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Cindy Pánuco

Cindy Pánuco

Cindy Pánuco is a civil and human rights attorney, currently practicing at the boutique firm of Perez & Perez based in Downtown Los Angeles. She specializes in civil rights, wrongful death, police and law enforcement misconduct, catastrophic personal injury, and sexual assault cases. 

Before joining Perez & Perez, Cindy served as the Vice President and Chief Programs Officer at Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. From 2020 - 2023, she led Public Counsel’s eight legal departments, overseeing and coordinating the firm’s direct legal services, policy, and litigation to meet the needs of Los Angeles's low-income and historically excluded communities. Prior to her tenure as the head of Public Counsel's legal, and advocacy programming, Cindy was a partner at Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP – a renowned civil rights firm based in Pasadena, California. In the ten years she spent with the firm, she specialized in complex individual and class action cases involving civil rights, law enforcement misconduct, unjustified deadly police force, unconstitutional conditions of confinement in jails, worker's rights, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblowers, and other constitutional and international human rights. 

She has represented thousands of clients in impact and class action cases involving constitutional challenges to gang injunctions (Rodriguez v. City of Los Angeles), prisoner rights class actions (Pierce v. County of Orange), immigrant rights (Puente v. Arpaio), First Amendment rights of anti-Trump protestors (Puente v. City of Phoenix), predatory lending (Nemore v. County of Los Angeles, Renovate et al.,), students (VideoSymphony v. Wilson) and anticompetitive conspiracy to keep bail bond premiums high (In re California Bail Bond Antitrust Litigation).

Cindy has also represented individual plaintiffs in noteworthy human rights, civil rights and employment cases including a detainee held indefinitely in Guantanamo Bay Cuba (Obaydullah v. Obama), persons with mental health disabilities killed by law enforcement (Saycon v. City of Long Beach) and (Zion v. County of Orange), a wrongful jail death (Pajas v County of Monterey), a jail beating that led to reform in the Los Angeles County jail (Holguin v. County of Los Angeles) and a whistleblower claim that resulted in a unanimous federal jury verdict of over $4.6 million (Steffens v. Regus)

Long active in civil and human rights issues, she served as President of the Mexican American Bar Association in 2015, is presently the Executive Secretary of the Board of California Rural Legal Assistance, and sits on the Board of Directors for One Justice - a non-profit agency whose mission is to build the capacity of legal aid advocates to meet the growing needs of marginalized communities. 

Prior to law school, Ms. Pánuco worked for three years in the Washington, DC Office of then-Congressman Xavier Becerra as a Legislative Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary. She received her B.S. from the University of Southern California, and her J.D. from Loyola Law School Los Angeles. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants from Jalisco and Zacatecas.

In 2023, Cindy was appointed by Mayor Karen Bass, and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council to serve as a Commissioner on the Civil and Human Rights Commission.