David W. Girard
David Girard has practiced education law in California for over 35 years, representing educational agencies throughout California in matters including constitutional rights, contracts, property, pupil services, personnel, finance and special education.
Mr. Girard has taught special education law, education law, and finance while a professor in the Graduate School at the University of California at Santa Barbara and while at the University of California at Berkeley. He has also taught special education law in the joint U.C. Davis/Sonoma State University doctoral program and Sacramento State University. He has lectured at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall.
Mr. Girard has acted as special legal counsel to the California State Department of Education and Office of Administrative Hearings in organizing and implementing the state’s first special education mediation and hearing units and procedures. He authored California’s first special education hearing officer’s manual. He has extensive special education mediation and hearing experience through federal appeal.
Mr. Girard received his B.S. and M.B.A. from Wayne State University. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Law and holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Girard has presented numerous seminars for professional associations such as the State Department of Education, California Association of School Psychologists, California School Boards Association, American Arbitration Association, Association of California School Administrators, National Education Association, and California Association of School Business Officials. Since 1975, Mr. Girard has taught, and made presentations on numerous legal topics to professionals in the private and public sectors.
Heather M. Edwards
Heather Edwards represents school districts, county offices of education, special education local plan areas (SELPAs), charter schools, nonpublic schools/agencies, and private schools in various aspects of education law. She has extensive experience in the areas of special education, student issues, employment, labor relations, charter schools, and issues unique to county offices of education.
In the area of special education, Ms. Edwards has represented educational agencies at IEP meetings, mediations, due process hearings, state and federal court proceedings, and state and federal complaint procedures. She provides in-service training and workshops for her clients to assist them in their efforts to comply with the laws applicable to educating students with disabilities and is a frequent presenter at statewide conferences including the Association of California School Administrators and the California Charter Schools Association.
Ms. Edwards also teaches for the UC Davis Capitol Area North Doctorate in Educational Leadership (CANDEL) Program. Prior to joining Girard, Edwards, Stevens & Tucker LLP, Ms. Edwards served as the Assistant Executive Director of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) which represents the 58 county superintendents of schools.
Ms. Edwards received her B.S. in Business Administration from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. Ms. Edwards is a graduate of the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Mr. Tucker counsels clients in the areas of collective bargaining, employee discipline, special education and charter school oversight.
Mr. Tucker has significant litigation experience as a Deputy District Attorney with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, conducting numerous jury and court trials. Utilizing this experience, Mr. Tucker has represented public agencies in mediation, arbitration, and fact finding, as well as serving as a hearing officer. Additionally, Mr. Tucker has represented a diverse clientele in private practice after graduating in the top of his class from the McGeorge School of Law. Since joining Girard, Edwards, Stevens & Tucker, he has presented on a variety of topics including Charter Petition Approval, Educating Transgender Students, Uniform Complaint Procedures and Prevention of Sexual Harassment.
Mr.Tucker is a member of the Facilities, Transportation and Finance Board Advisory Committee for the San Juan Unified School District.
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D., 2010); University of California, Davis (B.A.; 2005);
Mr. Stevens advises public employers throughout California on wide-ranging issues. He provides advice and represents clients in internal investigations and disciplinary procedures, administrative hearings, arbitration and mediation, governmental complaints, trial court litigation, appeals, and grand jury investigations.
Mr. Stevens provides counsel on all aspects of labor and employment law. He assists clients with labor-management relations, grievance resolution, collective bargaining, and reductions in force.
Typical “general counsel” services are also provided to public entities, including advice on the Brown Act and Public Records Act, contract drafting and interpretation, public bidding requirements, real property and service transactions, inter-agency agreements and disputes, tort claims, free speech issues, and conflicts of interest.
Mr. Stevens also assists school districts, county offices of education, SELPAs, and charter schools with their unique needs, including credentialing, pupil discipline, facility construction, Proposition 39 issues, and both petition preparation by charter schools and petition review by charter authorizers.
Prior to joining Girard, Edwards, Stevens & Tucker LLP, Mr. Stevens worked as an Associate Attorney in the Employment Law Department of Paul Hastings LLP. There he successfully defended California’s largest employers in disputes involving wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, family and medical leave, and various wage/hour issues.
Mr. Stevens is a member of the Rocklin Unified School District Board of Trustees and serves on the boards of directors of the Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundation and the South Placer Rotary Club.
Harvard Law School (J.D., 2010); University of California, Los Angeles (B.A.,2007)
Ms. Pillai is an associate attorney with Girard, Edwards, Stevens & Tucker, where she represents and advises school districts, county offices of education, special education local plan areas, and charter schools in special education matters, as well as assists with various issues related to charter school oversight. Since joining the firm, Ms. Pillai has given presentations on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Legal Topics for 2019.
Prior to joining Girard, Edwards, Stevens & Tucker, Ms. Pillai practiced family law, and served as a consultant for the California State Assembly and Senate, where she advised legislators on issues related to public safety and human services.
While in law school, Ms. Pillai completed internships with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, the UC Davis Civil Rights Clinic, and Legal Services of Northern California. Prior to law school, Ms. Pillai worked for various nonprofit organizations.
UC Davis School of Law (J.D., 2014); UC Davis (B.A., 2006)