formerly of San Diego Unified School District (2008)
Parham & Rajcic
and Orange County Office of Education

Bresee  put Assistant
Superintendent Richard
Werlin on the stand to
quote JoEllen Hamilton.
JoEllen Hamilton was
kept out of the courtroom.

Hamilton had contradicted
Werlin in her deposition.
Months earlier, the true
had been submitted to
How did Mark
Bresee win the
Larkins OAH case
for CVESD?

Atty. Mark Bresee
of Parham & Rajcic, who
went on to work at Orange
County Office of Education
and San Diego Unified
School District (2008),
submitted a phony
document, prepared by
Rick Werlin, to OAH
None of the
teachers listed
appeared to
testify at CVESD
OAH hearing.

Most likely this occurred
because those teachers
who had been deposed had
contradicted themselves
and Richard Werlin.  

Maura Larkins' own
attorney Elizabeth
Schulman refused to point
out to the Professional
Competence Commission
that the district's witnesses
contradicted themselves
and each other.

Instead, she and Mark
Bresee agreed to have
notes written by these
people accepted into
evidence as if the writers
had been sworn in.

Legal Question #1:
Are these teachers
therefore guilty of perjury?

Legal Question #2:
Did the lawyers violate the
The Capistrano Dispatch

"The Capistrano Unified School District board of trustees approved the
contract for Superintendent A. Woodrow Carter on June 2, but not before
three trustees walked out in protest.

"The contract passed 4-0 after trustees Ellen Addonizio, Larry
Christensen and Anna Bryson left.

"... the board voted to rescind the contract it had approved
February 25, based on legal counsel from Mark Bresee of the
Orange County Department of Education.

"The rescinded contract had garnered controversy after
claims that a “golden parachute” was later inserted without
board approval, violating the Brown Act.

[Maura Larkins' note:  It looks like Mark Bresee is taking lessons
from San Diego's Homero Suarez, who changed his own contract.  
GCCCD board approved, and offered Suarez indemnification
for any wrongdoing past or future.]

"...Though Carter signed the contract, he is not accepting the full amount
of $273,000 annually... he would be back-paid if and when he decides to
accept the contracted amount..."

[More about Capistrano School District]
Site Map
Attorneys who have
helped cover up
wrongdoing by submitting
untrue testimony
and falsified documents in
schools are in charge of
training both new board
members and new school
California Council of School
Attorneys CCSA/CSA Joint
Annual Meeting
November 29, 2007
San Diego Marriott Hotel &
Session for New Attorneys
and for Those Who Can’t
Remember: The Basics of
Personnel/ Student
Discipline/ Client Relations

Mark Bresee, Counsel,
Orange CDE
Mark Bresee!

Werlin was apparently
told--perhaps by
Bresee-- to woo  Larkins'
Schulman with stories
about his family
connections being similar
to hers.  Werlin did so, to
great effect.  Schulman
kept evidence out of the
hearing about Werlin's

Bizarre antics on the
part of Judge Ahler, who
took panelists into a
side room while COURT
SESSION, and later
claimed that documents
accepted into evidence
and recorded in his own
did not
Why did Mark Bresee
need to do these things to
Because he was
up crimes.
Attorney Mark Bresee

Bresee CVESD  hearing

Bresee's Phony Documents

Bresee and OAH

Bresee and school attorneys

Bresee and Schulman

Missing Bate-stamped docs

Bate-stamped docs produced
A few Bresee Court Cases

CVESD v. Larkins

D034530        Kidder v.
Grossmont Union High School
District, et al.
Cause called on merits.  Mark
Robert Bresee, Esq. argued for
respondent.  Michael J.
Kumeta, Esq. argued for
appellant.  Cause submitted.
September 11, 2000

State of California, Court of
Fourth Appellate District,
Division 3
May 23, 2001
Merits. Cause called. Michael L.
Gilmore argues for appellant.
Mark R. Bresee argues for
respondent. Cause submitted.

