LANCASTER — Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost will continue to provide legal services for Antelope Valley Union High School District for another fiscal year.

The District has used Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, one of the state’s leading educational law firms, for approximately 20 years.

Jay Fernow, an attorney with Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, has filled in for former District General Counsel Bridget Cook at Board meetings since Board President Robert “Bob” Davis, Vice President Victoria Ruffin, and Clerk Amanda Parrell fired Cook in closed session at the May 9 meeting.

“As a District, do we have to be in contract with any of our attorneys?” Ruffin asked.

Superintendent David Vierra said the District does not necessarily have to be in contract with a law firm. Work can be provided via purchase orders. However, it helps the law firm by letting them know what they will do for the year.

“The advantage it would be for us is that those prices are locked in for that year,” Vierra said.

Davis asked if there was a purchase order attached to the contract.

Vierra said the next purchase order would come at the Board’s next meeting on July 25.

“That’s not to say that services would not be rendered prior to the 25th of July,” he said.

What would happen is that the District would receive a bill from Fagen Friedman  & Fulfrost, or any other law firm the District uses, and that would generate a purchase order.

Brian Hawkins, assistant superintendent of Business Services, said the purchase order process is a commitment to the vendor that the District will pay them. It also allows the District to set aside money in its budget upfront.

“We would then estimate internally what we think we’re going to spend this year. We create a PO for that and moving forward we would make adjustments throughout the year,” Hawkins.

The hourly rates for Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost are $230 to $260 per hour for an associate, $290 to $325 an hour for a partner, $325 per hour for ‘of counsel,’ $150 to $210 an hour for paralegal/law clerk, $230 an hour for paralegal/law clerk bar admitted outside of California, $240 an hour for education consultant, and $260 an hour for communication services consultant.

The firm charges 90% of the attorney’s standard hourly rate for regularly scheduled on-site legal services to address legal issues that may arise in day-to-day operations.

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