Kathryn Meola provides representation and legal counsel to school districts and county offices of education in the areas of personnel matters, contracts, policy development, general and special education, charter schools, open meeting laws, public records act requests, and administrative hearings and litigation.
Prior to joining AALRR, Ms. Meola was General Counsel and Director of the Education Legal Alliance (ELA) for the California School Boards Association. She was the first woman to serve as General Counsel in the organization’s 88-year history. As General Cousel, Ms. Meola provided legal counsel to the leadership and management of CSBA and oversaw all legal department programs and services. She also led the ELA, a consortium of school districts, county offices of education and regional occupational centers/programs that pooled resources to pursue and defend public education interests in the courts and before state agencies.
Prior to joining CSBA, Ms. Meola also worked for the San Mateo County Counsel’s Office, where as Chief Deputy she advised school districts across the county in both general education and special education law. As Chief Deputy, Ms. Meola served as general counsel for the San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools and the San Mateo County Board of Education, and as counsel to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors and the Deputy County Manager responsible for Criminal Justice and Realignment. She also represented the San Mateo County Community College District, the San Mateo Union High School District, and the Sequoia Union High School District. In addition, Ms. Meola supervised the County’s public safety departments, as well as its School Deputy and Special Education Deputy teams.
Prior to joining the County Counsel's Office, Ms. Meola worked as a Deputy District Attorney for San Mateo County. In this role, she tried more than 50 jury trials to verdict including cases of homicide, domestic violence, sexual assault and insurance fraud.
Honors & Recognitions
2005, San Mateo County Employee of the Year
1994, recipient of the Joseph P. Busch Criminal Justice Award
- Co-counsel on San Mateo County Community College District v. Locus Point Networks, et. al., 17CIV01534, $114 million claimed in damages resulting from breach of contract and FCC auction;
- Co-counsel in the initiation of a Consumer Choice Aggregation (“CCA”), resulting in a new public entity formation (Joint Powers Agreement), Peninsula Clean Energy (“PCE”) comprised of all Cities within the Peninsula, along with San Mateo County (2015-2016);
- Integral in the initiation of a County-wide Coalition of Safe and Supportive Schools and Communities, led by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, by creating the “Big Five” Coordinated emergency response for law enforcement, schools and public agencies and drafting a Memorandum of Understanding for Information Sharing (2013-2016);
- Student (MT) v. Sequoia Union High School District (ALJ Marson) expeditied student discipline administrative due process tried to successful verdict (2017) and upheld on appeal in front of the County Board of Education;
- Student (CM) v. Sequoia Union High School District (ALJ Martin) special education administrative due process hearing tried to successful verdict (2015);
- Yevgeniy Davidovich v. County of San Mateo (2012) USDC 12-CV-02148-JST – § 1983 cause of action for excessive force alleged against San Mateo County Sheriff’s staff when Plaintiff was placed in custody following an arrest for DUI. Successful resolution was reached after filing a Motion for Summary Judgment.
- Marisol Carbonel v. County of San Mateo (2010) Superior Court, #483706, employee alleged wrongful termination, harassment and discrimination claim, settled with a §998 offer of compromise.
- In the Matter of RL (2008) – Portola Valley School District credentialed teacher termination tried to a Commission on Professional Competence (ALJ Benjamin). The verdict affirmed termination of employment.
News & Publications
Events & Speaking Engagements
- ACSA Special Education Academy, Presenter, 2013-2019
- NLB, Presenter, Special Education and General Education topics, 2016-2019
Alerts & Articles
- California Department of Public Health Issues Comprehensive Guidance Governing Opening and Reopening of K-12 Schools01.19.2021
- California Community College Chancellor’s Office Memorandum on Continuity of Education for Programs Supporting the Essential Workforce07.14.2020
- Assembly Bill 218 - What board members should know about the new childhood sexual assault law - CSBA
- Recent developments relating to the California Voting Rights Act - CSBA
- The changing tide of the California Public Records Act and the personnel exemption - CSBA
- The role of the school board’s attorney - CSBA
Community & Professional
- Women Lawyers of Sacramento, Board Member, 2019-present
- City of Belmont, Planning Commission, Commissioner, (2017-2019)
- San Mateo County Charter Review Committee, Member, 2017
- State of California Special Education Advisory Committee, Committee Member, (2016-2018)
- Women in County Government Leadership – New Leaders – Taking the Next Step, Panel Member, (2015)