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District hires in-house counsel

Submitted by on 1, June 26, 2009 – 5:45 amNo Comment

Alameda Unified has hired a new general counsel to handle their legal matters: Danielle Houck.

Houck, an Island resident, is a graduate of the University at California, Davis School of Law and was admitted to the bar in 1998. She had worked as a senior associate at Ruiz & Sperow, and employment-focused law firm with a K-12 education practice that is based in Emeryville.

Based on the conversation the school board was having on this the other night, it sounds like her salary will be $143,000 a year. (I called the district’s HR folks to confirm the amount but didn’t get a call back.) Her start date is July 20.

District officials said they wanted to hire an in-house attorney in order to save money on legal fees, which cost Alameda Unified about $500,000 this past year.

Here’s a quick bio I found online:

Ms. Houck has been representing employers in litigation matters since 1998. She has successfully represented management in state and federal courts and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Ms. Houck has significant experience disposing of employment litigation prior to trial through law and motion and effective mediation. Recently, Ms. Houck defended a local school district in a complex disability discrimination jury trial and achieved a verdict for the defense. Ms. Houck also provides advice and counseling to employers on a wide range of employment issues including discrimination, disability accommodation, harassment and employee discipline and discharge. While at Ruiz & Sperow, Ms. Houck has litigated several certificated termination matters before the Office of Administrative Hearings with excellent results for the firm’s school district clients. While in law school, Ms. Houck received the American Jurisprudence Award in Legal Writing and tutored first year law students in legal writing. Ms. Houck is a published member of the UC Davis law review and served as Senior Articles Editor of the UC Davis Law Review PRACTICE AREAS Labor and Employment Litigation. Certificated Dismissals Disability Law EDUCATION University of California, Davis, B.A., honors, Phi Beta Kappa. University of California, Davis, J.D. 1998 MEMBERSHIPS California Bar Association; Member of Labor and Employment Law Section

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