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Román D. Hernández

Fax +1.503.553.6276
Román Hernández is a partner in the firm’s Portland office and is a member of the labor, employment and workplace safety practice group. He has particular experience in the defense of employers against claims filed by former, current, and prospective employees for allegations of discrimination, harassment, constructive discharge, wrongful discharge, and for alleged wage and hour violations in both state and federal courts, including class action litigation. He provides general employment and labor advice to employers of all sizes related to employment policies, practices, and labor issues. Additionally, Mr. Hernández has an extensive commercial litigation practice and regularly represents clients in state and federal courts. Mr. Hernández represents clients in a variety of industries including retail, telecommunications, agribusiness, health and hygiene, software development, manufacturing, logistics, and transportation.

Professional Background

Mr. Hernández was previously a partner at another Portland law firm where he focused his practice on employment law, labor law, and business litigation. He was also involved in international business matters and conducted cross-border contract negotiations on behalf of firm clients.

Prior to law school, Mr. Hernández served in the United States Air Force for nearly five years where he attained the rank of Captain, and was subsequently honorably discharged.


Mr. Hernández has been recognized by business publications and other groups for his commitment to the community and to business development and growth. He was selected as a recipient of The Portland Business Journal's “Forty Under 40” award that annually recognizes the 40 most accomplished, influential, and civic-minded young executives in Portland. Oregon Business magazine selected Mr. Hernández as one of Oregon's "Fifty Great Leaders" and featured him in its publication. The Oregon Chapter of The American Jewish Committee selected Mr. Hernández as its first-ever recipient of its Judge Learned Hand Emerging Leadership Award in 2004.

In 2011, Mr. Hernández received a “Champions Award” from the Oregon State Bar for his commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. Mr. Hernández received this important recognition during the Bar’s first-ever Convocation on Equality, a day-long diversity and inclusion conference.

In February 2013, he received the "Paul J. De Muniz Professionalism Award" from the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association. This is the organization's highest award and is presented annually to an individual who exhibits exemplary professionalism, significant contributions to the Oregon legal system, and for exemplary community service.

Mr. Hernández has been recognized as a "Rising Star" in employment law by Oregon Super Lawyers magazine in three separate calendar years, and he was selected as one of Oregon's “Up and Coming Lawyers" by The Portland Daily Journal of Commerce. In addition, in 2010 and 2011, he was identified by Chambers USA, an annual guide featuring leading U.S. lawyers and law firms, as a "Leader in his Field" in the area of Labor and Employment Law.

In 2014, Mr. Hernández received the “Distinguished Business Law Graduate Award" from Lewis and Clark Law School, which is an award presented annually to a graduate of Lewis and Clark Law School who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, has made a positive mark on the legal or business profession and whose accomplishments have brought honor and distinction to Lewis and Clark Law School.

Additionally, he is listed in Chambers USA 2017 as a Recognized Practitioner in the area of Labor & Employment, and he has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Employment Law - Management (20th-24th editions, 2014-2018).

Mr. Hernández was named the Hispanic National Bar Association’s 2017 “Latino Attorney of the Year.” The award is given to recipients based on significant contributions to the Hispanic community and to improving the quality of the legal profession or the administration of justice, as well as significant service within the HNBA, including leadership roles. In addition, professionalism and civility, character and integrity, demonstrated legal acumen, vision and leadership, and service to the legal professional are taken into consideration.

Professional/Civic Activities

Mr. Hernández has devoted a significant amount of time to civic and community involvement. He is a former National President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), a voluntary, nationwide bar association that represents the interests of 100,000 Hispanic lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. He is also a former founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of The HNBA Legal Education Fund, the HNBA's only charitable foundation. In 2017, Mr. Hernández was named the Latino Attorney of the Year by the HNBA. The award recognizes lawyers that are making a difference in the legal profession and in our communities.

