Michaela Jester - Associate


San Diego, CA: (858) 459-4400

Riverside, CA: (951) 248-1260

Michaela Jester is an Associate in Tyson & Mendes’ San Diego office. Her practice primarily focuses on civil litigation, including intellectual property and personal injury defense. In addition to managing a full caseload, Ms. Jester is actively pursuing the enhancement of her intellectual property skillset by preparing for an upcoming Patent Exam in order to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) as a patent practitioner.

Ms. Jester’s experience includes contributing to the drafting and filing of patent applications on behalf of clients through the unique opportunities presented to her during law school. She has diversified her legal experience profile by working with attorneys across a spectrum of practice specialties including personal injury, property, and employment law.

Ms. Jester earned her L.LM in International Law from the University of San Diego in 2018, during which she was invited to publish her research on the Chinese Social Credit System as part of a treatise on international business transactions. Ms. Jester obtained her J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2017, where she served in the Small Business Law Center’s Patent Clinic, a pilot program sponsored by the USPTO. During law school, she was an Intellectual Property Fellow and received a CALI Award in Constitutional Law and Patent Clinic Seminar. Ms. Jester earned her B.S. in biology and a minor in English from the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith in 2012. During her undergraduate studies, Ms. Jester spent a year studying abroad and teaching English in South Korea at the University of Ulsan.

Outside the practice of law, Ms. Jester enjoys traveling in pursuit of her passion for landscape photography and spending time at the beach with her Goldendoodle, Moose. She also enjoys regularly attending the San Diego Symphony, skiing, taking on new photography projects, and is currently attempting to learn how to surf.

Recent Posts

AV Technology and Patent Litigation: A Survey of the Road Ahead

Autonomous vehicle patents: the next theater of [litigation] war? The burgeoning innovation of autonomous vehicle (“AV”) technology has spurred a precipitous race to secure corners of the market by the acquisition of intellectual property rights. An unprecedented volume of AV patent applications are flooding patent-granting offices around the globe; with AV technology advancing daily, the growth of proprietary claims is exponential. Accordingly, AV patent owners, and counsel, would benefit from brainstorming of the pragmatic and foreseeable future of the dynamic landscape of patent litigation. This article aims to offer a very brief and peripheral survey of hypothetical issues to inspiring discussion between AV patent owners and counsel who, directly or indirectly, oversee the legal management of a client’s intellectual property.

At the Intersection of Intellectual Property and Autonomous Vehicles: Options, Considerations, and Management

For those investing in the Autonomous Vehicle (“AV”) market by securing intellectual property (“IP”) rights, savvy management of an IP portfolio will require, at a minimum, an understanding of the expansive range of benefits and risks associated with each IP investment option. The emergence of AV technology brings intricacies and nuances, many of which are yet to be fully realized. To avoid downstream litigation and disputes, those seeking proprietary interests in the AV market with respect to IP, and respective counsel, should consistently refresh one’s understanding of the ever-changing (daily, almost) conditions of AV-related IP litigation landscape. This article offers considerations which can serve as good launching points for developing an iron-clad IP portfolio.

Avoiding Excessive Bad-Faith Damages: A Pocket Brief

While an award of bad-faith damages depends on the nature of the insurer’s conduct and the insured’s injury, counsel should implement damage control to ensure the constitutionality of any damage award. Simply stated, it is far too easy for damage awards to become excessive, and even unconstitutional, without managing the contours of one’s case as applied to the law. Fortunately, the United States Supreme Court has, in assessing many damages but not all, looked to the Constitution in suggesting damage ratios and mandating damage ceilings. The lead has been picked up by California courts, guiding lawyers in determining worst (and best) case damages scenarios for their clients. This article serves as an enabling tool for lawyers with clients in first-party bad-faith insurance cases governed by California law.

“On-call” Shifts and Policies May Trigger Wage Order 7 Applicability

California retailers may benefit from reviewing on-call policies to ensure compliance with a recent appellate interpretation regarding the applicability of Wage Order 7. On February 5, 2019, California’s Second Appellate District revived a proposed wage class action against Tilly’s Inc. by holding the company’s requirement of employees to call in before starting a shift, for the purpose of finding out if they are required to work the shift, triggers California’s requirement workers receive “reporting time pay” pursuant to Wage Order 7.

