• Bio

Barbara E. Hadsell


Barbara Enloe Hadsell is a 1978 graduate of the UCLA School of Law. Ms. Hadsell has maintained a varied practice, litigating extensively for many years in state and federal courts in the areas of civil rights, constitutional, and international human rights law. In the frequent instances where her firm co-counsels complex litigation involving teams of attorneys, Ms. Hadsell routinely has been designated by her peers as lead counsel, either singly or as one of a select team of more experienced litigators.

Ms. Hadsell has received numerous awards concerning her work. The California Women’s Law Center selected Ms. Hadsell and her partner, Dan Stormer, as the first-ever honorees of its now annual Pursuit of Justice Award, in recognition of what the organization characterized as their "cutting edge efforts in the area of protecting the rights of women and minorities."

Ms. Hadsell has been cited by The National Law Journal as one of America’s Top 50 Women Litigators. In May 2006, The Impact Fund, one of the nation’s leading foundations providing broad support for complex public interest litigation in the areas of civil rights, environmental justice, and poverty law, honored her as co-lead counsel and part of a team of 24 attorneys in Flores v. Albertson's, CV 01 - 0515 PA. Flores was a statewide federal class action filed on behalf of several thousand monolingual Spanish-speaking janitors against Albertson’s, Vons, Safeway, and Ralphs for wage and hour violations; the case settled for in excess of $22 million in 2005 on the eve of trial.

Since 2001, Ms. Hadsell has been recognized annually by her peers as one of the best attorneys in the United States in the practice area of employment law. (The Best Lawyers in America). Lawdragon 500 has repeatedly listed Ms. Hadsell for inclusion as one of the 500 outstanding plaintiff employment lawyers in the United States in the Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Guide, resulting from reviews of her work by peers and competitors. The National Trial Lawyers have identified Ms. Hadsell as one of the Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in California. She has been consistently recognized by Southern California Super Lawyers, published by Los Angeles Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine as one of the premier employment litigators in Southern California. The same publication has routinely recognized and listed Ms. Hadsell as both one of the top 100 lawyers and one of the top 50 female lawyers in Southern California. Both the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals have identified her as one of the state’s top 75 female litigators. In 2017, Ms. Hadsell was once again selected by the American Society of Legal Advocates as one of the Top 100 litigation lawyers in California. Also in 2019, she was nominated for her personal and professional achievements in Marquis Who’s Who in America and Premiere Lawyers in America.

Ms. Hadsell was co-lead trial counsel overseeing the effort of a team of over 20 lawyers from around the country against global energy giant Chevron for its involvement in deaths and other human rights abuses occurring in the rich oil-producing region of the Niger Delta following environmental protests [Bowoto v. Chevron, C99 - 02506 SI].

Ms. Hadsell has litigated many employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and whistleblower cases, with settlements totaling many millions of dollars. Her trial skills were portrayed by Hollywood in Hostile Intent. This movie concerns one of her early employment discrimination cases, brought in the United States District Court, Central District of California on behalf of two female police officers. In it, Ms. Hadsell obtained a nearly $4 million judgment from the City of Long Beach, the highest award ever at the time for a sexual harassment case in which no punitive damages were available. [Lindsey Allison and Melissa Clerkin v. City of Long Beach, CV89 -3240 RG].

Included among the many other employment cases Ms. Hadsell has litigated are Lynda Vitale v. City of Long Beach, BC126134 [in which she represented the first attorney nationwide to utilize the battered woman syndrome defense in a murder trial in her own claims for sex discrimination and harassment against the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s office], and Edith Lopez v. City of Alhambra, et al, BC 209442 [in which Ms. Hadsell represented a Latina police sergeant in her claims of sex discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and obtained a large settlement and injunctive relief in the form of her promotion to the position of Lieutenant].

Ms. Hadsell has represented large numbers of plaintiffs in a variety of complex and novel situations, including wage and hour class actions (such as Flores v. Albertson’s, et al, a case brought by a class of thousands of janitors against California’s major supermarket chains); farm workers in labor disputes and various legal aid, grassroots citizens’ groups and public interest organizations in "SLAPP suits" filed against them; unique slumlord actions, including Pineda vs. Wallman, BC245543 [stating claims on behalf of nearly 120 individuals for wrongful death and personal injury in the collapse of an apartment building suffering from rot and mold due to the owners' neglect and conscious disregard] and Antonia Leon Roman v. Mervin Kurtzman, C 600 773 [a wrongful death and personal injury action against owners of an apartment complex who subjected their tenants to an arson fire which killed four members of a garment district family and very seriously burned and traumatized four others]. Indeed, Ms. Hadsell tried the seminal slumlord case, Hernandez v. Stabach, in which she represented nearly 30 families in a three-month-long trial that set many of the parameters for such litigation for years to come.

Ms. Hadsell has appeared on dozens of panels before bar associations, conferences, and at conventions. She was asked to participate in the Ninth Circuit's Gender Discrimination Task Force and has presented at "Arguments of the Masters" and "Legends of Litigation." Ms. Hadsell is frequently asked to speak at law schools and citizen's organizations.


  • J.D., University of California at Los Angeles School of Law


  • California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit

Memberships & Awards

  • The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 in California (2021)
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment & Civil Rights Lawyers (2021)
  • ASLA - Three-Time Member
  • ASLA 2019 - Top 100 Lawyer
  • ASLA 2018 - Top 100 Lawyer
  • ASLA - 2015 Top 100 Lawyer
  • “Super Lawyer” in “Southern California Super Lawyers,” published by Los Angeles Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine
  • 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America

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