Our Professionals

 

BB036 HJBHernaldo 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 2014 and 2015 Mr. Baltodano was named a Southern California Super Lawyer, a prestigious honor bestowed upon top attorneys who are peer-nominated, independently researched, and evaluated across 12 key categories as part of a patented multi-phase selection process. This recognition is awarded to no more than five percent of all attorneys in Southern California.  In the years 2004-2008, and again in 2010 - 2013, Mr. Baltodano was named 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.

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 January 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.  January 2015 marked Baltodano & Baltodano LLP's fourth year anniversary, during which time the firm successfully recovered over $12 million on behalf of its diverse clientele.  Under Mr. Baltodano's leadership, Baltodano & Baltodano LLP continues to maintain a steady commitment to the highest quality employment litigation and counseling services. Mr. Baltodano is proud that Baltodano & Baltodano LLP is now recognized as the premier plaintiff-side employment law practice on the Central Coast.

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 is a member of California Employment Lawyers Association and recently served on the Executive Committee of the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association's Employment Law section.  He is a former member of the National Employment Law Council, Minority Corporation Counsel Association, and California Minority Counsel Program where he 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 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 clients and stake-holders, from the “rank and file” to senior management. A devoted husband and father, Mr. Baltodano spends his time with his wife and business partner and their 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.

BB035 EFBErica Flores Baltodano is a founding partner of Baltodano & Baltodano LLP. A graduate of UCLA (B.A. Sociology & Public Policy) 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 has more than 15 years 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 under-served 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, which eventually spun-off and became a stand-alone legal non-profit, Ms. Baltodano influenced the investment of billions of dollars in public resources (parks, schools, beaches, and transit) to enhance human health and the environment and promote equality and economic vitality for all communities.

Her exceptional communication skills and real-world experience in hiring, training, coaching, evaluating, and mentoring staff enhances her approach to the practice of employment law.  Further strengthening Ms. Baltodano’s skill set is her extensive cross-cultural 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 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 written and spoken about environmental justice, Latinos and the environment, civil rights, the urban park movement, equal access beaches, and public health in newspapers such as the Sacramento Bee, on public radio and television, and as a guest lecturer and conference speaker at venues across California.

Recently, she has enjoyed using case studies from her work with the urban park movement in Los Angeles to teach persuasive writing skills to third and fifth graders and persuasive speaking skills to undergraduates at California Polytechnic State University. Ms. Baltodano, who was a Girl Scout for more than a decade and credits the organization with teaching her excellent communication and leadership skills, is honored to be highlighted for her environmental justice work in Los Angeles in one of the training handbooks published by Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

Ms. Baltodano now serves as managing partner of the employment law practice she founded in 2012 with her husband and business partner, Hernaldo J. Baltodano. Baltodano & Baltodano LLP handles state and federal employment litigation throughout California, strategically and cost-effectively resolving employment disputes on behalf of individuals and providing counsel regarding workplace policies and practices to smallbusinesses and non-profit organizations. Specializing in complex wage-and-hour class action litigation and single-plaintiff discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and wage-and-hour cases, Baltodano & Baltodano LLP has quickly become the premier plaintiff-side employment law practice on the Central Coast.

Ms. Baltodano balances her time managing a thriving law firm with commitments to her family and the local community where she has firmly planted roots. She has served as a board member of the San Fernando Valley Girl Scout Council (now Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles), CasaCardenas, a San Gabriel Valley based non-profit organization that provides mental health services for Latinos, the San Luis Obispo MOMS Club (MOMS Offering Moms Support), and the United Methodist Children’s Center in San Luis Obispo.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of SLO Legal Assistance Foundation, which provides free legal services to seniors and veterans in need.  She is also a member of the National Advisory Council of The City Project, which works to achieve equal justice, democracy, and livability for all.

Ms. Baltodano, who overseas Baltodano & Baltodano LLP's generous support of local and statewide non-profit organizations, is strongly dedicated to the firm’s commitment to education and civic participation.  In 2016, Ms. Baltodano was awarded the Frank J. Pentangelo Award for her creative contributions to the San Luis Obispo Bar Association Bulletin, where she merges lessons in the law with lessons in parenting in a recurring, social justice-focused column called Mommy Esquire, which frequently explores issues of race, gender, and inequality.

Ms. Baltodano was the keynote speaker at the January 21, 2017, Women's March in San Luis Obispo and has been tapped to teach “Personal & Professional Lessons from a Social Justice Advocate” to ethnic studies students and first generation college-bound students at SLO High School.  Most recently, Ms. Baltodano served as a panelist and co-moderator at Latino Outreach Council’s forum on Latinas and Education.

At home, Ms. Baltodano shares her passion for cooking and baking with loved ones and is an avid reader of non-fiction.

 

BB071 MKMMatthew K. Moen associated with Baltodano & Baltodano LLP in January 2016. A graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (B.A.) and Loyola Law School (J.D.), Mr. Moen was initially introduced to the area of employment law while serving as an Assistant to a National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Certified Sports Agent and Contract Advisor. In that role, Mr. Moen conducted legal research, drafted memorandum, and was responsible for agent compliance filings and player contract interpretation and compliance.

