Cindy Pánuco

Cindy Pánuco

Pasadena, California
866-457-2590 (Toll-Free)

Cindy Pánuco is a partner at Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP. She represents plaintiffs in individual and class action cases at all stages of litigation in federal and state courts. Since joining the firm, she has successfully litigated major civil rights, employment, and international human rights cases on behalf of victims of police and jailer misconduct, workers, and the underrepresented.

Notable class cases litigated by Ms. Pánuco include Rodriguez v. City of Los Angeles et al., and Pierce v. County of Orange et al. In Rodriguez, Ms. Pánuco represents a class of thousands of persons affected gang injunctions that contain unconstitutional curfew provisions. This case resulted in a settlement that established a $30 million Jobs and Education Program in the City of Los Angeles-giving job and education benefits to class members. The settlement also included a process for removal from the City's gang injunctions. For this result her team was recognized at the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Awards in 2017. She also served as class counsel in Pierce - a class case that successfully challenged the conditions for disabled inmates at the Orange County Jail. In 2011, Hadsell Stormer's lawsuit led a federal court to issue an injunction ordering that all jail facilities were to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In February 2014, after two and one half years under federal oversight, the County was found to have remedied the ADA violations.

Ms. Pánuco was also on the team that litigated Puente v. Arpaio et al. This suit challenged Arizona laws which make it a felony to use false documents to obtain work, and sought to end worksite raids by Sheriff Arpaio that targeted undocumented workers. In 2017, a federal court in Arizona found that the practices of Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa County Attorney were unlawful. Maricopa County and Arpaio ended the raids and agreed to pay nearly $1 million to the plaintiffs for Attorneys' Fees and Costs.

Ms. Pánuco also represents plaintiffs in noteworthy civil rights and employment cases. She has traveled to Guantánamo Bay Cuba, and joined the trial team that challenged the indefinite detention of Obaidullah, a former prisoner held at the camp from 2002 - 2016. She also litigates wrongful death cases involving the denial of medical care in jails and prisons, as well as police shootings that have resulted in multi-million dollar settlements. In Saycon v. City of Long Beach, Ms. Pánuco's team secured a $2 million dollar settlement for the senseless killing of a man with a mental health disability. In the individual wrongful termination suit of Denise Steffens v. Regus-a case involving a manager who was fired for reporting the company's wage and hour law violations, Ms. Pánuco and her co-counsel obtained an over $4.6 million federal jury verdict.
She is also active in numerous professional organizations. She served as one of the youngest Presidents of the Mexican American Bar Association in 2015, and serves as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. She has also presented at numerous legal conferences for other employment and civil rights lawyers, and is frequently asked to speak at law schools and citizens' organizations.
For her early accomplishments and service to the community and legal profession, Ms. Pánuco has been repeatedly recognized in the Southern California Super Lawyers® - Rising Stars list each year from 2012 through 2018. She has also been named to the list of Top 50 Women Rising Stars in Southern California, and among the Top 100 Rising Stars in the region.

Her legal career began as one of ten post-graduate fellows through the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Fellowship Program. As a fellow, Ms. Pánuco was placed in the chambers of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Stern and at the firms of Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP and Reback, McAndrews, Kjar, Warford, & Stockalper LLP.

Prior to law school, Ms. Pánuco worked for three years in the Washington, DC Office of then-Congressman Xavier Becerra as a Legislative Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary. She received her J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and her B.S. from the University of Southern California.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment
  • Civil Rights
  • Human Rights
  • Social Justice

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2011
  • U.S. District Court District of Arizona


  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D. - 2009
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
    • B.S. - 2003
    • Honors: With High Honors
    • Major: Public Policy and Management

Representative Cases

  • Rodriguez v. City of Los Angeles et al.
  • Pierce v. County of Orange et al.
  • Puente v. Arpaio et al.
  • Saycon v. City of Long Beach
  • Denise Steffens v. Regus


  • Current Member, Lawyer Representative, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Central District of California

Honors and Awards

  • California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Award, 2017 - Present
  • Southern California Super Lawyers ® Rising Stars Top 50 Women Rising Stars, 2016
  • Southern California Super Lawyers® - Top 100 Rising Stars list
  • Los Angeles Magazine’s Top Attorneys in Southern California – Rising Stars list July, 2012 - 2015
  • Karl M. Seuthe Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy, 2009
  • American Board of Trial Advocates Award, 2009
  • Los Angeles Magazine's Top Women Attorneys - Rising Stars List, 2013
  • Southern California Super Lawyers® - Rising Stars list, 2012 - 2018

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Mexican American Bar Association, Immediate Past-President, 2015
  • Latina Lawyers Bar Association, Member, 2010 - Present
  • LACBA, Member, 2010 - Present
  • National Lawyers Guild, Member, 2010 - Present
  • California Employment Lawyers Association, Diversity Committee Member, 2013 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Office of Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA 31), Legislative Assistant/Deputy Press Secretary, 2003 - 2006
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Fellow, Chambers of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Stern and at the firms of Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP and Reback, McAndrews, Kjar, Warford, & Stockalper LLP

Pro Bono Activities

  • Loyola Latino Alumni, Founding Member, 2015 - Present
  • California Rural Legal Assistance, Executive Board Member, 2014 - Present
  • National Police Accountability Project, Member, 2013 - Present
  • Loyola Law Young Alumni Advisory Board, Member, 2010 - Present


  • Spanish