Torrance Unified School District
Minutes of the Regular Meeting
of the Board of Education
December 10, 2007
Ratification of Agreement with
Mark Bresee, Esq. for Personal
Liability Litigation Services
SDCOE's Dan Shinoff is in charge
Mark Bresee helps with the
CUSD Superintendent Accepts Pay
By Lacey Nadeau
San Clemente Times
Jun  6, 2008

“What matters is what you do tonight to correct and address all of
that,” Bresee told the board..."

"...The approval of the new contract, which does not include the above
phrase, passed June 2 with only four votes, as trustees Ellen Addonizio,
Larry Christensen and Anna Bryson walked out of the meeting.

Christensen excused himself after saying he wasn’t comfortable voting
and feared the board was in violation of the Brown Act.

Addonizio expressed frustration that the contract the trustees rescinded
wasn’t the contract with the controversial phrase...

...A.02. Pledge of Allegiance
...D. Board Member Items
...D.03. Employment Agreement with
Mark Bresee, General Counsel
E. Action/Information Items - Human
Resources, Labor Relations and Ethics...
K.22. Agreement with Higgs,
Fletcher & Mack, LLP
San Diego Unified School District Board Actions for July 8, 2008...
Luis Acle, John de Beck, Shelia Jackson, Mitz Lee and Katherine Nakamura
present. The board made the following appointments/reassignments, with
effective dates to be determined
...BRESEE, Mark, General Counsel...
Downloaded Aug. 5, 2008:

Legal Office Staff

Theodore Buckley--
General Counsel

Diane Harrelson
Legal Secretary II

Jose A. Gonzales
Deputy General Counsel   

Adel Epley
Legal Secretary I  

Sandra T.M. Chong
Assistant General Counsel   

Bonnie Roe
Legal Secretary I

Patrick Frost
Assistant General Counsel

Lydia Oakes
Legal Secretary I
What are San Diego Unified School District
trustees thinking?

[Maura Larkins comment: when you fire your lawyer, but you keep paying
him, it looks like you wanted him to do certain things, but you had to fire him
because those things were illegal or unethical.  This appears to me to be
indemnification of a public entity lawyer, and it doesn't smell good to me].

Voice of San Diego
August 6, 2008

"... [SDUSD] trustees gave the green light to a $217,500 contract that would
allow attorney Mark Bresee to keep his paycheck and health benefits for up
to a year if he were fired. Bresee's salary is 16 percent higher than the
attorney he replaced, Ted Buckley. And like the agreement the school
district struck with Buckley, his agreement provides that if San Diego Unified
fires him, he will continue to receive his salary and benefits.

"Buckley was contracted to receive his pay for up to 18 months; Bresee
would receive his for a year or the remainder of his contract, whichever is
less. Buckley said the provision did not apply because he had decided to
retire from the school district."
Principals Question A.M. Meeting on School Bond
Voice of San Diego

After Superintendent Terry Grier asked principals to attend a meeting about
volunteering to help pass Proposition S, the $2.1 billion facilities bond on the ballot for
San Diego Unified schools, principals union leaders and bond opponents are
concerned that the school district overstepped the line between informing its
employees and advocating.

High school principals received an e-mail from their supervisor asking them to "please
attend" an early morning meeting at the Girl Scouts headquarters, which is not a San
Diego Unified building. Nobody knew what the meeting was about, said Bruce McGirr,
president of the Administrators Association. They were surprised when Grier began
speaking about the bond measure and asked them to sign up for phone banks touting
Proposition S.

Bond campaign consultant Larry Remer said the meeting was held to solicit volunteers
to help pass Proposition S, and to inform principals of how to avoid violating the law,
which bars them from using public resources to campaign.

"Everybody was there on their own time as a volunteer and it wasn’t on school property,"
Remer said, adding that he did not call or lead the meeting.

But McGirr said it left principals "a little bit queasy. It didn’t seem very voluntary to

An outside expert said the meeting steered clear of campaigning with district funds
because the meeting was not held on San Diego Unified property. As long as the
employees weren’t expected to be at their schools, it probably wasn’t a violation, said
Robert Stern, president of the Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies.
Principals have no set work hours listed in their agreement with San Diego Unified.