Mr. Moen continued to explore employment law as a law student and gained valuable on-the-job training and experience while serving as a Law Clerk at Prindle, Amaro, Goetz, Hillyard, Barnes & Reinholtz LLP in Long Beach, California. Under the mentorship of two of the firm’s Partners, Mr. Moen got significant experience with several important aspects of civil litigation, including document review, discovery, legal research and writing, and the handling of sensitive medical records.

Mr. Moen explored public interest law while serving as a Special Education Legal Advocate Extern at Lanterman Regional Center in Los Angeles. There, Mr. Moen provided pro bono legal services to families with special needs children in disputes with school districts. In preparation for mandated Individual Educational Plan (IEP) meetings and administrative mediations, Mr. Moen conducted legal research and facilitated presentations to Spanish and Korean-speaking clients. Mr. Moen also filed noncompliance complaints with the State Department of Education, American Disabilities Act complaints with the Department of Justice, and Section 504 Complaints with the Office of Civil Rights.

By the time he graduated from law school, Mr. Moen was determined to practice plaintiff-side employment law and he was specifically interested on practicing on California’s Central Coast to be closer to his fiancée, a school psychologist in North County. As a participant in Loyola Law School’s Resident Associate Boot Camp, Mr. Moen completed rigorous training touching upon all phases of civil litigation before beginning his associate position at Baltodano & Baltodano LLP.

When he is not busy getting “down and dirty” in the law, Mr. Moen enjoys playing in an adult hockey league, volunteering as a high school youth leader at his church, and listening to true crime podcasts with his fiancée.

BB055 TAMThomas A. Miller joined Baltodano & Baltodano LLP Of Counsel in March 2015. Mr. Miller adds to the firm’s trial and litigation depth and reunites him with founding partner Hernaldo J. Baltodano, the two having worked together closely and successfully in Los Angeles between 2006 and 2009 at the national law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP.Mr. Miller has more than 35 years experience in trial, litigation and counseling of Fortune 100 and 500 companies, small businesses and individuals, predominately in large-scale business litigation including competition, antitrust and especially employment litigation. Mr. Baltodano and Mr. Miller worked together on many wage and hour class action cases over the years and look forward to doing so again as Mr. Miller brings his expertise to Baltodano and Baltodano LLP.

After beginning his legal career while a U.S. Marine Corps officer, Mr. Miller was a partner at Robins, Kaplan until leaving their Century City office in 2010 to establish his own legal office “at the beach” in San Clemente where he continued on a reduced schedule to litigate wage and hour class actions, as well as provide counsel to individuals and businesses facing employment related problems. Tapped to serve a period as General Counsel for the State Bar of California, Mr. Miller is excited to be returning to private practice to join Baltodano & Baltodano LLP’s very successful and growing wage and hour class action practice.

Born and raised in Michigan, Mr. Miller attended the University of Michigan Law School while a Marine Lieutenant and following graduation served nine years on active duty in a variety of positions. During this time he tried dozens of cases (ranging from minor thefts to first degree murder), some as prosecutor and some as defense counsel, reviewed courts-martial convictions, provided operational law advice while deployed with expeditionary units, and counseled senior commands on labor, employment and other civil law obligations. Mr. Miller accepted a commission in the Marine Corps Reserve following his resignation from active duty, participating in both legal and non-legal assignments, including extended duty during Operation Desert Shield / Storm in 1990-1991. He retired in 2000 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Recognized four times by Law & Politics magazine as a “Super Lawyer,” Mr. Miller has been a member of the American Bar Association since 1978 and also the Orange and Los Angeles County Bar Associations, serving as Chairman of the Orange County Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section. A voracious reader himself and personally interested in legal education, he was an active mentor to many associates at Robins, Kaplan and a faculty member in the firm’s formal Exceptional Advocate skills training program. Mr. Miller has authored articles, participated on many MCLE panels (predominately wage and hour class action related), and presented training programs addressing workplace discrimination and harassment.

Mr. Miller is admitted to practice as a member of the California and Michigan bars, and before the U.S. District Courts for the Central District of California, Northern District of California, Southern District of California and Eastern District of California, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

BB067 ALEAllison L. Ehlert joined Baltodano & Baltodano LLP Of Counsel in November 2015.  Ms. Ehlert is an experienced appellate attorney who specializes in civil and criminal appeals and complex trial court motions in federal and state court. Ms. Ehlert completed her undergraduate studies at Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A.) where she graduated summa cum laude with the highest grade point average in her class.  She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (J.D.) where she earned an American Jurisprudence Award, Prosser Prize, and the Moot Court Best Brief Award.  After a brief period as an Associate at Girard Gibbs, LLP in San Francisco representing plaintiffs in consumer-protection and securities-fraud class actions in state and federal court, Ms. Ehlert desired to maximize her strengths as a writer and focus her career on appellate practice.

