Nicole Maldonado is a shareholder at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. She works on the firm’s mass tort product liability litigation, representing families whose children were born with birth defects or autism as a result of being exposed to SSRI antidepressants, such as Celexa and Lexapro, during the mother’s pregnancy.
As a member of the firm’s birth defects litigation team, Nicole has represented hundreds of clients whose families are affected by antidepressant-related injuries and death involving cardiac, neural tube, cranial, oral clefts, anal atresia, abdominal, and limb defects, as well as developmental delays and autism. Since these families live across the nation, Nicole concentrates a great deal of her time on researching, analyzing, and understanding the law in all fifty states. This has given her a special and unique perspective in resolving children’s claims.
Nicole coordinates with and directs many diverse professionals, including guardians ad litem, special needs trust attorneys, local probate counsel, annuity specialists, bank trustees, and lien negotiation companies in order to properly ensure that each individual settlement is structured in the most beneficial way possible for that particular child.
She earned her law degree and graduated cum laude from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, where she secured a judicial clerkship with the district court. Prior to that, she obtained her undergraduate degree in criminology at the University of South Florida.
Public service has always been central to Nicole’s practice. She began her law career representing parents, children, and foster parents in juvenile dependency cases in San Diego County, working with social workers, judges, and others in the reunification of families. She later worked as a federal judicial law clerk for two years in the Eastern District of Michigan and continued her practice in public service work in Orlando, Florida, where she represented indigent clients as an assistant public defender. Nicole gained extensive trial experience through her work as a public defender. She tried cases as the sole attorney in more than 25 jury trials. This experience has helped her identify the intricate and complex issues prevalent in every birth defect wrongful death and personal injury case. It has also assisted her in preparing cases for settlement negotiations and trial.
Nicole has been selected by her peers to be listed in Southern California Super Lawyers, 2014. She is also listed in The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™. She is a member of The American Association for Justice Leader’s Forum and Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP).