About Us


    The Office of the General Counsel responds to a broad range of legal issues. Our office consists of four attorneys and three support staff. We provide legal counsel and services to OUSD’s governing board, the Superintendent and District departments related to the operation and management of the District.

    The mission of the Office of the General Counsel of the Oakland Unified School District is to effectively represent the District, provide advice and counsel designed to achieve ongoing compliance to support the District's mission, and to aggressively protect and advance the interests of the District and the students it exists to serve.



     Scales of Justice
    Joshua Daniels General Counsel 
    Andrea Epps Deputy General Counsel
    Cindee La Joure Legal Office Administrator
    Janette Puccetti Legal Assistant

    Please note: Our office does not provide legal services to members of the public, students or families.


    Main Practice Areas

     Governance & Policy

    • Advises the Board of Education, Superintendent, school sites and departments on legal requirements, and the development of and compliance with board policies and administrative regulations 
    • Advises on major policy initiatives, including the strategic plan, the balanced scorecard, the Voluntary Resolution Plan (VRP) to end disproportionate suspensions of African American male students, the CORE waiver, the implementation of the Core Curriculum standards, ensuring equal access to educational opportunities for all students, including English Language Learners, special education students, foster students and students from at risk, low income communities. 
    • Advises the Board of Education in open and closed session, regular and special meetings 
    • Advises the District on public records laws, open government laws and conflict of interest laws and requirements 

     Labor and Employment  

    • Advises the District on public employees’ legal rights and duties 
    • Collaborates with Labor Relations and other departments around issues relating to collective bargaining rights 
    • Advises on employee discipline and misconduct 
    • Represents the District in employee discipline and termination proceedings 
    • Represents the District in Labor and Employment law matters before state and federal courts 
    • Investigates and responds to complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and other agencies 


    • Investigates and resolves Government Tort Claims 
    • Defends the District in litigation against the District 

    Business Operations

    • Drafts, negotiates, and/or reviews contracts and memoranda of understanding (MOU’s) 
    • Advises staff on matters related to procurement, contracts and agreements 
    • Prepares and coordinates Request for Proposal's, Request for Qualification's, and other contract outreach 
    • Supports fiscal services audits, waivers and compliance 
    • Supports the District’s Facilities and Buildings and Grounds programs and services, including the Bond program modernization programs, local business program and Project Labor Agreement 

    Special Education 

    • Handles state and federal special education and Section 504 compliance issues 
    • Represents the District at special education mediations and due process hearings 
    • Represents the District in special education litigation 

    General Student Matters

    • Investigates and responds to regulatory inquiries from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and the California Department of Education (CDOE)
    • Facilitates child custody conflicts and abuse reporting responsibilities at school sites 
    • Responds to student records requests 
    • Advises school sites and student discipline office in suspension, expulsion, and transfer of students 
    • Advises on constitutional issues related to student’s civil rights, including free speech, searches, non-discrimination and other related issues 

    Charter Schools 

    • Supports compliance with Proposition 39 and charter schools facilities requests 
    • Reviews charters for legal compliance 

     1000 Broadway, Suite 300 • Oakland, CA 94607
    Phone: (510) 879-8535
Last Modified on November 12, 2019