Ms. Ehlert first completed back-to-back federal clerkships with the Honorable R. Guy Cole, Jr. on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Honorable Algenon L. Marbley in the Southern District of Ohio, and then joined Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP in San Francisco as an Associate where she represented individual and corporate clients in employment, class action, copyright, and consumer-fraud cases. There, Ms. Ehlert served as lead counsel in briefing and arguing five appeals in federal and state courts.

In November 2012, Ms. Ehlert established Ehlert Appeals, now a thriving boutique appellate practice that litigates civil and criminal appeals, as well as complex trial court motions, in state and federal courts.  Amongst an impressive list of successful appeals, Ms. Ehlert co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation in connection with an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain access to a discovery manual used by Department of Justice prosecutors and was appointed amicus curiae counsel by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Gutierrez v. Holder, 662 F.3d 1083 (9th Cir. 2011), obtaining a favorable ruling on the Court’s jurisdiction to review a claim brought under federal immigration statutes.

In 2013, Ms. Ehlert worked with Baltodano & Baltodano LLP to obtain a favorable published opinion in Castaneda v. The Ensign Group, Inc. (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 931, a reversal of summary judgement in a case brought by plaintiff on behalf of certified nursing assistants for unpaid wages.  Since then, Baltodano & Baltodano LLP has developed a strong working relationship with Ms. Ehlert and Ms. Ehlert has developed an affinity for employment law. As an attorney Of Counsel to the firm, Ms. Ehlert will bolster Baltodano & Baltodano LLP’s robust employment law practice, focusing her attention on the firm’s appellate practice, contributing to the firm’s complex motion practice, and appearing in state and federal Bay Area courts.

When she is not researching cases and polishing briefs, Ms. Ehlert enjoys reading novels and the New Yorker, hiking Bay Area trails, and especially, chasing after her toddler.

BB083 EBWEric Wooten joined Baltodano & Baltodano LLP as a Litigation Assistant in July 2015.  In June 2016 Mr. Wooten moved into a Paralegal position after completing his Paralegal Certification at Cuesta Community College.

Mr. Wooten was raised on the Central Coast and appreciates our unique community and way of life, especially after a 13-year, self-described exile in Sacramento where he most recently worked as a political consultant and lobbyist for various associations. Mr. Wooten has acquired extensive policy analysis experience, reviewed thousands of bill summaries, conducted field research for class action, employment law, personal injury, and other civil cases, and developed and implemented several highly successful strategic media campaigns. His skill set includes research and analysis, communications, persuasive writing, and interviewing—areas of expertise that bolster Baltodano & Baltodano LLP’s commitment to creatively, proactively, and cost-effectively resolve workplace issues outside and inside the courtroom.

Prior to his career in politics, Mr. Wooten helped manage Creative Beginnings, a small manufacturer that sold to national retailers like Wal-Mart. He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Oregon State University.

When he is not working, Mr. Wooten enjoys hiking, fishing, and trips to the beach with his wife and two young daughters. He lives in Atascadero, but longs for the foggy summers of his youth in Morro Bay.

Adam Redding-KaufmanAdam Redding-Kaufman joined Baltodano & Baltodano LLP as a Litigation Assistant in June 2016 after graduating from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) with a B.S. in Economics and a minor in Law and Society.  While he was a student, Mr. Redding-Kaufman served as a summer intern at the San Francisco law firm Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld, a trial and appellate law firm specializing in complex litigation.  Prior to that, Mr. Redding-Kaufman worked as a surfing instructor at Soul Surfing School in Laguna Beach, where he lived before relocating to the Central Coast.

During his time at Cal Poly, Mr. Redding-Kaufman was Special Events Chair of Poly Reps with the University Ambassadors program, providing tours to thousands of potential students, organizing and managing special events for Cal Poly, traveling throughout the state to promote the school’s undergraduate program, and meeting with VIPs on campus to discuss student objectives at the university. Mr. Redding-Kaufman also served as President of the Cal Poly Surf Team, surfing competitively, organizing team events, negotiating team sponsorships and partnerships, and raising the team’s annual budget.  Under his leadership, the Cal Poly Surf Team finished 5th out of 27 teams in 2015 and 3rd out of 29 teams in 2016.

When he isn’t working with our administrative team to support our attorneys in all aspects of litigation, Mr. Redding-Kaufman travels throughout California to see his favorite musicians and friends and continues to enjoy surfing.

Iriden LopezIriden Lopez has been a welcomed addition to our team at Baltodano & Baltodano LLP since June 2014. Her role as Administrative Assistant helps us meet the needs of our clients and exceed their expectations. Prior to her position at Baltodano & Baltodano LLP, Ms. Lopez worked in the hotel industry.

A 2008 graduate of San Luis Obispo High School, Ms. Lopez has completed a significant amount of coursework at Cuesta Community College, where she studied Criminal Justice.

When she is not assisting attorneys or clients at Baltodano & Baltodano LLP, Ms. Lopez enjoys playing soccer, dancing, and assisting with her family’s Mexican catering business. She lives in San Luis Obispo with her husband and young daughter.