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Due to high cost, Lodi Unified School District board may stop having attorney present at every bargaining session

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Posted: Saturday, May 7, 2011 12:00 am

A News-Sentinel review of hundreds of pages of Lodi Unified School District legal invoices over the past six months showed hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on litigation, consulting, mediation and other labor group services.

  • In January alone, the district paid Folsom-based Kingsley, Bogard, Thompson $21,719 for contract-related negotiations with the classified union.
  • Two months later, $300,000 went to help prepare teacher layoff notices, with one-third of that going to the Kingsley attorneys. Another $100,000 was set aside by the school board as a retainer for the firm's services in February.
  • And since June 30, the main firm handling litigation against contractors who built McNair High School — Thurbon and McHaney, LP, of Gold River — has charged the district a staggering $760,000 for litigation and expert construction consultant services, according to the invoices.

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