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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), and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA).


Mr. Simmons' article "Disciplining Students for E-Communications" was published in the Daily Journal in January 2010. His February and March 2012 articles "What's Next in ACLU's Student Fee Case" and "Cancer Awareness Slogans Pose Tough Challenges for Schools," were also published in the Daily Journal.


Mr. Simmons earned his J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law, and his B.A. (summa cum laude), with Honors in the Major and Honors in General Education, from California State University, Chico.

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.

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 SimmonsEverett McLean II-

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 SimmonsStephanie WhiteBrooke Bolton Tiutan-

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 SimmonsJenell Van Bindsbergen-

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

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenSloan Simmons-

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

By: Sloan SimmonsAllison Hernandez-

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-

Ninth Circuit Upholds California's Voters' Choice Act

By: Sloan SimmonsMichael Linden-

School Surveillance Video May be a Student Record, Triggering FERPA Obligations

By: Sloan Simmons-

Legislature Stops Local Agencies from Limiting the Presentation of Childhood Sexual Abuse Claims

By: Sloan SimmonsTrevin Sims-

Lawmakers Extend Limits on Disruption and Defiance Discipline, Expand Use of Uniform Complaint Procedures

By: Sloan SimmonsMichelle Sliwa-

FDA Approves Marijuana-Based Drug for Pediatric Epilepsy

By: Sloan SimmonsAlyssa Bivins-

Supreme Court Opinion on Wedding Cake for Same-Sex Couples Provides Cautionary Tale for Public Entities

By: Michael SmithSloan SimmonsJoshua Whiteside-

Court of Appeal Clarifies Issues Impacting Student Expulsions for Sexual Battery

By: Sloan SimmonsKyle Raney-

California Attorney General Publishes Guide on the Rights of Undocumented Immigrant Students and Families

By: Sloan Simmons-

Local Agencies May Enact Presentation Requirements for Childhood Sexual Abuse Claims, Court Rules

By: Sloan Simmons-

Immigration Enforcement Actions in California

By: Sloan SimmonsManuel Martinez-

Student Walkouts: What Your District Needs to Know

By: Sloan Simmons-

Student Athlete's Right to Kneel during National Anthem Likely Protected by the First Amendment

By: Sloan Simmons-

School District Need Not Accommodate Coach's Request to Publicly Pray at Football Games

By: Sloan SimmonsAlyssa Bivins-

Rescission of DACA: What Public Agencies Need to Know

By: Dulcinea GranthamSloan Simmons-

California Supreme Court Denies Untimely Childhood Sexual Abuse Damages Claim

By: Sloan SimmonsErin Frazor-

New School Funding Scheme Does Not Eliminate Immunity From Federal Damage Claims

By: Sloan Simmons-

Supreme Court Finds Trademark Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

By: Michael SmithSloan Simmons-

Supreme Court Strikes Down Denial of Government Grant to Church

By: Michael SmithSloan Simmons-

OCR Issues New Instructions on Transgender Student Complaints

By: Sloan Simmons-

Federal Court Upholds Texas School Board's Practice of Student Invocations at School Board Meetings

By: Sloan SimmonsKyle Raney-

2017 Annual Notice of Parental Rights and Responsibilities Updates

By: Sloan Simmons-

Ninth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment, Finding Employer's Response to Discrimination and Harassment Complaints Inadequate

By: Sloan Simmons-

Ninth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment, Finding Employer's Response to Discrimination and Harassment Complaints Inadequate

By: Sloan Simmons-

New Federal Guidance Regarding Transgender Students Will Not Impact California Schools

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 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Mr. 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.

  • Mr. Simmons also prepared briefing for Chavez v. City of Los Angeles (2010) 47 Cal.4th 970, in support of the City of Los Angeles on behalf of amicus curiae the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties, which is one of several federal and state cases in which Mr. Simmons has prepared amicus curiae briefs.

  • In A.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.

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. Presented by 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.