Marie A. Nakamura is the Managing Shareholder of the Sacramento Office and Chair of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Personnel Group. She represents school districts and county offices of education in employment and labor law, school board governance, as well as general education law. Marie has represented districts in multiple unfair labor practice charges before the Public Employment Relations Board, in labor negotiations, in tenured teacher discipline and dismissal hearings, as well as classified and certified reduction in force. She also advises school boards and superintendents on procedural matters, governance issues including Brown Act and conflicts of interest, and has represented school boards in response to county civil grand juries. In addition Marie provides preventative training in Brown Act, conflicts of interest, board ethics, superintendent contract negotiations, harassment prevention, evaluation protocols, employee discipline, and collective bargaining.
With prior experience as a neutral Regional Attorney in the office of the General Counsel State of California Public Employment Relations Board, Marie brings a unique perspective to her practice. While there, she investigated unfair labor practices, injunctive relief request, and represented the agency in Superior and Appellate Courts. This experience helps Marie find the most effective methods to help her clients, while understanding the different viewpoints involved. With her familiarity with the law of public sector labor relations, Marie has successfully guided clients through well over one hundred unfair practice charges, and dozens of impasse resolutions.
Marie was a member, officer and advisor to the then State Bar’s Labor and Employment Section Executive Committee. During her time on the Executive Committee, she chaired and planned the annual Public Sector Labor and Employment Law Conference. In conjunction with the California Lawyers Association Labor and Employment Section, Marie is a two chapter author and editor of the Mathew Bender Public Sector Labor Relations treatise.
In addition to speaking regularly at the Public Sector Labor and Employment Law Conference, Marie has also presented at the Administrative Office of the Courts’ Labor Academy and California State University Fresno’s Masters in Personnel Administration. She regularly provides training for California School Boards Association’s Masters in Governance Brown Act Training, California School Boards Association Annual Education Conference, the Association of California School Administrators, the California Association of School Business Officers, and various Aspiring Administrator programs.
Marie previously served on the McGeorge School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors and continues to actively support the law school where she mentors law students, and performs outreach to potential students. Marie was a founding chairperson of the Law School’s LGBT alumni group. In addition, Marie was the key note speaker at the law school’s annual Diversity Dinner and graduating student luncheon.
Before joining DWK, Marie was a Shareholder at her former law firm, where she actively participated in firm management on the Board of Directors and as the Education Practice Group Manager. She has also served as a Deputy County Counsel for Solano County where she worked in the Juvenile Dependency Courts and advised the Personnel Commission. For more than ten years prior to practicing law, Marie worked as a transportation professional.