Our Attorneys are Diverse and Passionate
Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP is composed of a unique make-up of attorneys with extensive legal experience, which enables the firm to provide clients with expert legal guidance quickly, economically and efficiently. All of our attorneys are dedicated to making meaningful differences in their communities, with many serving as activists for various ethnic, legal and community groups.
As specialists in several legal practice areas, including Business, Education and Public Law, we attract the best and brightest lawyers throughout the nation to each of our West Coast and Southwest city offices.
Bonifacio Bonny GarciaManaging Partner & Founder
Bonifacio Bonny Garcia is the managing partner and a founder of Garcia, Hernández, Sawhney. Although he also heads the firm’s Glendale office, Garcia has extensive experience representing school districts, community college districts, special districts, cities and other governmental entities throughout the state of California.
Mary T. HernandezEquity Partner & Founder
Mary T. Hernández is a founding partner of Garcia, Hernández, Sawhney, LLP and heads the San Francisco Bay Area office. Hernández serves as legal counsel to school, county and community college districts as well as nonprofit organizations and charter schools throughout California.
Nitasha Kaur SawhneyEquity Partner
Nitasha Kaur Sawhney practices in the firm’s Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area offices in California, advising clients on all aspects of labor and employment matters. Sawhney specializes in labor negotiations, contract grievances, hiring and discipline matters, leaves of absences and health, and retiree benefit matters. Sawhney also frequently advises clients on charter school and nonprofit matters as well as general governance, strategic planning and policy implementation. Sawhney serves as legal counsel to public school districts, community college districts, private universities and charter schools throughout the state.
Aerobel BanuelosCOO & Equity Partner
Aerobel Banuelos is an Equity Partner in the San Diego office of Garcia, Hernández, Sawhney, LLP. Her practice covers most aspects of transactional work relating to public agency and special district representation, including water law issues, public works and purchasing issues, and real property issues. Banuelos frequently represents the Oxnard School District, Garvey School District and other firm clients in finance and transactional matters.
Erika AndersonOf Counsel
Erika Anderson is a partner in the San Diego office of Garcia Hernandez Sawhney, practicing primarily in the areas of education law, litigation, and labor and employment. Anderson has experience in private business litigation matters involving international contract law and foreign jurisdiction. Anderson has also worked closely with numerous school districts across the state to help mitigate ongoing cuts in state funding, including contract negotiations with labor unions, engaging in impasse proceedings and fact finding, and advising school districts on matters of employment law and grievance processing..
Laura Berzins is an Associate Attorney at Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP’s San Francisco Bay Area office. She joins the firm’s Education Law practice group with a focus on Board governance, school facilities and contracts, special education and general student issues.
Albert ErkelOf Counsel
Albert Erkel is an attorney in Garcia, Hernandez, Sawhney, LLP’s San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego offices. His primary area of practice is the litigation of all types of complex business construction and employment disputes. He has significant experience in handling arbitrations, mediations and trials in both federal and state courts.
Ana Gallegos is an Associate Attorney at Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP’s Los Angeles area office. She is a member of the Firm’s education law and litigation practice groups.
Ms. Gallegos has substantial experience in labor negotiations and advising clients regarding labor laws and state labor regulations. She also has significant experience litigating labor law, employment law and contract issues in civil court and administrative proceedings.
Peter JaniakOf Counsel
Peter Janiak, one of the original editors of the California Public Sector Law Labor Relations treatise has joined Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP as Of Counsel. Peter received his J.D., with an emphasis in labor law, from UC Davis-King Hall. His primary practice areas are employment discrimination and public-sector labor relations.
Lawrence S. JoeAssociate
Lawrence S. Joe is an associate in Garcia, Hernandez, Sawhney, LLP’s Los Angeles office and a graduate of UCLA’s School of Law and the School of Public Affairs. He works in the firm’s Education and Public Law practice groups.
Conor Kennedy is an Associate Attorney at Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP’s San Francisco Bay Area office. He is a member of the Education Law group and the Litigation group.
Erica Kim is an associate at Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP’s Los Angeles area office. She is a member of the commercial litigation group. Erica specializes in complex commercial litigation and privacy matters.
Janet Ly is a Partner in Garcia Hernandez Sawhney, LLP’s Los Angeles office. Ms. Ly’s practice focuses on complex litigation matters and representing the firm’s education and municipal clients. She has extensive experience in handling commercial litigation disputes, including breach of contract, high stakes business tort litigation, employment and professional liability.
James MeekerOf Counsel
James Meeker is Of Counsel to Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP. James’s practice focuses on education law, particularly in the areas of special education and student discipline, as well as labor and employment law.
Benjamin NiebergSenior Counsel
Benjamin Nieberg is Senior Counsel in the firm's San Diego office and specializes in education law, particularly in the area of special education. He has served as general counsel for school districts and has represented other governmental entities in personnel and student issues, contracts, labor negotiations, and governance issues.
Katie RiggsOf Counsel
Katie Riggs, a retired member of the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, now serves as Of Counsel at Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP. In addition to three decades of experience serving as lead attorney on a full range of complex civil rights compliance reviews addressing race, national origin, sex and disability, Katie is recognized as an expert on programs for English learners.
Alex SearsSenior Counsel
Alex Sears is a Senior Counsel in Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP’s San Francisco Bay Area office. Mr. Sear's practice focuses on complex litigation matters and representing the firm’s education and municipal clients.
Leah M. Smith is an associate in Garcia, Hernández, Sawhney, LLP’s San Francisco Bay Area office and a cum laude graduate of William & Mary School of Law. She is a member of the Firm’s education and public law groups.
Geoff Tong is a Partner in Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP’s Los Angeles Area office. Mr. Tong leads the firm’s commercial litigation group. He has counseled and represented insurance companies, managed care health plans and employee benefit plans in connection with claims and “bad faith” litigation for over 25 years. He has extensive experience in federal and state courts, at both the trial and appellate levels.