Michelle L. Cannon

Ms. Cannon is a shareholder with the firm who represents school districts and county offices of education in all areas of education law. Additionally, she represents other public agencies and private employers in a variety of employment and litigation matters. Her particular areas of expertise include employment law, civil rights, and California Tort Claims Act litigation. She represents clients in administrative hearings and in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels, and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court in the Eastern and Northern Districts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Legal Experience

In practice since 1994, Ms. Cannon primarily focuses her practice on representing public entity clients in the following areas:

  • General governance, including:
    • Brown Act issues
    • Conflicts of interest
    • Public Records Act
  • Employment and personnel-related matters
    • Employee discipline and dismissal
    • Collective bargaining
    • First Amendment issues
    • Investigation of discrimination complaints
    • Certificated and classified employee issues
    • Harassment investigations, including sexual harassment complaints
  • Student issues
    • Student discipline
    • First Amendment issues
  • Charter school issues
    • Review of charter petitions
    • Revocation of charters
    • Charter school facilities
  • Litigation
    • Sexual discrimination
    • Sexual harassment
    • First Amendment issues
    • 42 U.S.C. section 1983 claims
    • Contract disputes
    • Writs and appeals in both state and federal courts

Her litigation experience includes bench and jury trials in both state and federal courts as well as writs and appeals before state and federal appellate courts. She has also successfully handled numerous administrative trials, arbitrations, and mediations on behalf of various public entities.

Prior to joining KMTG, Ms. Cannon was a partner and active litigator with the Sacramento office of a Bay Area education law firm. Before that, she was a trial counsel for many cities, including Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Capitola, Salinas, Hollister, Marina and Seaside. In this capacity, Ms. Cannon represented her clients in both state and federal court proceedings, including jury trials. She handled all trial work defending cities in discrimination cases, torts, police misconduct cases, inverse condemnation and eminent domain cases.

Practice Examples

Following are examples of legal matters Ms. Cannon has handled for her clients:

  • Cole v. Oroville Union High School District (9th Cir. 2000) 228 F.3d 1092 — As co-counsel, she assisted in the successful defense of a Northern California school district’s decision not to allow graduates to deliver a sectarian invocation and proselytizing co-valedictorian speech.
  • PLANS, Inc. v. Sacramento City Unified School District (9th Cir. 2003) 319 F.3d 504 — She successfully defended the school district’s innovative Waldorf Methods instruction in public schools.
  • She represented an uninsured private sector company facing both a federal discrimination complaint filed by an ex-employee and a class action complaint filed by the EEOC. After conducting initial discovery and taking depositions, Ms. Cannon was able to convince the EEOC and the plaintiff to settle the case for a very reasonable amount.
  • She has worked extensively in the collective bargaining arena in various roles. These roles include, but are not limited to, working as a facilitator in Interest Based Bargaining, acting as lead negotiator in the creation of new contracts, and advising clients through impasse proceedings.
  • Ms. Cannon has prosecuted several successful permanent certificated and classified termination proceedings as well.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Ms. Cannon's professional activities include speaking at seminars and presenting educational workshops at conferences and client sites. Ms. Cannon is a frequent speaker at conferences sponsored by CSBA, ACSA and SSDA.  Topics she has presented on include:

  • Sexual harassment prevention training
  • Board issues, including the Brown Act
  • Collective bargaining
  • Discrimination
  • Employee discipline and dismissals
  • Student discipline
  • Certificated employee lay off procedures
  • First Amendment issues
  • Charter schools

Her professional affiliations and community activities include:

  • 2013 Northern California Super Lawyer
  • Board Member, Roseville Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Member, Roseville City School District Foundation
  • Member, California School Boards Association
  • Member, California Council of School Attorneys
  • Member, Placer County Bar Association
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • Member, Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Sustaining Member, Junior League of Sacramento

Academic Background

J.D. University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1994

B.A. St. Mary's College of California, 1991