Kathryn Lee Colgan is Senior Counsel in Tyson & Mendes’ San Diego office. Mrs. Colgan is a nine-year attorney and leads a multi-attorney litigation team in the areas of general liability and employment practices liability. Mrs. Colgan specializes in insurance defense, employment defense, medical malpractice, catastrophic accidents, subrogation matters, personal injury, premise liability, business litigation, and contract law.
Mrs. Colgan recently 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. Mrs. 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. Mrs. 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, Mrs. Colgan has prepared and argued several Motions to Strike where punitive damages were alleged against business clientele. Mrs. Colgan has effectively settled multiple subrogation claims against clients within the policy limits where plaintiff was seeking high value property damage reimbursement.
Mrs. 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, Mrs. Colgan enjoys running, hiking, camping, soccer, beach volleyball, and traveling.
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.
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.
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.
Other than voir dire, your opening statement will be your chance to have each juror’s undivided attention. This is your first opportunity to make a solid impression on the jury, to lay the framework for the theme of your case, and to explain the facts of the case in an understandable way. In order to put together a compelling opening statement an attorney must do several things.
Motion in Limine translates to motion “at the threshold.” When properly used, Motions in Limine have the ability to drastically limit and focus the jury on key issues, diminish the length of trial, and lead to favorable settlements or verdicts. Motions in Limine can also help eliminate the need to lodge repetitive objections during trials, as not even the most experienced trial lawyer can predict a specific jury’s perception of persistent objections coming from the defense table.
We have all seen it. Months go by with very little treatment and the injuries/symptoms are minimal, until plaintiff retains an attorney. Then, suddenly, there are a slew of new and costly treatments, new claims and spontaneous diagnoses. It is clear in some cases, once an attorney is retained, it can alter not only the claimed injuries and treatment, but the course of the case itself. This is why it is crucial to ask the question during deposition: “When did you retain counsel in this matter?”
California law states that the “prevailing party” in a lawsuit is entitled to recover its costs from the other party. California Code of Civil Procedure §1032(a)(4) provides a variety of classifications which define the prevailing party for purposes of recovering costs in litigation. The most prevalent of these classifications are (1) the party with a net monetary recovery, and (2) a defendant in whose favor a dismissal is entered. However, what occurs when the defendant pays a settlement to the plaintiff in exchange for the plaintiff agreeing to dismiss the lawsuit prior to trial…who is the “prevailing party?” Some might say it is plaintiff for obtaining a monetary recovery for settlement of the action; others may approximate the defendant is the victor as it did obtain a dismissal of the suit. In the end, who gets to then call themselves the “prevailing party” under these quite common terms of case settlement?