Hernán is a widely-recognized civil litigator with over twenty years of broad experience in class actions, product liability, financial services and intellectual property.
Hernán’s specific expertise is in the area of consumer law and class actions, with a particular emphasis on consumer lending and foreclosure-related litigation. Unlike many other practitioners, Hernán’s unique class action expertise is informed by his substantial experience representing both plaintiffs and institutional defendants. He has spent many years at an international law firm successfully defending state and federal class actions on behalf of insurers, auto manufacturers, hotels, and pharmaceutical companies, but has also worked for over a decade on the plaintiffs’ side filing and settling dozens of class and representative actions on behalf of consumers, homeowners, tenants, foster children, students, workers, and community residents.
Prior to joining Bird Marella, Hernán served as the President & CEO of Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. After a nationwide search, he was selected and served as the first Latino chief executive in the 45-year history of the organization. During his tenure, Hernán more than doubled the size of Public Counsel’s staff, opened offices in the Bay Area and New York, and launched an innovative national impact litigation project.
Hernán is well known in the broader Latino community for his work on civil rights, consumer, housing, and financial services issues. He speaks regularly at national conferences and makes frequent media appearances. Hernán also gained national prominence for his work filing and litigating the first series of cases highlighting the issue of “homeless patient dumping” by hospitals.
In 2009, President Obama appointed Hernán to the Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute. In 2013, the California Supreme Court appointed Hernán to the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California. And, in 2016, Hernán was appointed as a Commissioner to the Civilian Oversight Commission of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.