Shaleen Shanbhag Photo

Shaleen Shanbhag

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Bio

Shaleen Shanbhag is a partner at Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai, LLP. She represents plaintiffs in individual and class actions at all stages of litigation in federal and state court. Since joining the firm in 2017, Ms. Shanbhag’s successful litigation of major civil rights and employment cases has protected the rights of employees, victims of police abuse, and the underrepresented.

Ms. Shanbhag’s notable cases include Edmo v. Idaho Department of Correction et al., and Fazaga v. FBI, et al. In Edmo, she represents Adree Edmo, a Native American transgender woman in the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction. Ms. Shanbhag, along with co-counsel, successfully obtained a preliminary injunction ordering an Idaho state prison to provide Ms. Edmo with medically urgent treatment, including gender confirmation surgery, for her severe gender dysphoria. The Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court’s order, in the first appellate court decision ordering a state to provide a prisoner gender confirmation surgery. Ms. Edmo received gender confirmation surgery in May 2020.

Fazaga is a lawsuit challenging the FBI’s surveillance of some of the largest mosques in Orange County, California in 2006 and 2007. Ms. Shanbhag and co-counsel ACLU Foundation of Southern California and Council for American-Islamic Relations represent a class of hundreds of Muslim Americans whom the FBI unlawfully targeted and surveilled because of their religion and religious practices. The surveillance operation involved a paid informant who posed as a convert to Islam and recorded hundreds of hours of video and audio of discussion groups, prayers, religious lectures, and social and cultural events. The lawsuit resulted in a landmark Ninth Circuit ruling rejecting the FBI’s invocation of the “state secrets” privilege. The U.S. Supreme Court heard the case in November 2021.

Ms. Shanbhag is part of the litigation team in Puente v. City of Phoenix, et al., where she represents a class of at least 6,000 anti-Trump protesters who were unlawfully dispersed by excessive force, including chemical and kinetic projectile weapons, at a Trump rally in 2017.

Ms. Shanbhag has litigated numerous cases resulting in multi-million dollar settlements, including a jury verdict in a Monterey County Jail wrongful death lawsuit resulting in a $2.875 million settlement (Pajas v. County of Monterey, et al.), and a jury verdict in a fatal LAPD shooting case resulting in a $1.95 million settlement (Tchayou v. City of Los Angeles, et al.). She has successfully represented employees in a wide variety of workplace disputes, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. She has also argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

For her early accomplishments, Ms. Shanbhag has been recognized in the National Trial Lawyer’s Top 40 Under 40. She is an active member of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, has presented at conferences, and is frequently asked to speak at law schools.

She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UC Irvine School of Law.

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Irvine School of Law
    • Pro Bono Honors
    • Law Review
  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley

Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit

Notable Work

Classes & Seminars

  • Loyola Law School – Civil Rights Litigation Practicum
  • University of California, Irvine School of Law – Civil Rights Litigation Clinic
  • University of California, Los Angles School of Law – Suing the Police
  • University of Southern California – Law and Local Political Activism
    Memberships
    • The National Trial Lawyer’s Top 40 Under 40
    • Adaptive Adventures Unlimited, Board of Directors
      Adaptive Adventures Unlimited, Board of Directors
    Education
    • National Lawyers Guild, Governance Committee Member
    • California Employment Lawyers Association, Member
    • Bachelors University

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