Kathryn Lee Colgan - Partner


San Diego, CA: (858) 459-4400

Orange County, CA: (949) 490-4840


Kathryn Lee Colgan is a Partner in Tyson & Mendes’ San Diego and Orange County offices. Ms. Colgan is an experienced ten plus year attorney and leads two multi-attorney litigation teams in the areas of general liability and labor and employment practices. Ms. Colgan specializes in insurance defense including catastrophic accidents, personal injury, premise liability, business litigation, and some medical malpractice cases and labor and employment defense including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, retaliation, wage/hour claims, class actions and PAGA representative actions.

Ms. Colgan second chaired a toxic tort trial in which plaintiff asked for $23 million. The jury rendered a defense verdict, determining three companies were not liable for a boy’s birth defects after his mother claimed she was exposed to pesticides. Ms. Colgan also second chaired a trial in traumatic brain injury case where plaintiff was asking for $7.8 million. The jury rendered a verdict under both defense 998 Offers to Compromise in the amount of $29,000.00. Ms. Colgan’s employment practices liability experience includes the defense of sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and breach of employment contract matters. She successfully drafted and argued Motions for Summary Adjudication on behalf of emergency responder clients in multi-party wrongful death cases. In addition, Ms. Colgan has prepared and argued several Motions to Strike where punitive damages were alleged against business clientele. Ms. Colgan has effectively settled multiple subrogation claims against clients within the policy limits where plaintiff was seeking high value property damage reimbursement.

Ms. Colgan graduated from UCLA in 2005, cum laude, where she double majored in History and Political Science in addition to playing on the UCLA women’s soccer team. She graduated from Cal Western School of Law in 2009 where she clerked for the Multiple Conflicts office and Upper Deck among others. She was also a member of the mentor/mentee program and international law club. She is licensed to practice law in all districts of California.

Outside the office, Ms. Colgan enjoys running, hiking, camping, soccer, beach volleyball, and traveling.


Recent Posts

Yet Another Blow to California Employers in Supreme Court Ruling

As if employers already didn’t have enough of an upward battle in California pushing back on employment retaliation claims, a recent California Supreme Court decision just upped the ante.  In Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc., the Court eliminated the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting test. 

California’s Minimum Wage Hike

California employers have had many difficulties over the past years, not only with the ongoing and changing COVID issues, but also with employee retention.  Another challenge employers face this year comes in conjunction with the recent minimum wage increase due to SB3.

Q&A: What the Passage of Prop 22 in California Means for “Gig Economy” Employees

App-based transportation and delivery companies spent the months leading up to election day heavily advocating for and supporting Proposition 22, a ballot initiative that would keep app-based drivers – “gig employees” – classified as independent contractors rather than employees, as mandated by the passage of the controversial California Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5). The effort paid off, and the proposition received enough votes in favor to pass into California law.

What Employers Should Be on the Lookout for While Adapting to the “New Normal” of Working From Home

Many of us are adapting to what is being called the new normal, which for many means working from home. With this change comes a variety of potential issues employers should tune into to avoid issues and potential lawsuits in the future.

On the Move: Tracking the Ins and Outs of California Lawyers

Law.com – June 5, 2020

New hires, promotions and awards from across the California legal market.


Tyson & Mendes Promotes Three to Partner: Sitar Bhatt and Kathryn Lee Colgan Promoted to Partner, Andrew Smith Elevated to Managing Partner

SAN DIEGO (May 28, 2020) – Leading civil defense firm Tyson & Mendes LLP announced today the promotion of Sitar Bhatt, Kathryn Lee Colgan and Andrew Smith. Bhatt joins the firm’s partnership in Phoenix, and Colgan in the San Diego and Orange County offices. Smith, meanwhile, was named branch managing partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Attack of the ADA Compliant Lawsuits in California

Currently in California there is a full frontal assault of lawsuits being waged against companies and employers big and small pertaining to ADA compliant websites. The most common type of suit being brought is with respect to the lack of proper access for the visually impaired. However, any business that is a “public accommodation” must assure its website complies with all disabilities including visual, neurological, hearing, and physical.

Tips to Steer Clear of the Lackluster Depo

After taking a certain number of plaintiffs’ depositions in one’s career, it can be easy to just coast and go through the motions; getting in and getting out after you have the main information you need. However, once trial comes around, you may be kicking yourself for not asking a few crucial questions that could help support and shape the defense of your case. While the questions posed below are not necessarily commonplace or appropriate in every case, they can help to illuminate certain key issues plaintiffs are would like to avoid.  

November Women’s Initiative Spotlight: Kat Lee

Kat Lee is Senior Counsel and a Team Leader in Tyson & Mendes’ San Diego office. With nine years’ experience as an attorney, Kat specializes in insurance defense, medical malpractice, catastrophic accidents, subrogation matters, personal injury, premise liability, business litigation and contract law. Learn more about this Ally McBeal fan and beach lover below.

Movin’ on Through an Impasse at Mediation

We have all been there. It is the standstill during mediation where it seems there is no way a settlement is going to be reached, and you feel as though you have reached the point of no return. However, with a few simple strategies and considerations, you may be able to breach this impasse and move on with meaningful settlement discussions.

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