Hernaldo J. Baltodano is a founding partner of Baltodano || Baltodano LLP. A graduate of the University of California at Davis (B.A.) and the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (J.D.), Mr. Baltodano brings more than a decade of professional experience in successfully representing and advising individuals, labor organizations, small businesses, and publicly-traded and private corporations, including Fortune 500 and 100 companies, in the retail, manufacturing, financial, service sector, and healthcare industries. Because of his unique experience, Mr. Baltodano is skilled at spotting legal issues that many lawyers do not see and honing in on critical issues that make or break a case. In the years 2004-2008, and again in 2010 - 2012, Los Angeles Law & Politics Magazine named Mr. Baltodano a “Rising Star” in the field of Employment Law, meaning that his peers in the Southern California legal community voted him among the top 2½ percent of employment lawyers under the age of forty. Mr. Baltodano has published several articles about employment law, including articles in the Los Angeles Daily Journal and Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, and spoken about civil litigation practices and employment law topics to other legal professionals, legal staff, business owners and stake-holders as a panelist, guest speaker, and continuing education lecturer. Mr. Baltodano formerly served on the Executive Committee of the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association's Employment Law section.
Prior to forming Baltodano || Baltodano LLP, Mr. Baltodano practiced law at some of the finest law firms in the country, including the national law firm of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP, the preeminent civil rights firm of Hadsell & Stormer, Inc., and Sanchez & Amador, LLP, a highly-respected employment boutique firm in Los Angeles. Mr. Baltodano began his legal career working on the historic case of Flores v. Albertson’s, 2003 WL 24216269 (C.D. Cal. 2003), a hybrid Rule 23 wage and hour class action and FLSA opt-in collective action for unpaid wages and related Labor Code violations involving approximately 2,000 janitors who were allegedly co-employed by several supermarket chains. Ultimately, this lawsuit settled for approximately $22.4 million dollars and his work on this case, as well as the work of the entire Plaintiffs’ team, was featured in the 2010 documentary film Battle of the Invisibles. Because of his efforts, Mr. Baltodano received a certificate of recognition from the City of Los Angeles. Since forming Baltodano & Baltodano LLP in February 2011, Mr. Baltodano has litigated dozens of single and multi-plaintiff cases under the California Labor Code and the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and litigated several class and collective actions under the California Labor Code and Fair Labor Standards Act in state and federal courts across California.
Mr. Baltodano is also a former member of the National Employment Law Council, Minority Corporation Counsel Association and California Minority Counsel Program, and served on the California Minority Counsel Program E-Newsletter Committee. In collaboration with the non-profit legal services provider, California Rural Legal Assistance, Mr. Baltodano has also facilitated monthly "Know Your Employment Law Rights" workshops at Casa de la Raza in Santa Barbara.
In addition to his professional work, Mr. Baltodano is involved in civic service, having served on the Board of Directors of Valley Family Center, a San Fernando Valley-based non-profit organization that empowers victims of domestic violence. Mr. Baltodano has also worked tirelessly on behalf of persons traditionally lacking access to justice. In 2009, Public Counsel, the nation’s largest public interest law firm, named Mr. Baltodano “Advocate of the Year” for his pro bono work on behalf of special needs children.
Mr. Baltodano’s first-rate legal education, training, and professional experience are buoyed by his personal life experiences. As a Spanish-speaking and bi-cultural individual with working class roots, Mr. Baltodano is highly-skilled at straddling divergent worlds – including the English and Spanish-speaking – and gaining the trust and confidence of diverse stake-holders, from the “rank and file” to senior management. A devoted husband and father, Mr. Baltodano spends his time with his wife and two sons in San Luis Obispo when he is not vigorously advocating for his clients. Mr. Baltodano enjoys hiking, sports, great food, and visits with extended family.
Erica Flores Baltodano is a founding partner of Baltodano || Baltodano LLP. A graduate of UCLA (B.A.) and UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law (J.D.), Ms. Baltodano is the 2002 recipient of Boalt Hall’s prestigious Francine Diaz Memorial award for her steadfast commitment to public interest law. Ms. Baltodano brings more than a decade of experience as an attorney and policy advocate in the areas of civil rights,social justice, and employment law. Ms. Baltodano’s incredibly diverse personal background, unique professional experience, and multi-faceted approach to problem-solving allows her to think “outside of the box” when it comes to analyzing legal employment issues.
Ms. Baltodano began her legal career at the Center for Law in the Public Interest in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s first public interest law firms, advocating on behalf of economically disadvantaged and traditionally underserved children and communities. A recipient of a Selected Professions Fellowship from the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation and Minority Fellowship in Environmental Law from the American Bar Association and the State Bar of California, Ms. Baltodano focused her initial professional work on cutting-edge environmental justice and civil rights issues. After just a few short years of practice, Ms. Baltodano assumed the role of Assistant Director at the Center for Law in the Public Interest, where she helped shape, guide, and manage the legal and policy work of The City Project. At The City Project, Ms. Baltodano influenced the investment of billions of dollars in public resources to enhance human health and the environment, and promote equality and economic vitality for all communities. Her exceptional communications skills and real-world experience in hiring, training, coaching, evaluating, and mentoring staff enhances her approach to the practice of employment law.
Ms. Baltodano has published book chapters and law review articles, including articles in the Fordham Urban Law Journal and Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. In addition, she has frequently spoken about environmental justice, Latinos and the environment, civil rights, the urban park movement, equal access to the beach, and public health on public radio and television, and as a guest lecturer and conference speaker at venues across California.
Further strengthening Ms. Baltodano’s skill set is her extensive mediation training and training from the Midwest Academy for results-oriented social action and organization building as well as her personal experience as a bicultural woman who is skilled and comfortable negotiating the complexities of human conflict and relations. Ms. Baltodano has served as a member of the San Fernando Valley Girl Scout Council Board of Directors (now Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles) and Casa Cardenas, a San Gabriel Valley based non-profit organization that provides mental health services for Latinos. Currenly, Ms. Baltodano serves on the Board of the United Methodist Children’s Center in San Luis Obispo and she is an enthusiastic Cub Scout Den Leader and dedicated member of the San Luis Obispo MOMS Club (MOMS Offering Moms Support).
Ms. Baltodano enjoys exploring the Great Outdoors with her two young boys and husband in San Luis Obispo, shares her passion for cooking and baking with loved ones, and is an avid reader of non-fiction.