changing guidance and directives related to student and staff mask requirements, including CDPH's recent announcement that face masks are no longer legally required indoors at K-12 schools after March 11,2022

Episode 51 (Part 1) Student Vaccines and Student Masks - Latest Developments

By: Sloan SimmonsJoshua Whiteside-

Host Joshua Whiteside joins Lozano Smith partner Sloan Simmons to discuss the present status of student COVID-19 vaccination and student masks requirements, including the status of State directives on point and the results of litigation in these areas.

Editor's Note: After listening to this episode click here for Part 2 of this topic. Part 2 covers related developments occurring in late February following the release of this podcast.

Episode 50 Modular Buildings: A Primer for School Districts

By: Sloan SimmonsArne Sandberg-

Host Sloan Simmons joins partner Arne Sandberg to discuss modular buildings for California school districts, including the basics about modular buildings, procurement alternatives, and new legal developments impacting this area of school construction.

Episode 47 The Supreme Court Speaks: Guidelines for Regulation of Student Off-Campus Speech

By: Michael SmithSloan Simmons-

For the first time since 2007, the United States Supreme Court has weighed-in on student free speech rights under the First Amendment. In Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., the high court addressed for the first time the parameters and limits for schools' regulation of student off-campus speech. In this episode, our attorneys break down the Supreme Court's decision and its implications for California school districts with Lozano Smith student speech experts Mike Smith and Sloan Simmons.

On Location at CSBA's AEC - Insights on Critical Issues Impacting Education Agencies by Statewide Education Law Experts (A Bonus Episode of the Lozano Smith Podcast)

By: Sloan SimmonsMichael Smith-

While on location at the California School Boards Association's (CSBA) 2019 Annual Education Conference, host Sloan Simmons talks with CSBA General Counsel, Kathryn Meola, and one of Lozano Smith's founding partners, Mike Smith, about critical legal issues impacting educational and other public agencies heading in 2020 and beyond.

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.

Top Myths of School Avoidance (Part 2)

By: Sloan SimmonsJennifer Baldassari-

In Part 2 of our discussion on school avoidance, Sloan Simmons continues the discussion with Jennifer Baldassari and Susan Bishop about case examples, myths, and best practices.

Top Myths of School Avoidance (Part 1)

By: Jennifer BaldassariSloan Simmons-

In Part 1 of our discussion on school avoidance, Sloan Simmons talks with Jennifer Baldassari and Susan Bishop about the challenges districts face in school avoidance issues from both a legal and practical perspective, highlighting the top myths associated with school avoidance along the way.

Fulfilling the Promise of the Charter Schools Act - How Competition Sparked Trilingual Immersion in a Traditional Public School

By: Megan MacySloan Simmons-

In this Lozano Smith podcast, moderator Sloan Simmons engages with Dr. Daryl Camp, Superintendent of the Riverbank Unified School District, and Lozano Smith Partner Megan Macy, regarding a burgeoning and healthy competition between two separate dual immersion programs operated in Riverbank, one through a dependent charter school and another through in a traditional district school. Their discussion explores how this existing dynamic in Riverbank serves one of the original purposes of the Charter Schools Act, the benefits of this unique situation, and some of the challenges which arose along the way.