After Trinidad Galdean graduated from Drake University’s law school in 1992, he went to work as a litigator working primarily personal injury cases.
“Slip-and-falls, auto accidents, trial work,” Galdean said.
Along the way the 44-year-old native of Dalhart, Texas, expanded his practice to include commercial litigation and commercial law. It was within commercial law that Galdean found his niche: employment law.
That niche would lead him to join Kutak Rock’s Wichita office in 2006 and, more recently, to serve as “of counsel attorney” at Hinkle Law Firm.
It’s also a niche that Galdean has cultivated into an active role within the Society for Human Resource Management Wichita chapter. He serves as the organization’s 2012 president. Galdean also holds board certification in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is certified as a professional in human resources by the Human Resource Certification Institute.
He is married to Betsy and they have a 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter.
Q. Of all the areas to focus in law, why did you choose employment law?
A. I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the solution part of it, right when the problem or issue arises. You’re dealing with the top management (of a company). It’s more of the preventative part I enjoyed, the counseling: Here’s this situation, how do we address this?
Q. What are your goals as the president of the Society for Human Resource Management Wichita chapter?
A. My initiative this year has been focused on collaboration with … other organizations, employer or business organizations, trying to connect us with those organizations to facilitate any needs or questions they have. I’m trying to get human resources in at the boardroom table.
Q. What benefit do you get from participating in an organization such as SHRM and what benefits do you think members get from your participation?
A. It helps me identify issues an HR practitioner is dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Hopefully, they’re able to utilize the resources I have … that I can add some value to the material, programs, legislation.
Q. What’s the oddest situation you’ve come across in your practice of employment law?
A. Most of the stories end up coming from the third shift, night shift, in a manufacturing operation (involving employees) that end up getting caught on video.
Q. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
A. I sang once on television on a Spanish television show. It was sort of the initial version of “American Idol” on a Spanish station. I sang with my sister. We were just kids in grade school.