What's it like to work with F3?
Our relationship with our clients makes all the difference when defending you against an allegation or successfully pursuing your claim. Knowing our clients as well as we do – the players, how decisions were made, and how we arrived at this point – gives you a clear advantage as we pursue your goals in a dispute.
What can F3 solve for you?
If a conflict can be advantageously resolved out of court through arbitration, mediation, or other alternative to trial, we are the highly skilled advocates you want on your team. When we prepare a case, however, we do so with the assumption it will be tried and never hesitate to take your case to court when that solution is clearly best.
Top Issues in Litigation
“F3 Law’s litigation services are focused on delivering effective and efficient legal representation to clients facing complex and high-stakes disputes, from initial case assessment and strategy development to trial and appeals, while always striving to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.”Shiva Stein, Partner
From employment law to construction defects, from personal injury to board elections, and from school security to Open Records Act compliance and so much more, school operations and both extremely complex and highly controlled by federal and state law, agency regulations, and local mandates. It’s no surprise public education agencies find themselves enmeshed in a tremendous variety of disputes. At F3, we are trial lawyers and much more, regularly representing school districts, county offices of education, community colleges, and school administrators throughout California in all aspects of civil disputes. We’re there to help from pre-litigation through trial in state or federal court, in mediation and arbitration, and before federal and state administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Civil Rights Department (formerly DFEH), the California Labor Commissioner’s Office, and others. Because F3 is a full-service education law firm with a scope that encompasses all that school districts and public colleges do, when clients need to defend against an allegation or occasionally pursue a claim as plaintiff, they turn to F3, the firm that knows more about schools and the law than just about anyone.
We also know our clients – the people, their goals, the origins of their disputes, and much more – so applying cookie-cutter solutions is never how we work. Law firms without our clarity of focus often simply get it wrong. For example, a school district client sued by class action plaintiffs engaged a standard insurance defense firm through its carrier and reached a settlement. The district is now struggling to implement the settlement to which it should never have agreed. Standard insurance defense lawyers rarely understand schools as we do. Clients appreciate that we understand not only the complexities and challenges they deal with, but the day-to-day working of schools and school districts. Many of our attorneys have previously served their communities as educators, as members of school boards, and even as in-house counsel. Today we often serve as de facto in-house attorneys, handling all of a district’s legal needs – including training and counseling on best practices—with the client advantage of having a full-service, yet education-only, firm supporting them.
Defending claims from start to finish
We get involved early and aggressively pursue our client’s objective through every phase of the process from initial filing, through discovery and depositions, hearings and trials, and appeals when needed. Up front, our careful analysis helps our client decide to accept or reject the claim and whether settlement is the best option. We are a strong proponent of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and have participated in hundreds of these proceedings. But we also are prepared for trial and have appeared and argued before federal and state administrative agencies, numerous California superior courts, all United States district courts, the California Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Working with JPAs
Our close relationships with California Joint Power Authorities (JPAs) mean that frequently, when they are presented with a claim against one of their member public authorities (school districts), they know to call F3 first. But we also represent districts outside of JPAs. In every case, our goal is to resolve the conflicts that distract from a district’s educational mission.
When schools become plaintiffs
Occasionally, a public education authority finds itself in a conflict with, for example, architects, construction contractors, subcontractors, and financial advisers who provided poor advice. Or, a school may need to seek a restraining order against an angry parent or staff member. F3 attorneys are experienced plaintiffs’ lawyers, too, when relief is needed in such issues.
Keeping clients informed and trained
Far from being merely reactive, we keep clients informed about proposed and new legislation, ongoing litigation, and decisions that may affect them. We also conduct extensive client training. Each year hundreds of clients, as well as organizations such as California School Board Association (CSBA), the JPAs with which we work, and others request F3 attorneys to provide the training that helps them do their jobs effectively and prevent conflicts.