Dr. Matthew Besmer advises and represents educational institutions in matters involving board governance, the Brown Act, the Public Records Act, the Political Reform Act and other ethics laws, First Amendment issues, labor and employment laws, employee investigations and discipline, student discipline, Title IX compliance, military and other leaves, student privacy/student records, Government/Tort Claims, and independent contractor and contracting requirements, among others. He has extensive public sector litigation experience with a focus on defending public agencies from employment law claims and complaints, and representing and advising law enforcement agencies regarding the disclosure of peace officer personnel records and the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act.

Dr. Besmer understands that decision making often involves evaluating and balancing risk. Sometimes there is no one right answer to a difficult problem. Instead, the best course of action for a client may depend on where the client is most comfortable accepting risk. In this regard, Dr. Besmer provides practical, risk-based legal advice to help clients make decisions that further business objectives and that are consistent with their mission, vision, and values. He shares his clients’ commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Besmer is an Iraq War Veteran. He has significant experience with military and veterans laws and their applicability to educational institutions and public agencies. Dr. Besmer is currently a Lieutenant Colonel serving as a reserve Judge Advocate General Officer in the California Army National Guard.

Prior to joining AALRR, Dr. Besmer was General Counsel with State Center Community College District in Fresno where he was the chief legal officer and advisor to an elected board of trustees, district CEO, and four college presidents serving more than 60,000 students with an operating budget of more than $250,000,000.

Practice Areas

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Community & Professional

Lieutenant Colonel, California Army National Guard serving as a reserve Judge Advocate General Officer


Ed.D., Creighton University
J.D., Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara


  • 2010, California
    2006, Indiana
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