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 Hernan to the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California.
Defended various life insurance companies in a lengthy series of nationwide class actions alleging fraud in the sale of so-called “vanishing premium” policies.
Defended international hotel chains sued in nationwide class actions alleging improper “resort” fees.
Defended various auto manufacturers in nationwide class actions involving alleged product defects.
Defended auto manufacturer in representative action alleging lemon law claims.
Defended national pharmaceutical company in federal class action involving alleged false advertising.
Defended major property and casualty insurer in international disputes with policyholders in Liberia.
Defended large municipality in commercial dispute with the State of California involving the Port of Los Angeles.
Represented homeowners in a series of class actions involving allegedly improper loan modifications.
Represented consumers in a series of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17200 actions against various auto dealerships
Represented patients in a series of actions against hospitals for “patient dumping.”
Represented consumers in a representative action against a large supermarket for improper labeling and false advertising.
Represented California schoolchildren in several class actions against the State of California challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 187.
Represented California parents in a CEQA action involving the expansion of the 710 Freeway.
Represented California farmworkers in an action against the State of California demanding greater enforcement of heat, water, and shade regulations.
Bird Marella principal Hernán Vera recently teamed up with David Berg and the firm of Berg & Androphy to prevail in a federal trade dress action on behalf of their client, Globefill Incorporated. The jury’s unanimous verdict in favor of Globefill was entered on March 29, 2017. Globefill is the maker ...
Bird Marella principal Hernán Vera has been appointed to a new nine-member civilian oversight commission to oversee the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department. Consisting of a former federal judge, religious and community leaders, a federal district attorney and federal public defender, civil rights attorneys, and a retired Sherriff’s lieutenant, ...
Bird Marella attorneys Ekwan Rhow, Hernan Vera, and Paul Moskowitz successfully defended Emcore Corporation in an ICC arbitration involving the sale of one of its divisions to one of the largest Japanese conglomerates. In the arbitration, the Japanese conglomerate alleged that Emcore had committed fraud in the negotiations leading to ...
Representing vehicle manufacturer Hyundai Motor Company, Bird Marella prevailed on a motion for summary judgment ending a putative nationwide consumer class action against Hyundai. The complaint alleged that Hyundai unlawfully implemented a policy in early 2015 to disable the Hyundai Blue Link Telematics System for Hyundai owners who had not ...
Bird Marella principal Hernán Vera spoke with the Los Angeles Times regarding the newly formed Civilian Oversight Commission of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Vera was appointed by Supervisor Hilda Solis in January to a Workgroup tasked with making policy recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on the scope, ...
“People Living at the Poverty Line Need a MY$23K Campaign,” Huffington Post, December 31, 2012
“Who’s Watching Out for Farm Workers Left Out in the Heat? ” Huffington Post, July 3, 2012
“Hablemos de sus dudas sobre Acción Diferida,” Huffington Post, September 13, 2012
“The Silent Casualties of Immigration Scams,” Huffington Post, May 18, 2012
“The Education Revolution,” Huffington Post, May 5, 2012
“Fighting Against Cuts to Child Care Funding,” Daily Journal, November 8, 2010
“Operation Iraqi Freedom Is Not Over for Veterans,” Daily Journal, September 8, 2010
“Punishing the Pro Bonos,” Daily Journal, July 16, 2010
“Riffing Our Children’s Future,” Daily Journal, June 11, 2010
“Letter to a Young Public Interest Attorney,” Los Angeles Public Interest Law Journal, Vol. I, (2009)