LOS ANGELES – This week, Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel, announced important developments in the leadership of the MALDEF national litigation team. Longtime senior MALDEF attorney Nina Perales has become the Director of Litigation. In this capacity, she will oversee MALDEF litigation efforts throughout the country.
Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, stated "I am very pleased to have Nina Perales as our national Director of Litigation. Nina has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the nation's top civil rights litigators. With her expertise and dedication to the MALDEF mission, she will ensure that our docket of civil rights cases flourishes and our roster of significant courtroom victories expands in the years to come."
David G. Hinojosa is the new Southwest Regional Counsel. He will direct MALDEF's litigation, advocacy and public education in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
On Mr. Hinojosa's promotion, Mr. Saenz said "David Hinojosa's years of dedication to MALDEF and his growing national reputation for leadership and ingenuity in the field of education civil rights litigation make him a worthy successor to the many highly accomplished attorneys who have previously led the MALDEF San Antonio office, including most recently Nina Perales. I look forward to his leadership building upon the office's already exemplary reputation."
For brief biographies on Ms. Perales and Mr. Hinojosa, please see below.
Nina Perales Biography
Ms. Perales is a leading civil rights litigator and an expert on a range of issues, including immigrants’ rights, voting rights, and redistricting litigation. For the past 8 years, she has been MALDEF’s Southwest Regional Counsel and has also served as National Senior Counsel and Staff Attorney.
Among her current cases, Ms. Perales recently successfully argued in the lawsuit challenging Arizona’s anti-immigrant law known as SB 1070; she also leads the litigation that has struck down repeated anti-immigrant laws in Farmers Branch, Texas. In the area of voting rights, Ms. Perales recently secured a Ninth Circuit ruling invalidating a discriminatory Arizona voter registration law and is currently defending a test case involving the constitutional guarantee of equality in redistricting.
Ms. Perales’ voting rights work has included representing Latino intervenors in the defense of the federal Voting Rights Act in 2009 and successful statewide redistricting cases in Texas and Arizona. Ms. Perales also served as lead counsel for Latino challengers in the Texas 2003 congressional redistricting lawsuit and argued the case successfully to the U.S. Supreme Court (LULAC v. Perry, 548 U. S. 399 (2006)).
Ms. Perales received her Bachelor's degree from Brown University and earned her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.
David G. Hinojosa Biography
Since he joined MALDEF in 2003, Mr. Hinojosa has become a leading litigator, advocate, and thinker in the area of education civil rights. His practice focuses exclusively on civil rights impact litigation on behalf of Latinos. Mr. Hinojosa previously served at MALDEF as a Staff Attorney and Senior Litigator, during which time he participated in MALDEF’s litigation, advocacy, and public education in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and six additional southern and western states.
Among current cases, Mr. Hinojosa serves as MALDEF’s lead counsel for: low income and English Language Learner (ELL) children challenging the inadequacy of the Colorado school finance system; student intervening to defend Texas’s in-state tuition law for undocumented immigrants; ELL children challenging secondary programs and state education monitoring in Texas; and immigrants challenging discriminatory rules related to Texas driver’s licenses. Mr. Hinojosa has also litigated MALDEF cases that resulted in halting racially discriminatory classroom assignments for Latino schoolchildren, desegregated public school systems, and restored college tuition exemption to military veterans who were naturalized citizens or legal permanent residents of the U.S. In addition, he argued the most recent Texas school finance case, on behalf of property-poor districts, to the Texas Supreme Court in West-Orange Cove CISD v. Neeley. Mr. Hinojosa has also presented testimony to local and state governments and has served as an expert on education issues at numerous local, state and national conferences.
A graduate of Edgewood High School in San Antonio, David received his Bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University and earned his J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law in 2000.
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.