I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. I attended the Universidad de Los Andes in Merida, Venezuela and obtained a dual degree in Arts and Literature. In 1981, I left Venezuela to study Applied Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and I obtained my Masters Degree in 1984. I then attended the UCLA School of Law and was admitted to the California State Bar after receiving my Juris Doctor degree in 1987.
Since 1991, my law partner and husband, Rick Hicks, and I have dedicated our practice exclusively to representing employees in cases involving sexual harassment, disability discrimination, hostile work environment, whistleblower claims, wrongful termination, wage and hour violations (class action and individual claims), and many other workplace violation claims. We have resolved multiple cases through informal settlement, mediation, arbitration and trial. I have also written appellate briefs and have argued before the California Court of Appeals (2nd District) and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
I am a member of the California Employment Lawyers Association ("CELA"), the Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar of California, the Mexican-American Bar Association ("MABA"), and the Los Angeles Employment Lawyers Association ("LEFTJAW") and I regularly participate in conferences and seminars hosted by these organization.
Between 1991 and 1995, I was a member of the Client Security Fund Commission for the State Bar of California, serving as its Chair between 1994 and 1995. The fund is a public service of the legal profession in California created in 1972 for the purpose of compensating clients who lose money due to a lawyer's dishonest conduct. As a member, I reviewed applications, contacted applicants to obtain detailed information regarding their claims, met with the other fund members to analyze and determine whether the claimant qualified for reimbursement, held hearings, and, if necessary, referred attorneys to the Attorney Discipline System.
Representative cases include:
- multiple plaintiffs in race discrimination/retaliation litigation against a labor union;
- a yard supervisor in a sexual orientation harassment/retaliation claim against a trucking company;
- a female executive in a sexual harassment/retaliation claim against a labor union;
- a property manager in a pregnancy discrimination and post-employment retaliation claim against property management company;
- wage & hour violations on behalf of on-site property managers against property management company;
- a customer service representative in a national origin harassment case against a luxury retailer;
- a factory worker in a whistleblower claim who was terminated after complaining about contaminated food products;
- a long-term employee terminated from working at a printing press company after suffering a work-related injury;
- multiple African-American auto salesmen in a race discrimination/retaliation case against a luxury automobile dealership in Southern California;
- a number of low-wage earners in wage & hour claims involving misclassification, failure to pay overtime and failure to pay meal breaks and rest breaks.