"If they’re not expected to be in school, it’s not a problem," Stern said. "It might raise
some questions in terms of forcing people to be there, but it doesn’t seem like any
money was expended."

Parent blogger Paul Bowers has an interesting take on the meeting and how it could
impact the dynamic between Grier and principals, who have voted to unionize:

For a man thwarted daily by the teacher’s union, why would he add fuel to the rising fire
of the Administrator’s Association? ... I’m surprised how poorly Grier has treated his
employees.  Principals are possibly his most important set of employees. Clearly the
low opinion he has for these boots-on-the-ground workers will cost him their support.

I’m playing phone tag with school district attorney Mark Bresee, who attended the
meeting, about his understanding of the meeting and the law.

Update: I spoke yesterday with Mark Bresee, general counsel for San Diego Unified,
who said he voluntarily attended the meeting. He characterized it as an
informational meeting to explain that principals could not use school district funds,
supplies, services or equipment to promote the passage or defeat of Proposition S,
and to inform them about volunteering opportunities. "The bottom line is, even if this
meeting had happened in the board room at 11 o'clock in the morning I still think it
was perfectly legal," Bresee said.

October 10, 2008
School Attorney Mark R. Bresee
Prosecutors: Capistrano school board violated state law

The board broke open-meeting laws when it gave its
superintendent a raise at a closed meeting, but it won't be
subjected to litigation because the district is in financial turmoil.

Los Angeles Times
By Stuart Pfeifer
September 11, 2008

The Capistrano Unified School District board violated state law by awarding
a pay raise to its superintendent at a meeting closed to the public, the
Orange County district attorney's office has concluded.

The vote earlier this year on the pay raise marked the latest in a series of
alleged violations of California's open-meeting laws by the Capistrano
school district board of trustees, according to the district attorney's report,
which was made public Tuesday.

Prosecutors in the Sept. 2 report said they would not pursue sanctions
against the beleaguered district because the board later rescinded the pay
raise and because the district is having financial difficulties.

At its Feb. 25 meeting, trustees met in closed session and voted to award a $58,000
pay raise to Superintendent A. Woodrow Carter and then failed to disclose their
decision in a public meeting, according to a letter to the district signed by William J.
Feccia, a senior assistant district attorney.
In addition, Carter signed a contract that provided him with $400,000 in severance pay
if the board fired him, even though the board did not discuss such a benefit, Feccia
concluded. Rather, the severance clause "appeared" on the contract without the
board's approval, Feccia said in the letter.

Capistrano schools trustees rescinded Carter's pay raise June 2 after a public outcry
about the manner in which it was awarded.

In its investigation of the pay raise, prosecutors listened to a recording of the
closed-door Feb. 25 meeting. The recordings revealed "a disturbing disdain, if not
outright contempt, on the part of some members of the [board] for public opinion and
their own constituents," Feccia wrote.

Two of the board members who voted to award the pay raise were recalled from office
June 24 and replaced by trustees who pledged to follow open-meeting laws.

Before that recall, the district attorney's office had "seriously considered" initiating legal
proceedings against the board, Feccia wrote. Prosecutors decided not to do that
because the litigation would create a financial burden for the district at a time of
financial turmoil and because a new majority on the board has promised to follow
open-meeting laws.
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Office Admin Hearings

Larkins OAH Hearing
Capistrano USD
Capistrano Unified School District
Parham &
Latest CVESD lawsuit:
the Danielle Coziahr case
Atty. Pamela Dempsey for
school district
Attys. Laura Joan Farris
and Dan Carroll for plaintiff

Dec. 2007
Pamela Dempsey loses
lawsuit against CVESD
Who trains new
school attorneys?
Blog posts re Terry Grier, SDUSD superintendent
Jan. 18, 2011
Lawsuit by La
Habra teachers
goes before

Judge will decide legality
of actions by the La
Habra City School District
board in connection with
teacher pay and benefits.

SANTA ANA — A judge
will decide the legality of
salary freezes imposed
on teachers by the La
Habra City School District
along with automatic
deductions from
teachers' paychecks to
help offset a price
increase in their health
insurance plans.

