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Last Updated September 13, 2023

TM HALO Celebrates Second Anniversary; Moves to 100% Contingency Fee Payment Model

SAN DIEGO (September 13, 2023)TM HALO, a subsidiary of leading insurance and civil litigation defense firm Tyson & Mendes LLP focused on defending corporations, insurance companies, and insureds in their cases with the highest risk for Nuclear Verdicts®, marked the celebration of its second anniversary by becoming a 100% contingency fee payment model, a rarity for the defense.

TM HALO is an acronym for “Tyson & Mendes High Altitude Low Opening,” and is derived from a high-risk maneuver employed by special military forces. HALO troops parachute into hostile combat zones from extreme altitudes, opening their chutes when they are low to the ground to avoid detection. This extremely dangerous maneuver is performed by only the most elite jumpers in the most challenging situations.

According to Strategic Managing Partner Robert Tyson, TM HALO was born from Tyson & Mendes’ winning litigation record – including more than $1.07 billion saved for clients in 2022 – and is an evolution of the firm’s Complex Trial Team, making it the ideal option for cases when the financial stakes are high and the margin for legal error is low.

“The insurance defense industry continues to be miles behind the plaintiffs’ bar in terms of innovation and the employment of novel trial strategies to stop Nuclear Verdicts®,” Tyson explained. “It is well past time for defendants to place a higher emphasis on delivering justice for all! That is why we are taking the radical approach with TM HALO’s contingency fee model – meaning our attorneys do not get paid unless we are able to achieve a favorable result for our clients. This is truly unheard of for the defense world. Your risk is our risk.”

TM HALO’s contingency fee is based upon the amount of savings the firm achieves for its clients. The “savings” is the difference between the last demand before TM HALO entered the case and the ultimate jury verdict or settlement. The firm is only entitled to the contingency fee if TM HALO obtains a result less than plaintiff’s last demand.

“TM HALO was developed with clients in mind and with the singular focus of delivering results” continued Tyson. “Like the plaintiffs’ bar, TM HALO’s contingency model incentivizes the defense to win!”

TM HALO is comprised of veteran Tyson & Mendes trial attorneys:

  • Robert Tyson, Strategic Managing Partner: Based out of the firm’s San Diego headquarters, Tyson has been trying the highest profile cases in the West for over 30 years. His proven methodology for combating Nuclear Verdicts® – jury verdicts in excess of $10 million – and keeping down damages comes from years of trying complex products liability, catastrophic injury and wrongful death, employment and other matters. He is especially known for his award-winning handling of Howell v. Hamilton Meats, a case he argued and won before the California Supreme Court, resulting in an estimated $10 billion dollar savings for the insurance industry each year.


  • Randy Faust, Partner: As Managing Partner of Tyson & Mendes’ New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut offices, Faust brings over 25 years of extensive defense litigation and trial experience to TM HALO. He has tried more than 100 cases to verdict in venues across the U.S. and is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, a pre-selected honorary society of the best trial lawyers in the country.


  • Mina Miserlis, Partner: Miserlis is Chair of Tyson & Mendes’ Complex Trial Practice. She is a brain injury specialist who has successfully tried numerous multimillion-dollar cases. Based in San Diego, she brings over 20 years of litigation and trial experience in complex personal injury matters to TM HALO and consistently obtains highly favorable defense verdicts involving complicated medical and scientific issues, such as traumatic brain injury, complex regional pain syndrome, quadriplegia, and loss of limbs and life.


  • Kara Pape, Partner: Pape is a trial lawyer undaunted by any case or lawyer, having experienced a “judicial hellhole” many times in her career. From her office in Los Angeles, she has built her career through victories against the most famous plaintiffs’ lawyers in the country. Pape is an experienced first-chair trial lawyer who is not afraid to fight for what is right and just, even in the face of the most intimidating lawyers. She is on the frontline of the latest trial tactics employed by plaintiffs’ lawyers around the country and is well-versed in methods to tear those tactics down.


  • Damian Fletcher, Partner: Fletcher is an accomplished trial lawyer with over 20 years’ experience defending tort claims involving industrial accidents, contaminated drugs, products liability, environmental contamination, medical malpractice, trucking and other vehicular accidents, negligent security, and discrimination. He has favorably resolved over 200 cases in state and federal courts across the country.


  • Margaret Holm, Partner: Holm serves as Chair of Tyson & Mendes’ Healthcare Practice Group. Resident in the firm’s Orange County office, she has spent the last 40 years becoming one of one of the country’s leading trial and appellate litigators for large healthcare entities in complex civil disputes. This ABOTA Diplomat boasts an outstanding record of obtaining defense verdicts, early dismissals, and favorable settlements in over 200 civil jury trials and arbitrations with a success record of over 95% in jury verdict cases.


  • Holland “Holly” Howanitz, Partner: Howanitz is Managing Partner of Tyson & Mendes’ Jacksonville office and serves as a Partner in the Nashville office. In her nearly 20 years of practice, Howanitz has represented corporations, insurance carriers, and others in numerous cases related to premises liability, transportation, construction defect, professional malpractice, general and automobile negligence, and products liability. She also serves on the executive board of ABOTA.


  • Edward Leonard, Partner: ABOTA attorney Leonard has spent his entire 42-year career as a trial lawyer, focusing on general liability matters with a long-term emphasis on transportation cases involving the trucking industry and logistics. Based in Orange County, he has tried over 95 civil cases to verdict throughout the State of California.


“TM HALO is focused on the handful of our clients’ biggest trials each year,” continued Tyson. “The cases that keep them up at night, the ones they are most worried about going ‘nuclear’ in court. At Tyson & Mendes, we have proven over and over that the defense methods we teach, not only to our attorneys but to those at other firms and insurance companies as well, work. Our TM HALO team is filled with experts in these methods who are fueled by our mission of achieving ‘Justice for All.’”

For more information, visit


About Tyson & Mendes LLP

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, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, Texas, 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. In 2022, the firm launched the Nuclear Verdicts Defense Institute, the only trial academy that teaches defense attorneys how to stop Nuclear Verdicts®. Robert Tyson is also the author of the Amazon Bestseller Nuclear Verdicts®: Defending Justice for All, the first (and only) playbook for the defense on how to avoid runaway jury verdicts.

For more information, visit


Media Contacts:

Jean Walcher / Corinne Hauck, J. Walcher Communications /, 619-295-7140