Robert Tyson - Partner

A native of Staten Island, New York, Bob Tyson is a Founding Partner and strategic managing partner of the firm.

Mr. Tyson is a trial lawyer. He specializes in arguing damages in catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and high exposure jury trials. He is especially known for his groundbreaking work on Howell v. Hamilton Meats, a case he argued and won before the California Supreme Court. Howell has since been hailed as the most significant insurance decision to come down in over 40 years – altering the way California interprets the collateral source rule and impacting the damages a plaintiff may recover. Mr. Tyson successfully argued an injured plaintiff may only recover the much lower amount that is paid for medical expenses, not the full medical bills, as past medical damages. This difference between what is billed versus paid saves insurance companies and defendants over $10 billion dollars every year. The victory earned Mr. Tyson the California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) award from the California Bar Magazine, among other awards.

Prior to founding Tyson & Mendes in 2002, Mr. Tyson practiced law at some of San Diego’s largest defense firms, including Edwards, White & Sooy and Booth, Mitchel & Strange. Throughout a nearly 30-year legal career, he has successfully resolved a variety of cases involving complex business, personal injury, products liability, commercial and general civil litigation, professional malpractice, environmental and employment law – representing individuals, corporations, partnerships, professionals and many other different types of businesses. Active in the community and legal profession, he frequently lectures on a variety of legal issues to business and professional organizations.

He earned his B.S. in finance from Villanova University in 1986 and earned his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 1989.

In his off time, he enjoys beating partner Pat Mendes at golf and spending time with his three children, Faith, Mary, and Bobby, and wife Jenny. His mantra: Justice for all. As a modern-day poet once said: “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo!”

Recent Posts

Prevent Runaway Jury Verdicts by Neutralizing the Reptile Theory: Viewpoint

Claims Journal – May 10, 2019

We see the frequent headlines: A plaintiff is awarded millions of dollars in damages for a physical or emotional injury purportedly sustained at the hands of a small business or large corporation. While many applaud an injured plaintiff for holding wrongdoers accountable, it is clear the frequency of outrageous jury verdicts is on the rise, and something needs to be done.


A Defense Attorney’s Guide To Successfully Arguing Damages

Law360 – March 1, 2019

With more and more nuclear verdicts being awarded at trial — especially in products liability cases — can the defense afford not to argue damages with a jury? It may be unconventional, but something has to be done to turn the tide of runaway jury verdicts sweeping the nation.


Liability in the Age of Autonomous Vehicles

Claims Magazine – Property Casualty 360° – June 6, 2018

With billions of dollars spent on developing self-driving cars and trucks, important questions have been raised about the imminent role of autonomous vehicles (AVs) and the ramifications insurers and business owners may face in the wake of such rapid development.


Best way to get a large verdict? Ask for it.

Daily Journal – February 21, 2018

It is a tactic that most defendants resist, and something defense attorneys rarely do. Give a number, always. Give your number to the jury early, give it often, and of course, it must never go up. While this strategy is rarely employed by the defense, it is critical for a successful jury verdict.


How to Humanize a Corporate Defendant

Daily Journal – June 22, 2017

Remember when TV personality and sportscaster Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million after suing two hotel management companies when one of their guests filmed and posted a nude video of her online? Had the defense personalized the corporate defendants at trial, perhaps the jury would not have found them liable for $26 million each for failing to protect Ms. Andrews’ privacy and safety.


How Hamilton Meats Has Shaped Calif. Economic Damages

Law360 – June 16, 2017

Over five years have passed since the multibillion-dollar, landmark California Supreme Court ruling in the Howell v. Hamilton Meats. The impact of this decision continues to be felt across the country.


Tyson & Mendes Defeats Well-Known Plaintiff’s Firm in Multi-Million Dollar Trial

Northern California Partner Jim Sell and Managing Partner Bob Tyson teamed up to defeat one of the most well-known plaintiff’s attorneys in California, Roger Dreyer of Dreyer Babich. Dreyer sought $6,000,000 in this admitted liability, three week jury trial in Napa, California. This included almost $2,000,000 in past and future medical expenses for back and neck surgeries the plaintiff underwent and will need in the future. The lowest settlement demand just before trial was $4,000,000. On Thursday, May 26, 2016, the jury returned a verdict of only $389,000, and plaintiff was found 40% at fault. After post-judgment reductions, the plaintiff may end up owing the construction company client money!

Howell Update: Full Medical Bills Allowed Before a Jury Again

For the second time in just four months, a California appellate court has dealt insurance companies a significant setback in the fight against juries considering inflated medical bills.

Howell v. Hamilton Meats Analysis Extended to C.C.P. Section 998 Offers

Howell v. Hamilton Meats strikes again! In the recent Lee v. Silveira case, the court extended the Howell analysis, holding that in order to prevail under C.C.P. Section 998, plaintiff can use only the negotiated rate differential in determining whether he/she obtained a more favorable judgment or award than the statutory offer.

Time is on Your Side

As of January 1, 2013, Code of Civil Procedure Section 2025.290 limits depositions in California cases to seven or fourteen hours. Additionally, the new statute expressly provides that the fourteen

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