Orange County Superior
Court Judge Derek W.
Hunt said during today's
hearing that he made
would not make an
immediate ruling on the
lawsuit filed by seven
months ago by La Habra
Education Association –
the union representing
the district's teachers –
against the district.

Teachers in the La Habra
City School District
picketed in front of
schools in December.
The district's 225
teachers went on strike
after months of failed
contract talks. A lawsuit
filed by the teachers
against the district is
related in part to a salary
freeze imposed on the
teachers by the district in

The union sued the
school district in Orange
County Superior Court
last June, after the district
imposed a temporary
freeze in the automatic
pay raises that teachers
receive each year, and
automatically began
deducting additional
funds from teachers'
paychecks to help offset
a price increase in their
health insurance plans.

Union leaders contend
the actions were illegal.

The district maintains that
the actions were legal
because teachers'
employment contract
expired in June 2009 and
the union and district had
been unable to come to a
new agreement.

Attorneys for both sides,
along with district
Superintendent Susan
Belenardo and union
leaders, attended the
court session.

Attorney Mark Bresee,
who represents the
school district, said he
didn't know when a ruling
would be handed down.

"It's completely in the
judge's discretion,"
Bresee said. "He gave no

The outcome of the court
case is unrelated to the
current impasse in
negotiations between the
district and its teachers.

That stalemate ultimately
led to a strike in mid-
December by the

Also yet to be decided
are three unfair practice
charges that the union
filed against the district
with the Public Employee
Relations Board (PERB).
San Diego Unified School District
EDUCATION: Inland schools must prove they are
teaching P.E. under pact
Feb. 26, 2015

The Riverside Unified School District was one of 37 California school districts sued in
2013 over allegations that elementary school students were not receiving the proper
amount of state-mandated physical education instruction. Tentative settlements with the
districts have been reached.

Four Inland school districts must prove they are teaching elementary school physical
education as required by state law, under terms of a tentative lawsuit settlement.

A 2013 suit accused 37 school districts throughout California of failing to provide at least
200 minutes of P.E. each 10 days of school, as mandated by the state.

The Inland districts named in the lawsuit are San Bernardino City, Riverside, Desert
Sands and Palm Springs unified school districts. San Bernardino school officials denied
they violated the law but settled for financial reasons.

This week, Donald Driscoll, a parent and attorney for the advocacy group Cal200, said he
filed paperwork in San Francisco Superior Court to settle the lawsuit under the condition
that districts show proof they are teaching P.E.

Under the proposed settlement, districts would monitor elementary teachers’ time on P.
E. for three years, publicly post the schedules and make reports to school boards.

The court would monitor the compliance and classrooms would be subject to
unannounced visits to ensure that teachers are complying with P.E. requirements.

The settlement requirements would only apply to the districts named in the lawsuit,
Driscoll said.

Gary Montgomery, an attorney with the Riverside law firm Thompson & Colegate, which
represents the Riverside Unified School District, said that while there is a tentative
settlement, it still must be approved by the court.

Montgomery said he could not comment while the settlement is pending.

The parties will be in court March 20 to get final approval of the settlements.

Mark Bresee, attorney for the San Bernardino City Unified School District, said the district
offers the required amount of physical education and said the decision to settle was
largely financial.

“When you have 37 districts represented by 10 attorneys managing complex litigation, it
can get expensive,“ Bresee said.

San Bernardino schools spokeswoman Maria Garcia said the district would continue to
provide 100 minutes of the required instruction through teachers qualified to teach
elementary school P.E. and 100 minutes though classroom teachers per 10 days.

“We’re also asking schools to document their plans,” Garcia said.

The district has 52 elementary schools in San Bernardino and Highland and in the
unincorporated communities of Muscoy and Devore.

As part of the settlement, the 37 districts would split attorney fees and costs, Bresee
said. No damages will be paid. San Bernardino schools’ portion will be about $50,000,
he said.

Driscoll said he did not seek class action status for all California districts because of the
difficult legal requirements to do so...
San Diego Education Report
San Diego
Education Report