Christian M. Keiner


TEL: 916.978.4040


FAX: 916.978.4039


Christian M. Keiner is Of Counsel in the Sacramento office. He has been practicing education law for more than 40 years and represents school and community college districts in civil litigation, labor personnel, and governance and administrative law matters.

From governing board matters to Brown Act, from Public Records Act to conflicts of interest and constitutional issues, Chris has represented school districts as a general counsel on a wide variety of governance and administrative matters. He has also represented clients in all labor personnel matters, including collective bargaining and interest-based bargaining.

A highly experienced litigator, Chris has represented clients in both private and public sectors in numerous cases at the trial and appellate levels, in both the federal and state courts. His experience also includes civil writs and appeals, personnel and employment litigation, constitutional litigation, and special education litigation.

While in law school, Chris clerked with Justice Edwin Regan in the California Court of Appeals, California Attorney General’s Office-Administrative Law section, and with the California Assembly Majority.


University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D.)
University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A.)


State Bar of California
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
United States Supreme Court

Memberships & Associations

California Bar Association
California Council of School Attorneys
Sacramento Bar Association

Practice Areas Board Ethics, Transparency and Accountability , Community Colleges / Higher Education , Labor, Employment and Personnel , Litigation , Public Entities, Nonprofit Corporations and Independent Schools


Representative Cases

Coast Community College District v. Commission on State Mandates, et al., (2022) 13 Cal.3d 800. California Supreme Court decision involving the State’s mandate case appeal of an appellate court decision in favor of community college mandate claimants.
San Diego Unified School District v. State (2022) 73 Cal.App.5th 852. Appellate court review of State mandate claims.
Chris has filed friend of the court briefs on behalf of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (Vergara, et al.,); and the California School Boards Association FTR International Inc. v. Rio School District, (2015), 233 Cal.App.4th 838 and (Corales v. Bennet (9th Cir. 2009) 567 F.3d.554).
In Bledsoe v. Biggs Unified School District (2008) 170 Cal.App.4th 127. Chris successfully defended a District certificated layoff.
In Wells v. One2One Learning Foundation (2006) 39 Cal.4th 1164 –successfully represented respondent Camptonville Union Elementary School District before the California Supreme Court.
In Woodbury v. Brown-Dempsey (2003) 134 Cal.Rptr.2d 124 – Chris obtained a ruling that Board issuance of subpoenas in expulsion hearings is not mandatory.
In PLANS, Inc. v. Sacramento City Unified School District (9th Cir. 2003) 319 F.3d 504 – Chris served as lead attorney, and the team on remand successfully defended innovative Waldorf Methods instruction in public schools.
In Cole v. Oroville Union High School District (9th Cir. 2000) 228 F.3d 1092 – Chris successful defended a school district’s decision not to allow sectarian graduation speeches.
In Board of Administration v. Wilson (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 1109 [impairment of contract]; Board of Administration v. Wilson (1997) 57 Cal.App.4th 967 [denial of attorney fees] – Chris represented the California Governor defending litigation involving two annual State Budget Acts.
In County of Los Angeles v. Sasaki (1994) 23 Cal.App.4th 1442; and San Miguel Consol. Fire P. Dist. v. Davis (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 134 – Chris successfully represented community colleges and school districts in defending a challenge to the multi-billion dollar State property tax shift.
In Sands v. Morongo Unified School District (1991) 53 Cal.3d 863, cert. denied (1992) 112 S.Ct. 3026 – Chris argued in the California Supreme Court a district’s defense of its traditional graduation ceremony, a case California Lawyer ranked one of the “Top Ten Cases of the Year.”
Hayes v. Commission on State Mandates, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Real Party in Interest, (1993) 11 Cal.App.4th 1564 – Chris was co-counsel in multi-billion dollar special education State mandate test case.
Del Percio v. Thornsley, Capistrano Unified School District, et al., (9th Cir. 1989) 877 F.2d. 785 – Chris successfully defended a school district in federal teacher credential revocation litigation.