Nicole Maldonado

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC
10940 Wilshire Blvd Fl 17
Los Angeles, CA 90024

As a shareholder at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, Nicole Maldonado dedicates her practice entirely to representing families whose children are born with birth defects and those mothers who took SSRI antidepressants during their pregnancies.    She has been involved in Baum Hedlund's SSRI-antidepressant birth defect litigation since joining the firm. Along with the firm's birth defects trial team, Nicole represents 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 continuously concentrates a great deal of her time to researching, analyzing, and understanding the law in all fifty states. This has given her a special and unique perspective in resolving children's claims.    She has been involved in Baum Hedlund's SSRI-antidepressant birth defect litigation since joining the firm.Nicole played a pivotal role in resolving a large group of children's cases. She coordinated with and directed 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 was structured in the most beneficial way possible for that particular child.    She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida, where she studied Criminology. After graduating college, Nicole married and moved to her husband's home town, Detroit, where her first child was born. Shortly thereafter, Nicole studied law at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. She worked as a teaching assistant, lecturing and providing guidance on Contract Law. In her last trimester before graduating law school, Nicole secured a judicial clerkship with the district court. She also taught a criminal justice class at Lansing Community College.    Before joining Baum Hedlund to work in mass tort product liability litigation, Nicole devoted her law career as a public servant, starting with the practice of juvenile dependency in San Diego, California. She was appointed to represent parents, children, and foster parents throughout San Diego County, working together with social workers, judges and other public service members in the reunification of families. During this time, Nicole's second child was born.    The following year, Nicole and her family moved back to Detroit where she worked as a federal judicial law clerk for two years in the Eastern District of Michigan. After the clerkship, the family moved to Orlando, Florida, and she continued her practice in public service work, representing indigent clients as an assistant public defender. The Sixth Amendment protects the right to an attorney for those accused of a crime. The Supreme Court has interpreted that right as fundamental and essential to a fair trial. Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963). "Each Era finds an improvement in Law for the benefit of Mankind.†Quote from the headstone of Clarence Earl Gideon (August 30, 1910 - January 18, 1972).    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.    Outside of her work, Nicole has volunteered legal services for the homeless, helped implement a plan to assist counties in forming a homeless court program, mentored at inner-city local high schools, performed mock trials for the local elementary students, provided instruction and insight about indigent defense, coached high school students in trial competitions, volunteered as a mock trial judge for the American Association of Justice's Student Trial Advocacy Competitions, and raised money for indigent clothing drives. Along with her family, she has also volunteered to help raise money for the Children's Hospital of Orange County, and has walked for donations to help support Organ-ize The Planet and the California Transplant Donor Network.    Today, Nicole and her family continue to provide services, food, clothing, and donations to various organizations and communities throughout each year. After all, “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots.†Thurgood Marshall.  


  Syracuse, New York, 1970  


  University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida (B.A., 1992)  Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan (J.D. cum laude, 1999)  

Court Admissions:

  California, 2000  U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 2002  Florida, 2004  U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 2007  U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2008  

Awards and Honors:  

  Selected to: Southern California Super Lawyers® 2014  Listed, The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyersâ„¢  Michigan Bar Journal, Contributing Author, 1998  Associate Editor, Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, 1999  Chair, Moot Court Board 1998-99  National Moot Court Competition- Final Four, 1998  First-Year Moot Court Competition- Winner and Best Advocate, 1996  Student-Faculty Moot Court Competition-Winner, 1999  Certificates of Merit Award in Property and Evidence  Scholarship Recipient: Mid-Michigan Women Lawyers Association, 1997  


  State Bar of California  The Florida Bar  Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers 2004-2007  The American Association for Justice: Leader's Forum; Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP)  

Legal Teaching Positions:

  Teaching Assistant, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing Michigan, 1996-1999  Adjunct Faculty Member, Criminal Justice, Lansing Community College, 1999  Trainer, Public Defender's Office, Orlando, Florida, 2005-2007  

Published Cases:  

  Cunningham v. SmithKline Beecham, 255 F.R.D. 474 (N.D.Ind. 2009) (ordering defendant to produce documents and awarding sanctions)  Forst v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 602 F.Supp.2d 960 (E.D.Wis. 2009) (holding that Wisconsin has not adopted the learned intermediary doctrine and allowing all of plaintiffs' claims, including, negligence, fraud and punitive damages to proceed to the jury)  Forst v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., 639 F.Supp.2d 948 (E.D.Wis.,2009) (holding that plaintiffs' claims are not preempted by federal law)  

Notable Media Appearances:  

  News  Andrews Pharmaceutical Litigation Reporter  BNA (Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.)  Harris Martin Publications, Columns Drugs & Supplements  Mealey's Emerging Drugs & Devices  Mealey's Litigation Report Antidepressant Drugs