Jessica Heppenstall is a Partner in Tyson & Mendes’ San Diego office. Her practice focuses on medical malpractice and general liability maters, including premises liability, automobile liability, and personal injury matters. Her representation of individuals and businesses includes high-exposure matters involving alleged catastrophic injury and wrongful death.
Ms. Heppenstall leads a multi-attorney litigation team in a diverse variety of practice areas. As Senior Counsel, she led a team of more than 30 attorneys devoted to representing one of the world’s most influential startups, providing high-level oversight on hundreds of files at a time.
Ms. Heppenstall has successfully defended and resolved numerous matters for her clients substantially below the settlement demands effectively saving her clients millions of dollars. She was part of the Tyson & Mendes litigation team who won several summary judgment motions, one involving over $100 million in damages.
Ms. Heppenstall earned her J.D. from California Western School of Law in 2008. She also earned her B.A., cum laude, from the University of California, Berkeley in Legal Studies. She is a member of the San Diego Defense Lawyers.
In her free time, Ms. Heppenstall enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She is a native San Diegan and fourth generation Californian who loves the beach and being outdoors.
Recent PostsPublic Contract Code Section 7107 Does Not Apply If Retention Funds Are Not Withheld
In Blois Construction, Inc. v. FCI/Fluor/Parsons (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 1091, the Court of Appeal held a general contractor’s obligation to pay retention payments does not arise until the general contractor receives retention proceeds from a project owner. Specifically, Public Contract Code Section 7107, which requires public entities to release retention proceeds to contractors within 60 days of completion of the project, is not applicable if retention payments were not withheld.Sexual Harassment Prevention 101: Critical Training for Employers & Employees
Many people recognize overt and blatant sexual harassment, but what about more subtle and covert instances? Sexual harassment is still a widespread problem that occurs across all sectors of employment. Sexual harassment violates a victim’s personal dignity, privacy, psychological well-being, and personal boundaries.Unethical Coaching of Non-Party Witnesses: What is Your Recourse?
A zealous advocate has an ethical duty to prepare their client for deposition. But, how do you handle opposing counsel crossing the line and coaching unrepresented non-party witnesses to refuse to answer questions based on the deponent’s right to privacy? The right to privacy is not absolute and must be balanced against other important interests. Johnson v. Superior Court (2000) 80 Cal. App. 4th 1050, 1068.California Case Law Update
COVERAGE Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange 234 Cal.App.4th 1220 Facts: Jessica Gonzalez (“Gonzalez”) filed a complaint against Stephen Rebagliati (“Rebagliati”) and nine other members of the De Anza baseball team,Court Reverses Ruling on Terminating Sanctions
A case can be dismissed for failure to respond to discovery. Such a result is known as terminating discovery sanctions. The case outlined below held the statute requiring mandatory reliefEnforcing Settlements: How Enforceable is Your Release?
What happens when the parties reach a settlement, but one of the parties subsequently refuses to sign it? In a recent ruling, the Court of Appeal confirmed a settlement agreement cannot be enforced under section 664.6 unless it is signed by all of the parties.Pleading the Fifth: How It Can Harm Your Civil Case
The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Evidence Code §940 both provide a privilege against self-incrimination. However, there are pitfalls to pleading the fifth in a civil matter.Vexatious Litigation: Does an Unfiled Lawsuit Constitute “Litigation?”
Vexation litigant law was enacted to curb the misuse of the court system by in propria persona filing groundless lawsuits or attempting to re-litigate issues previously determined against them. (C.C.P. § 391.) There are a number of circumstances under which a plaintiff may be deemed “vexatious.”Resolving Claims with Medicare and Medi-Cal Beneficiaries
Medicare and Medi-Cal each have unique requirements for claims involving their beneficiaries. Here we address commonly asked questions, including the difference between the two, the impact the programs have on the insurer, and how to handle Medicare and Medi-Cal liens in reaching a settlement.California Case Law Updates
June 2014 California Case Law Update