Partners, Team

Don A. Hernandez

Don Hernandez, Pasadena attorney business litigationDON A. HERNANDEZ

Don A. Hernandez specializes in complex business litigation, with emphases in intellectual property, healthcare and class actions. He has tried numerous cases to verdict before federal and state court juries, successfully appeared numerous times before arbitral forums and appellate courts, and consistently achieved favorable resolutions for his clients at every stage of the litigation process. His background includes large law firm experience with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; White & Case; and McKenna Conner & Cuneo (now McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP). Uniquely, Mr. Hernandez also has small firm experience with his own law firm and Hernandez, Schaedel & Associates, a seven-attorney firm of which he was Managing Partner.

Mr. Hernandez brings substantial intellectual property litigation experience to Gonzalez, Saggio & Harlan, including first-chair roles in dozens of trademark, trade secret, patent and copyright cases. For example, he has represented two real estate franchisors in trademark litigation in federal courts throughout the United States, as well as before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. His trademark experience also includes the registration of several word and design marks. He has represented both employers and former employees in numerous trade secret cases before the California courts, and boasts an unblemished record with respect to trade secret injunctions sought by or against his clients. In his patent litigation cases, Mr. Hernandez has, among other things, conducted expert witness depositions, taken lead roles in Markman hearings and participated in a multi-week jury trial. His copyright experience includes not only the prosecution, defense and settlement of infringement claims, but also the evaluation and drafting of licenses, fair use and royalty arrangements.

His healthcare experience includes the representation of provider organizations throughout Southern California, as well as a regional health plan. He has, among other things, obtained favorable injunctive relief, successful jury verdicts and large arbitral awards in favor of his healthcare clients – including an award in which his defense client was awarded over $150,000 in attorneys’ fees. Mr. Hernandez also has negotiated complex contractual resolutions and provided litigation-avoidance counseling. He has spoken and written frequently in this area.

Mr. Hernandez has substantial experience representing class action defendants in federal and state court. He recently obtained a defense verdict with respect to a class action trafficking claim brought against his client in federal court in Los Angeles. Along with his partner Jack Schaedel, he presently represents two employers in class action litigation brought for alleged meal period, rest period and overtime violations.

He also has represented business clients in the areas of shareholder, directors’ and officers’ litigation, insurance coverage analysis, legal ethics and malpractice, and wrongful termination.

Mr. Hernandez has served recently as co-chair of the American Bar Association Health Law Litigation Committee, Vice-Chair of the Publications Committee of the Health Law Section, and co-chair of the Lawyer Representatives for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, where he participates in meetings with the federal judiciary to discuss matters of importance to the bench and bar. Mr. Hernandez is a member of the Pasadena Bar Association; Los Angeles County Bar Association, Entertainment Law & Intellectual Property and Healthcare Sections; Harvard Club of Southern California, President (1995-1998), Nominating Committee Chair (1999, 2007-2010), Vice President Programs (1993-1995), Director (1990-2012); Harvard Alumni Association, Regional Director (2000-2003), Nominating Committee (2004-2006); Stanford Law Society of Los Angeles; and the Stanford Club of Pasadena. He also volunteers as a settlement officer for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Mr. Hernandez received an A.B., cum laude, in Government at Harvard University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. He is admitted to practice in California; U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits.

Mr. Hernandez has authored and spoken on several topics including the following:


Advising the Small Employer on Coverage and Credits,” ABA Health eSource, Special PPACA Edition, June 2010. (with Jennifer Tsao)

Weapon of Choice: The State Supreme Court May Have to Decide Whether the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act Preempts Common Law Claims,” Los Angeles Lawyer, Feb. 2010. (with Adam Kargman)

Intellectual Property Issues in the Healthcare Context: Are Patient Lists Trade Secrets?, ABA Health Resource, November 2009, vol. 6, no. 3. (with Cynthia Reed)

Reforming California’s Unfair Competition Act,” Los Angeles Lawyer, July/August 1997, vol. 20, no. 5.


“Critical Issues Affecting Your Medical Office”
Speaker, November 2012, University Club of Pasadena


  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 1986. R. Hunter Sumner Trial Advocacy Award, Co-Chair Stanford Latino Law Students Association.
  • Harvard University, A.B. cum laude, Government, 1983. Secretary General of the 1982 Harvard Model United Nations; Director, International Relations Council, Leverett House Committee.


  • California
  • United States District Courts, Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits


Don’s outside interests include his family, church, running, cycling and reading. He lives in Pasadena, California.

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