Rachel Donnelly - Senior Counsel

Rachel Donnelly is Senior Counsel 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

A Tell-All Article on Written Discovery Objections

Generally, written discovery is a party’s first opportunity to seek information regarding the opposing side’s claims or defenses. Written discovery is a powerful tool as it forces the other side to provide information regarding their case under oath. The different types of written discovery are interrogatories, requests for admissions, and inspection demands. Although written discovery is permissible under the Civil Discovery Act, there are reasons to object and not provide the information requested. To avoid providing a substantive response to improper discovery requests, the responding party must timely serve objections. This article explores a few valid objections a party may assert in response to unacceptable discovery requests.

The Wave of Recent COVID-19 Litigation and Trends to Watch For

California recently passed the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 stay at home order. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected lives in different ways. Employees who regularly worked in an office now work from home. Restaurant chains open for years have shut their doors for good as they could no longer turn a profit. COVID-19 has also affected litigation. It was unclear what types of suits would result from the pandemic. However, a year into this unforeseen global epidemic, we now have a better idea of the types of lawsuits which will be filed. This article explores recent news involving COVID-19 litigation throughout the United States in an effort to achieve a better understanding of how litigation has changed.

How to Avoid Appearing as a Cat and Other Helpful Virtual Deposition Tips

We are likely all aware of the infamous Texas attorney who mistakenly used a cat filter during a virtual court appearance earlier this month.  Although this is an extremely comical story and certainly brings some levity to the current situation in our nation, this is also a prime example of the new wave of errors emerging alongside the new norm of virtual appearances and depositions.  The good news is, with some preparation, anyone can be successful at virtual appearances.

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…

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