Marsha A. Bedwell

Ms. Bedwell is an attorney with more than 30 years of legal experience. She is an experienced litigator, representing clients in administrative forums, and in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels. During the past 10 years, prior to joining KMTG, Ms. Bedwell served as General Counsel for the California Department of Education where she was a member of the executive leadership team and provided legal advice to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. She also oversaw the Audits & Investigations Division which is responsible for reviews and audits of education programs and internal department operations. Her areas of practice included special education, school fiscal services, personnel and employment, charter schools, assessment and accountability, open meetings laws. In addition, Ms. Bedwell served as Deputy Attorney General for the California Attorney General's Office where she provided advice to and represented the Governor, Controller, Treasurer and Secretary of State in complex litigation in state and federal courts. She was also appointed Chief Counsel of the California Department of Finance by the Governor where she was given primary legal responsibility for advising the Department of Finance and Governor on fiscal matters, including the annual state budget and its implementing legislation, and infrastructure and cash flow borrowing.

Legal Experience

Since she began her legal career in 1981, Ms. Bedwell has focused on providing legal advice to public agency entities, contributing general counsel and litigation services. She currently offers legal guidance and counsel to school boards and school districts in the following areas:

  • Special education
  • Civil litigation, writs and appeals
  • Fiscal matters including the public finance, state budget, state-mandated st claims and school finance
  • Personnel matters, including employee discipline
  • Labor relations and collective bargaining, including interest-based bargaining
  • Governance issues, including open meetings act
  • Election law matters including preparing ballot materials and related litigation

Practice Examples

Following are examples of cases handled by Ms. Bedwell on behalf of clients:

  • Williams v. State of California, et al. – represented Superintendent of Public Instruction in connection with settlement of this suit and drafting of implementing legislation
  • California High School Exit Examination (Valenzuela, et al. v. O'Connell, et al.; Kidd, et al. v. CDE, et al.) – assisted in defending constitutional challenges the examination for both general education and with respect to special education students
  • California Teachers Association, Superintendent Jack O'Connell v. Schwarzenegger – represented Superintendent of Public Instruction in litigation that ensured the schools received funding levels guaranteed by Proposition 98
  • Jonathan L. v. Superior Court – appeared before Court of Appeal on behalf of Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding scope of parents’ right to homes school their children
  • White v. State of California – represented State of California in successful defense of statute that altered property tax allocations
  • Hayes v. Commission on State Mandates – represented Department of Finance in special education mandated costs claim litigation
  • Coalition for Economic Equity v. Wilson – acted as co-counsel before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in successfully defending a state-wide ballot measure concerning affirmative action
  • County of Sacramento v. Fair Political Practices Commission – successfully represented Commission and Attorney General in defeating county efforts to limit enforcement of state campaign finance statutes

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Ms. Bedwell has been a frequent presenter on topics related to education policy and practice including categorical program compliance, state budget and fiscal issues, and programs and services for English language learners.

Ms. Bedwell's professional affiliations include:

  • Member, California Council of School Attorneys
  • Member, National School Board Association, Council of School Attorneys
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association

Academic Background

J.D. University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law, 1980

  • Graduated with Distinction
  • Member, Moot Court ("Best Oral Advocate" Environmental Moot Court)
  • Member, King Hall National Moot Court Team
  • Law Review Writer and Editor
  • Author, "Rights of Non-Marital Fathers to Custody, Visitation, and to Consent to Adoption," 12 U.C. Davis Law Review, 1979

B.S. University of California, Davis, 1976

  • Graduated with Highest Honors