CA State Homeschool Organizations Retain Legal Counsel
The non-sectarian state homeschool organizations, California Homeschool Network
(CHN) and HomeSchool Association of California (HSC), announced that they have
retained legal counsel. The law firms will help represent and defend homeschoolers in
light of the 2nd Appellate Court ruling that rendered the opinion that independent
homeschooling is illegal except through the credentialed teacher/tutor exemption.
The announcement was made by Debbie Schwarzer, Co-Chair of the
HSC Legal Team:
"I am thrilled to announce that we have been offered help by two of
the best law firms in the state (and country). The firms will be helping
us on a pro bono basis. That means they will donate (very expensive)
attorney time to help us figure out the best strategies for dealing with
the court issues, and they will help us prepare and file the letters and
briefs that we need.
Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, which is headquartered in Palo
Alto, will be representing HSC. They had helped HSC back in some of the
dark days of Delaine Eastin's time, and their thorough research helped us
feel more comfortable that the advice we were giving the world about private
homeschooling was correct. In the spirit of full disclosure, you should know
that I worked there for many years, but they made the decision to go forward
because they think the case presents interesting legal issues and they'd like
to be on our side.
They will be working very closely with another firm, Baker & McKenzie,
which has 150 offices around the world and, conveniently, one across the
street from WSGR in Palo Alto. Jerry Salcido, who has been a member of the
HSC legal team for several years, is an attorney at that office, and his firm
has graciously agreed to donate their services as well. Because we couldn't
have two firms working for HSC, Baker and McKenzie have agreed that CHN will
be their named client.
We believe that HSC and CHN's interests in this case are very similar. We have
similar membership profiles, we want the same results, we both think that help
from professionals in dealing with the Supreme Court will be invaluable. The
firms will consult with each other to make sure they are not duplicating efforts,
but that they also aren't leaving any important arguments out. They will also try
to coordinate their efforts with the other groups with which HSC and CHN have been
working, HSLDA, CHEA and Family Protection Ministries."
Karen Taylor of the California Homeschool Network
Legal Team released a statement that concurred and included this note:
"I met with Jerry Salcido and Debbie by phone yesterday. In addition to
being an attorney, Jerry is a homeschooling dad with young children, so you can
bet his heart is in this case!
...For those of you who are members of HSLDA, FPM, or CHEA, you'll be pleased to
know that HSC and CHN are remaining in contact with these organizations as well,
and they are in agreement that having several law firms representing the various
groups will strengthen the fight, so everyone remains willing to work together for
the good of all. I can't tell you how pleased I am. This case is too big to be won
by any one group, and the cooperation is what homeschoolers want. Naturally, each
group is looking out for the interests of their members, but it's possible to do
that and also work in conjunction with others, and that's what we're doing."
This is good news for all!
Homefires will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates. For a
complete chronological list of updates to this case click here.
Diane Flynn Keith,