Florida Supreme Court to Decide the Future of Assignment of Benefits Provisions

The Florida Supreme Court is soon to narrate the next chapter in the saga of the validity of “Assignment of Benefits” insurance policy provisions in the state. In September 2018, an insurer secured trial court and intermediate appeals court rulings backing its position that an assignment of benefits by a homeowner, to a water-damage repair contractor, was invalid because the assignment did not comply with the language of the policy. The insurer argued, and the courts agreed, it was not required to pay the contractor because the assignment lacked required pre-approval from both policyholders and the mortgagee. In late 2018, the Florida Supreme Court agreed to review the holding.1

“Loss of Use” May Constitute “Property Damage” in California

In October 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth District of California Court unanimously held the “loss of use” of tangible property need not be a loss of all possible uses of the property to constitute property damage; loss of a particular use can be sufficient to trigger coverage. Further, the court held the use of economic loss calculations as an appropriate measure of property damage. Thee Sombrero v. Scottsdale Insurance Company, 239 Cal. Rptr. 3d 416 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018). It noted the correct principle is not that economic losses do not constitute property damage by definition; rather, losses which are exclusively economic, without any accompanying physical damages or loss of use of tangible property, do not constitute property damage. Accordingly, the Sombrero court ruled in favor of coverage extending to economic losses resulting from a loss of use of property for a particular purpose.

Coverage Trends: WA Band NRA’s Self-defense Policies

In January 2019, Washington became the second state to deem the National Rifle Association’s (“NRA”) Carry Guard Insurance Program illegal. Designed to attract its primary market of concealed-carry permit holders, the NRA’s policies offer gun owners personal liability protection against legal costs should the owner become involved in a shooting. While advertised as protection for owners who discharge their guns in acts of self-defense, the policies effectively provide coverage for actions originating with criminal intent. For this reason, and based upon the prohibition of the protection of criminal activity through insurance coverage, Insurance Commissioner Michael Kreidler determined the NRA’s policies to run counter to Washington law.

Mandating Coverage for Infertility Treatment – What Does the Future Hold for Providers in Washington?

Lifting the Veil on Infertility

As American public figures have begun to advocate for infertility treatment by sharing their personal struggles and successes, realizing dreams of parenthood with the help of In Vitro Fertilization (“IVF”) and other assisted reproductive technology (“ART”) has begun to shed its cultural label as a “taboo” topic of conversation. Perhaps refreshing the conversation by bringing it to center stage, former First Lady Michelle Obama spoke candidly in a November 2018 interview about the couple’s heartbreaking miscarriage and the crucial role of IVF in the conception of their two daughters. In addition to Mrs. Obama, similar revelations by Jimmy Fallon, Mark Zuckerberg, and Celine Dion, brings hope by strengthening relatability between the many people challenged by infertility. As a result of this public discourse, more people are understanding how common infertility is and the solidarity behind seeking treatment for the condition. With the advancement of medical technology, the obstacle is not necessarily the existence of effective treatment, but rather the hindered accessibility of treatment due to the lack of coverage for such procedures.

Six Sexual Harassment Laws Every California Employer Must Know in 2019

The “Me Too” Movement’s Influence on Legislative Action

The “Me Too” movement burst onto the social awareness scene in late 2017. Encouraged to speak out to raise awareness of the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, particularly in the workplace, many victims took to social media as their platform. Among the advocates unveiling their own experiences with sexual violence in the workplace were well-known male and female celebrities, athletes, and politicians, including Ellen DeGeneres, Gabby Douglas, Jennifer Lawrence, James Van Der Beek, and Elizabeth Warren. In response, lawmakers began taking remedial measures in an attempt to rectify past injustices and deter future occurrences. As California has provided the backdrop for many of these allegations, it is fitting that California enforce legislature to inhibit such occurrences.

Planting the Seeds of Discussion

Nevada legalized both recreational and medical cannabis by a 2016 ballot initiative, and in doing so joined a growing number of states with similar changes in legal philosophy. As an industry trailblazer, the Silver State benefited from a $529.9 million “green” rush in taxable sales during the first fiscal year alone, with the state receiving its share of nearly $70 million in taxable revenue (enabling a substantial earmarking for education and the “Rainy Day” contingency fund).  Additionally, Nevada’s boon resulted in an economic growth of $989.7 million through cannabis-based auxiliary businesses and an income increase of $443 million by virtue of the 8,300 full-time equivalent jobs created to meet industry demands.

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