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Margarite Sullivan - Associate

Margarite Sullivan is an Associate in Tyson & Mendes’ San Diego Office.  Her practice is primary focused on personal injury, general commercial liability, professional liability, and business litigation.  Ms. Sullivan is an accomplished litigator with experience representing individuals, public entities, and insurance institutions across California.

Ms. Sullivan has successfully resolved a variety of cases involving personal injury, inverse condemnation, and class action disputes.  She frequently resolves matters promptly with well-drafted dispositive motions or protects her clients with oppositions thereto.  When a trucking company attempted to avoid litigation by claiming its employees were independent contractors, Ms. Sullivan established vicarious liability and forced a favorable settlement for a client.  Ms. Sullivan successfully defused a  daunting class-action matter by decertifying a class of plaintiffs claiming exposure to volatile organic compounds.

While earning her J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Ms. Sullivan spent her summers interning at the San Diego Office of the City Attorney.  She earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Ms. Sullivan is licensed to practice law in California.

In her free time, Ms. Sullivan can be found tending to her succulent garden, conquering the many hiking trails in San Diego, and relaxing with her cats.

Recent Posts

On Being a Young Professional During a Global Pandemic

I do not know what the future holds. COVID-19 has ousted us from our workplaces and may have caused a permanent disruption in “the office” as we know it. If you are set to graduate from law school in May, the path to your first law job may look radically different from the graduating class of 2019.  The bar exam will be put on hold, leaving you in limbo. All of this uncertainty for the class of 2020 and even new attorneys still trying to settle into…

The Mindful Lawyer: How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Practice

Lawyers are constantly balancing enormous responsibilities while also intentionally placing themselves in adversarial situations.  The constant demand on time and mind is exhausting and often leads lawyers to develop depression and substance abuse issues.

The Mental Load: Women Bear Too Much of the Burden

Remembering where the scissors are, what time the kids go to soccer practice, and whether you are running out of milk: these represent a small sample of the information women are responsible for storing in their brains and keeping safe for their immediate family’s use.  Growing up, my Grandma was responsible for remembering our entire family history.  I found this to be true for my friends’ Grandmas as well.  It was framed as a highly…

Diversity Demands Intersectionality

In 1851, Sojourner Truth brought to life the rallying cry of American feminists with the now-prolific phrase, “Ain’t I a Woman”.  While feminism has embraced the sentiment that being a woman does not exclude a person from achieving and accomplishing feats generally reserved to men; it has failed to acknowledge the underlying message of Truth’s declaration.  When Truth started toward the stage at a Women’s Rights Conference in…

Damage Awards in California Civil Trials: To Infinity and Beyond?

The recently decided Cobb v. Cty. of Los Angeles (Cal. Ct. App. May 1, 2019) No. B287090, 2019 WL 1929976, is a reminder to defense practitioners in California that chance are slim to none for an appellate reversal of a jury’s damages determination.  This article will provide practice pointers to defense practitioners to avoid runaway juries by exploring the reasons the Appellate Court in Cobb upheld the seemingly outrageous damages award.

Electronic Filing, the “Courts”, and a Claimant Walk into a Bar …

… And Everyone Panics!

As I am sure all California Lawyers are aware, Los Angeles just made the big switch to mandatory electronic filing for Limited Civil on December 3, 2018, and Unlimited Civil on January 2, 2019.  This means all civil filings in Los Angeles County Superior Court must be submitted electronically from now on.  At the end of this article, I will provide hyperlinks to the resources cited as it is very important all practicing attorneys in the state of California know and understand the new rules of the road.

On the Road Again: Overcome Co-Defendant Transportation Companies’ Most Common Motion for Summary Judgment in Personal Injury Actions with This Handy Code of Federal Regulation

Under the Non-delegable Duty Doctrine, a hirer is presumed to have delegated their duties to the independent contractor performing the work unless a relevant statute or regulation prohibits delegation.  (Vargas v. FMI, Inc. (2015) 233 Cal. App. 4th 638, 639.)

Personal Injury Litigation Prediction: Hospital-Induced Delirium, the Next Big Claim

Subjective Complaints in Personal Injury Litigation

Traumatic Brain Injury claims are likely just the beginning of an onslaught of “subjective” injury complaints alleged by plaintiffs in personal injury actions.  I say subjective because currently, there are no scientifically accepted methods to test a person for a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Sure, you can check imaging results for contusions, lacerations, and changes to the physical structure of the brain; however, approximately 75% of traumatic brain injuries are mild and considered “concussions[1].”  This means many of the TBI claims made by plaintiffs likely cannot be scientifically verified in the same way we can conclusively identify an injury such as a broken bone.  Generally, most patients recover from a mild TBI/concussion; however, some patients experience persisting problems related to their head injury[2]This is where the meat and potatoes for plaintiffs’ attorneys lie:  any reference to loss of consciousness, memory problems, moodiness, headaches, depression, anxiety, and general cognitive issues causes dollar signs to flash before plaintiffs’ attorneys’ eyes.

Sex-Based Stereotyping Endures: Revisiting Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 30 years later

Thirty years ago, the Supreme Court in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989) held that the decision not to promote a woman by giving weight to comments based on stereotypes associated with the woman’s sex was a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Defend, Indemnify, and Hold Harmless, Till the Expiration of This Agreement Do Us Part

You just had a matter come across your desk and, of course, one of your first tasks is evaluating the liability exposure of your client.  But sometimes lost in the liability exposure analysis is whether the exposure arose out of the work of a contractor.  Why is this important?  Because you could single-handedly save your client hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, in legal fees by simply identifying possible indemnity contracts between your client and other entities.  In this article I will highlight my favorite ways to use Crawford v. Weather Shield Mfg., Inc. (2008) 44 Cal.4th 541 to protect the businesses and assets my clients worked tirelessly to build.

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