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Samuel Hernandez

Fax +1.503.248.9085
Sam Hernandez focuses his practice on employment law and complex commercial litigation. He handles all aspects of litigation including mediations, mandatory arbitrations, motions, hearings, and trials in both state and federal courts. Mr. Hernandez has been recognized as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers and as a "Rising Litigator" by the Oregon State Bar Litigation Section.

In the area of employment law, Mr. Hernandez defends employers faced with employment law disputes, such as wage and hour claims, harassment, retaliation, discrimination, and whistleblower actions. Mr. Hernandez has experience in dealing with misappropriation of trade secret claims and breach or restrictive covenants (e.g., noncompete, nonsolicit, and nondisclosure agreements). Mr. Hernandez also has experience in dealing with class action litigation brought by current or former employees in areas such as improper payment of wages and misclassification of exempt/nonexempt employees.

In the area of complex commercial litigation, he helps companies resolve their business disputes with competitors, clients, vendors, and property owners. His experience includes resolving breach of contract claims, trespass to real property, breach of restrictive covenants, misappropriation of confidential or trade secret information, and other civil disputes.

In addition to resolving employment disputes when they occur, Mr. Hernandez counsels his clients on employment issues. He counsels employers on making decisions to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Mr. Hernandez drafts employment agreements, restrictive covenants, and stand-alone policies. He also drafts employee handbooks and conducts training on those policies.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Hernandez was an associate at another Portland, OR law firm. He represented employers and management in the defense of lawsuits or administrative complaints filed by current or former employees for allegations including harassment, discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation, and wage and hour violations. He also provided employment advice and training related to practice, policies, and legal issues, in both Spanish and English, to companies of all sizes.


  • Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in Employment & Labor, 2017 - 2018
  • Oregon State Bar Litigation Section: Rising Litigator Award, 2014
  • Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce: Leadership Award, 2014
  • Oregon Army National Guard: Bronze Star Medal, 2007
  • Oregon Army National Guard: Combat Infantry Badge, 2007
  • Oregon Army National Guard: Afghanistan Campaign Medal, 2007, 2015

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Hispanic National Bar Association
    • Region XVI President (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA), September 2018 - present
  • Judge, Portland Techstars Startup Weekend Latino 2017
  • Oregon Hispanic Bar Association
    • Immediate Past President, February 2018 - present
    • President, March 2017 - February 2018 
    • Co-president, October 2015 - February 2017
    • Board Member, September 2010 - November 2015
  • Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
    • Board Member, January 2012 - present
  • Classroom Law Project
    • Board Member, December 2015 - January 2017
  • Beaverton Education Foundation
    • Board Member, March 2012 - February 2014

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Privacy in the Workplace,” private client seminar (June 2018)
  • Speaker, “Trending Employment Issues,” Oregon Employer Council - Washington County Chapter (March 2018)
  • Panelist, “Discussion on the Legal Needs of Veterans in Oregon,” Oregon Women Lawyers Monthly Luncheon Speaker Series (November 2017)
  • Speaker on I-9 Compliance, “Employer Know Your Rights,” Lewis & Clark Small Business Legal Clinic (2017)
  • Presenter, Barran Liebman’s Annual Employment Law Seminar (2016)
  • Founder/Organizer/Presenter, Annual Latino Employment Law Seminar (2013, 2015, 2016)