Rachel Donnelly - Associate

Rachel Donnelly is an Associate in Tyson & Mendes’ San Diego office and is a member of the Complex Trial Team. Ms. Donnelly has extensive trial and litigation experience. She began her career immediately upon admission to the State Bar of California as a law clerk with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. Since then, she has represented clients in civil cases ranging from personal injury to labor and employment matters. Ms. Donnelly’s practice now focuses on personal injury and insurance litigation.

Ms. Donnelly successfully served as co-chair in a high-profile insurance fraud case, People v. Podgurski, in which a guilty verdict was reached. Ms. Donnelly has also successfully defended companies located throughout California in avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in liability in alleged wage and hour and discrimination matters. Most recently, Ms. Donnelly briefed and won a highly contentious motion to compel on behalf of a company, compelling the matter to arbitration pursuant to the parties’ agreement.

Ms. Donnelly earned her J.D. from California Western School of Law in 2012. During law school, Ms. Donnelly was recognized for her academic achievement and, along with her school trial team, won first place in the San Diego Defense Lawyers Mock Trial Competition. Ms. Donnelly obtained her B.A. from the University of San Diego, California where she earned academic honors.

In her free time, Ms. Donnelly enjoys spending time with her husband traveling and snorkeling along the California coastline. She also enjoys hiking and reading.

To learn about joining the Tyson & Mendes team, please visit our Careers page.

Recent Posts

California Court Refuses to Reduce a $9.25 Million Award

Let’s face it. California trial courts are NOTORIOUS for high jury awards. One might think exorbitant jury awards would not survive given California’s judicial structure of “checks and balances” (the California Courts of Appeal) charged would providing a check on unreasonable or otherwise improper decisions. Unfortunately, such is not always the case: Just this month, a California appellate panel refused to reduce a $9.25 million noneconomic damages award! (Burchell v. Faculty Physicians & Surgeons of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, 2020 WL 5422950).

Employment Claims in the Coronavirus Era

As courthouses begin to slowly open their doors following the coronavirus shutdown, attorneys are already filing lawsuits encompassing employment law claims stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Some trends among these claims are starting to form. This article will explore the types of employment claims being filed related to the coronavirus pandemic and which will likely continue to be filed for the foreseeable future.

Discovery of Litigation Funding Documents

As a result of the coronavirus, many businesses are inevitably slowing down. By contrast, some businesses are experiencing an uptick in business as a result of the current pandemic. One such business is litigation funding.  Litigation funders enable a person involved in a lawsuit to litigate or arbitrate without having to pay for it. Litigation funders can pay some or all of the costs and expenses associated with a dispute in return for a share of the…

Autonomous Vehicle Legislation

With the advent and rise of autonomous vehicles in the United States, comes the enactment of laws to regulate the manufacturing and operation of said vehicles. This article explores the state of autonomous vehicle legislation at the federal level as well as California’s efforts at regulating autonomous vehicles. Last, this article addresses a current push for certain federal legislation.

Recent Discovery in Injuries Stemming from “Vaping”

The electronic cigarette, also known as an e-cigarette, allows people to enjoy the behavioral aspects of smoking, including the hand-to-mouth action of smoking with without burning tobacco. Using an e-cigarette is commonly known as “vaping.” When someone vapes, the battery-operated e-cigarette heats liquid into a vapor which can be inhaled. The vapor may contain nicotine (the addictive drug in tobacco), flavoring, and other chemicals.

Colorado Case Law Update

William Scholle v. Delta Air Line, Inc. (March 25, 2016, JVR No. 1605310035)
Kent Ryser v. Shelter Mutual Insurance Company (June 13, 2019)

Recent Legal Issues Involving Cosmetics

In the recent past months, there have been a growing number of reports of cosmetics contaminated with asbestos. Whether ultimately accurate or not, such reports create issues relating to the manufacture and marketing of cosmetics as safe for consumers (especially teens, children, and expectant mothers). This article addresses the potential legal challenges for supply chain participants in the cosmetic industry given the increased…

A Historical View of Arbitration Agreements and their Rise in Employment Agreements

In the 1920’s, businesses throughout the United States faced a legal dilemma. The federal courts they heavily relied on to resolve various disputes and enforce contracts were painfully overcrowded and difficult to navigate. As a result, businesses turned their reliance to arbitration agreements in which they agreed to submit their disputes for binding resolution to a third party who was generally an expert in their industry. However, the…

Proposal for Revisions to White Collar Exemptions

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a proposal for revisions to the “white collar” or executive, administrative and professional (EAP”) exemptions from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The notice of proposed rulemaking sets two new salary thresholds: an EAP threshold and a highly compensated employee (“HCE”) exemption. This article will focus on the proposed increase in the HCE…

The G4S Secure Solutions Settlement

On January 22, 2019, G4S Secure Solutions (previously known as Wackenhut Corporation) agreed to resolve a consolidated meal and rest period class action for at least $100 million and up to $130 million. This settlement is aimed to resolve the claims of 13,500 employees and ends fifteen years of litigation.

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