Davina Harden acts as counsel to California public school districts, charter schools, and private schools in all aspects of education law and employment law and works with clients to find practical, innovative, and cost-effective solutions. Ms. Harden has broad expertise in the full array of legal matters pertaining to education and is recognized throughout California as a leader in the field. She works closely with general counsel, senior management, and boards of directors and trustees to provide advice and representation in all areas of the law that affect educational institutions.
Ms. Harden has advised on matters ranging from retirement and compensation plans; endowment issues and management of institutional funds; CDE compliance complaints; renewal, revocation, and administrative and judicial appeal processes to real estate; Proposition 39 facilities requests; financing of capital projects; and energy procurement. Other areas of focus include public governance issues; conflicts of interest; the Brown Act; public employee rights; employment discrimination and sexual harassment; and transactional matters, including negotiating, drafting, and reviewing agreements. Ms. Harden regularly conducts investigations and counsels clients on conducting their own investigations.
Ms. Harden has been advising charter schools since the very early days of the Charter Schools Act and has successfully represented charter school clients in a number of highly complex matters, including representing the only two districts in the state with “Parent Trigger” charter schools. Her work includes analyzing charter petition submittals and negotiating revisions to charter petitions; developing written factual findings and resolutions for action on charter petitions; developing memoranda of understanding and operational agreements with charter operators; and overseeing the creation of dependent charter schools. Additionally, she is a highly sought-after presenter at charter school conferences and events, as well as state-wide conferences including CSBA and CLSBA where she speaks on a variety of issues concerning charter authorizers and related parties.
News & Publications
Events & Speaking Engagements
Ms. Harden has presented seminars and workshops to numerous school districts and organizations in California regarding charter schools, sexual harassment laws, student discipline, student attendance options, conflicts of interest, and other current legal issues.
Alerts & Articles
- The Ninth Circuit Holds that Official Use of a Social Media Platform Created a Public Forum, and Blocking Members of the Public Violated the First Amendment08.03.2022
- California Attorney General Declares That Charter School Employees May Not Serve on a County Board of Education in the County Where Their Employing School Is Located11.09.2021
- CDE and CDPH Issue School Reopening Guidance — Local Public Health Officials May Have the Final Word06.16.2020
- Issues to Consider While Implementing Distance Education: Part 2 - Protecting Student Information in the Cloud04.15.2020
- Seven Bay Area Counties Release Virtually Identical “Shelter in Place of Residence” Orders That Will Affect Schools And Local Educational Agencies in Those Counties03.17.2020, updated 04.01.20
- SB 89, SB 117, and CDE Guidance: What Local Educational Agencies Need to Know About the State’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)03.21.2020
- Los Angeles County Issues “Safer at Home” Order Aimed at Drastically Limiting Contact Between Persons03.20.2020
- Governor Orders Certain Funding and Services to Be Maintained During Coronavirus (COVID-19) School Closures03.15.2020
- Regularly Updated
- Willful Defiance Suspensions Ban Expanded to Include Grades 4-8 Students In Favor of Restorative Justice Alternatives09.12.2019
- Court Holds that Charter Renewal Petitions Denied by School Districts Must be “Supported by Evidence,” Finding also that Charter Schools Have a “Vested Right” Once Approved07.23.2019
- Charter Schools Must Comply with the Brown Act, Public Records Act, Government Code Section 1090, and the Political Reform Act, and are Subject to Grand Jury Review01.08.2019
Ms. Harden is a frequent contributor to the firm's publications.
- EdLawConnect Blog, 05.09.2016
Community & Professional
- American Bar Association, Member
- Orange County Bar Association, Member