Maria D. Rivera - Associate

Maria D. Rivera is an Associate in Tyson & Mendes’ Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses primarily on general liability matters, including personal injury and automobile liability.

Ms. Rivera has experience representing insurance and government entity defendants in an array of civil litigation areas including, commercial transportation, construction, products liability, and general negligence.  Through her fierce advocacy, she has successfully reached amicable resolutions for her clients within insurance policy limits.

Ms. Rivera graduated from California State University, Northridge with a B.A. in Political Science and Central American Studies. She earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where she completed a concentration in Civil Litigation & Advocacy.  While at Loyola, she served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Teresa Sanchez-Gordon and for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She was awarded the American Bar Association scholarship, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund scholarship, Latina Lawyers Bar Association scholarship, and Mexican American Bar Foundation scholarship. Ms. Rivera is admitted to practice before all California State Courts.  She is also fluent in Spanish.

In her free time, Ms. Rivera enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, watching movies, and eating.

Recent Posts

The United States Supreme Court Ruled Against Agency Fees

In a five-to-four decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that public sector agency fee arrangements violate the First Amendment. In Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, the United States Supreme Court abolished state laws requiring the collection of agency fees from employees who decline to join a union. (2018) 138 S.Ct. 2448. Through agency fees, non-union employees are covered and benefit from collective bargaining agreements. For decades, unions have justified “agency fees” to avoid “free riders.” Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed. (1977) 431 U.S. 209, 262–263 [97 S.Ct. 1782, 1813, 52 L.Ed.2d 261] overruled by Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Mun. Employees, Council 31 (2018) 138 S.Ct. 2448. Undoubtedly, this decision is a major blow to unions, which rely on these agency fees for sustainability and growth.

Does a Bankruptcy Discharge Include Debts for Sexual Harassment Judgements?

Maybe not! Although most debt can be discharged through bankruptcy, legislature has determined that sexual harassment judgments may not be exempt from discharge. Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 523(a)(6), “A discharge… of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt… for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity or to the property of another entity….” “In order to qualify for the exemption in Section 523(a)(6)… the debtor must have acted with either the desire to injure or a belief that injury was substantially certain to occur.” Ditto v. McCurdy, 510 F.3d 1070, 1078 (9th Cir. 2007).

Plaintiff’s Immigration Status No Longer Discoverable or Admissible in California Personal Injury Cases

In 1986, California decided Rodriguez v. Kline, which held that an individual injured in the United States (“U.S.”) who attempted to recover for loss of future earnings and subject to deportation, was not entitled to recover compensation based on his or her projected earning capacity in the U.S. (1986) 186 Cal.App.3d 1145. Instead, the individual’s future lost wages was limited to the future income he or she would have earned in their country of origin. Id.

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