Fresno, California (September 12, 2022) – Leading insurance and civil litigation defense firm Tyson & Mendes LLP announced today the opening of its first office in California’s Central Valley led by former Ericksen Arbuthnot Managing Partner David Frankenberger and a team of three other experienced partners and trial attorneys: Michael Lehman, Brett Runyon, and Carol Ann Seita.
The Tyson & Mendes Fresno office will serve clients across the San Joaquin Valley in all aspects of insurance defense litigation and marks the firm’s seventeenth office.
“The opening of this office in Fresno marks an important milestone in Tyson & Mendes’ growth and underscores our commitment to serving clients across California,” said Strategic Managing Partner Robert Tyson. “Dave and his team bring an impressive track record of exceptional results to the firm, having tried to verdict more than 75 cases collectively, and will bring our unique brand of insurance defense to our clients in Central California.”
Joining as the Fresno Managing Partner, David Frankenberger brings 25 years of litigation and trial experience to Tyson & Mendes, previously serving as an associate attorney for several large insurance defense firms in Los Angeles before relocating to Fresno and joining Ericksen Arbuthnot in 2002. His practice includes complex state court and federal court litigation involving motor vehicle accident defense; trucking defense; complex personal injury; premises liability; product liability, agricultural litigation, and construction defect liability for both subcontractors and developers.
Over the course of his career, Frankenberger has successfully tried numerous matters to jury verdict, including jury trials in both state and federal courts, with a total of eight jury trials to verdict over just the past nine years. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an invitation-only organization of the top litigators and judges in America. He is a member of the California State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Fresno County Bar Association, the Kern County Bar Association, the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Defense Resource Institute (DRI), and the Southern California Association for Healthcare Risk Management (SCAHRM). He earned his Juris Doctor from the California Western School of Law and is AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Michael Lehman has practiced civil litigation for more than 30 years and is a member of ABOTA. His trial experience includes representing private and public entities and individuals in cases involving torts, employment law, products liability, professional negligence, and civil rights, in both state and federal courts. He has successfully argued cases in state appellate courts and before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and is admitted to practice before all California courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. Lehman is AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
With more than 28 years of practical litigation experience, Brett Runyon has successfully defended his clients in a variety of cases, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in mass tort actions, complex industrial fire cases, environmental and industrial contamination cases, inverse condemnation claims and catastrophic loss, and construction defect. He also actively serves as a private mediator in complex civil cases throughout the state and has successfully assisted parties in resolving difficult disputes. He is a frequent presenter and guest speaker for conferences and Fortune 500 companies across the state on topics including complex torts and construction matters. Runyon is AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and serves as an adjunct professor at Fresno Pacific University.
Carol Ann Seita is experienced in matters involving personal injury, premises liability, employment law, subrogation defense, products liability, property damage, and construction defect. Her prior experience also includes working for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Fresno in various capacities, including in the Administrative Division, the Victim Witness Unit and the Criminal Unit. Seita graduated with honors from California State University, Fresno, and was a Smittcamp Honors Scholar, as well as a Criminology Honors Scholar.
Tyson & Mendes is celebrating 20 years of protecting its clients’ interests and delivering justice both inside and outside the courtroom. With 16 other nationwide offices serving 18 states, it is one of the fastest growing civil defense firms in the U.S. The firm is proud to offer one of the fastest and clearest paths to partnership of any mid-sized law firm in the U.S.
About Tyson & Mendes LLP
Celebrating 20 years of taking back justice for all, Tyson & Mendes LLP is a nationwide, AV-rated litigation and trial firm specializing in insurance defense and protecting its clients from Nuclear Verdicts®. Robert Tyson and Patrick Mendes founded the firm in 2002 to defend corporations, insurance companies, and their clients in civil litigation matters. The firm has experienced tremendous growth in the past two decades, with offices across the U.S. serving clients in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The firm is most widely recognized for winning the landmark Howell v. Hamilton Meats California Supreme Court case, which forever changed the state’s litigation landscape by significantly impacting the damages a plaintiff may recover. Robert Tyson is also the author of the Amazon Bestseller Nuclear Verdicts®: Defending Justice for All, the first playbook for the defense on how to avoid runaway jury verdicts.
Ashley Bendas, J. Walcher Communications