In 2011, Mr. Hernández was one of 12 Hispanic national leaders selected to participate in Project Interchange, which is an educational institute of The American Jewish Committee and brings leaders and policy-makers to Israel for a week of intensive travel and learning in Israel.

In January 2013, Mr. Hernández began serving a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Portland Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, one of 12 banks that comprise the central banking system of the United States. Through this service, Mr. Hernández helps develop the nation's monetary policy. Only 274 Americans serve as a Director within the Federal Reserve System's 12 banks. Mr. Hernández was reappointed to another three-year term in 2016.

Speaking Engagements

  • “ME, Inc. - The Ins and Outs of Developing Your Brand and Owning Your Career,” Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Annual Convention, September 2016.
  • “Employee Terminations: Global Differences and the Issues That Arise,” K&L Gates Global Employer Solutions Webinar, August 2016.
  • “Leadership Skills for Lawyers,” HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference, March 2015.
  • “Legal Writing: Elevator to Success or Nearest Pitfall. Where do you Stand?,” HNBA Annual Convention, August 2014.
  • “Saying Good-bye is Hard to Do: Challenges of Employment Termination,” HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference, March 2014.
  • Michael Hernandez v. FedEx Freight, Inc., et. al, 2017 WL 3120271 (D. Or. July 21, 2017) (dismissing state law “aiding and abetting” claim against two out of three individually-named supervisors which led to resolution of lawsuit on favorable terms.)
  • Bryan v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2014 WL 841532 (W. Dist. Wash. Mar. 4, 2014) (dismissing, with prejudice, disability discrimination nationwide class action that alleged that client's policy violated Americans with Disabilities Act as to pharmacists who are recovering drug addicts and alcoholics), aff’d, 2016 WL 6212004 (9th Cir. Oct. 25, 2016). (A unanimous 3-judge panel agreed with our client’s arguments, and upheld dismissal of the lawsuit.)
  • Foley Enterprises, Inc. v. Frontier Communications Northwest, Inc., Case No. 3:16-cv-00425-HZ (D. Oregon 2016) (favorably resolved lawsuit alleging fraud and unjust enrichment claims after moving to dismiss or stay the lawsuit).
  • Tecta America Corp. v. Viewpoint, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-02214-HZ (D. Oregon 2015) (favorably resolved computer software dispute after moving to dismiss fraud claim and claim for consequential damages alleged by the nation’s largest commercial roofing company in lawsuit alleging in excess of $4 million in damages).
  • Alberto de la Mora, Jr. v. Target Corporation, Case No. 3:15-cv-00209-PRM (W. D. Texas 2015) (favorably resolved Title VII and 42 U.S.C. Section 1981 national origin and discrimination/retaliation claims the day after deposing plaintiff in lawsuit where plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages).
  • First Pacific Funding v. Frontier Communications Corp., Case No. C14-00744-RSM (W. Dist. Wash. June 2015) (resolved consumer protection putative class action on favorable terms after successfully defeating plaintiff’s attempt to dismiss client’s counterclaim for attorney’s fees).
  • Fog Cap Acceptance, et al. v. Verizon Business Network Services, Inc., 2014 WL 6064217 (D. Oregon Nov. 12, 2014) (dismissing breach of contract, bailment, and negligence claims related to alleged loss and destruction of plaintiffs’ computer software for which plaintiffs claimed $11.5 million in economic damages).
  • Alvarez v. Target Corporation, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96509 (E. Dist. Wash. July 10, 2013) (dismissing various state law torts including outrage/lIED, breach of promise, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and Washington Consumer Protection Act claim).
  • Johnston v. Kimberly-Clark Global Sales, LLC, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144088 (D. Oregon Aug. 19, 2010) (dismissing intentional interference with economic relations claim).
  • DeBaugh v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., 693 F. Supp. 2d 1253 (D. Oregon 2009) (dismissing negligent entrustment claim asserted against motor carrier).
  • Surber v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Umatilla County Circuit Court Case No. CV040529 (dismissing Worker’s Compensation discrimination and retaliatory discharge claims).