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Last Updated October 12, 2022

Tyson & Mendes Graduates 25 Attorneys from 2022 Trial Academy: Civil Litigation and Insurance Defense Firm Thoroughly Prepares Attorneys for Trial

SAN DIEGO (July 11, 2022) – Leading civil litigation and insurance defense firm Tyson & Mendes announced the graduation of 25 attorneys from its second annual Tyson & Mendes Trial Academy, a rigorous seven-week training program offered each year for a group of the firm’s aspiring trial attorneys.

Attorneys from across the firm’s 16 nationwide offices are invited to participate in the intensive program to learn, perform, and receive structured feedback on specific defense trial skills, utilizing a combination of in-depth lectures, active demonstrations and engaging working groups. The Trial Academy culminates in an all-day, 150-person virtual mock trial event, which was held this year at the end of May.

Firm Partners Mina Miserlis and James Sell, Tyson & Mendes’ Education and Training Department, and Professor Linda Lane from The University of San Diego School of Law led the development and implementation of the Trial Academy. Lane, Miserlis, and Sell drew upon their backgrounds as trial attorneys and Lane’s academic experience to lead this exclusive course for Tyson & Mendes. Firm partners Kristi Blackwell, Allison Lawrence, Edward Leonard, Mina Miserlis, Susan Oliver, James Sell, and Robert Tyson co-led each training session with Professor Lane.

“The TM Trial Academy is an integral component of our professional development program and is a testament to Tyson & Mendes’ investment in training our lawyers to be the best trial attorneys in the country,” said Strategic Managing Partner Robert Tyson. “This annual intensive training underscores our commitment to providing the highest standards of excellence for our clients both in and out of the courtroom. The Trial Academy is also part of our critical work to educate the defense industry as a whole.”

Throughout the program, attorneys participated in all phases of a jury trial – including pre-trial motions, voir dire, opening statements, direct and cross-examinations, and closing arguments – while learning the advanced defense methods Tyson & Mendes has perfected for avoiding Nuclear Verdicts® and keeping down noneconomic damages.

Participants successfully demonstrated skills learned through the Trial Academy during the final mock trial where they competed as either plaintiff or defense counsel to try a hypothetical catastrophic injury case. Firm lawyers, law clerks, staff, and volunteer friends of the firm played the roles of judge, jury, plaintiff, defendant, bailiffs, and witnesses. In the end, the jurors deliberated, rendered their verdicts, and provided valuable feedback to the trial attorneys.

An awards ceremony was held on Friday, June 3 to celebrate the completion of this year’s program and honor participants with “Trial Academy Awards” for outstanding performances during the mock trials. This year’s winners include:

  • Best Opening Statement: Michael Diaz
  • Best Direct Examination: Emily Meeson
  • Best Cross Examination: Kevin Lee
  • Best Cross Examination of an Expert: Saiful Islam
  • Best Closing Argument: Kelly Harman
  • Best Voir Dire: Shelly Stuppiello

The academy sessions aligned with the teachings in Robert Tyson’s best-selling book, Nuclear Verdicts®: Defending Justice for All. Tyson & Mendes aims to revolutionize the defense industry with the tools to combat the plaintiffs’ bar’s evolving tactics through communication, education, and compensation. The TM Trial Academy is part of Tyson & Mendes’ commitment to ongoing education for its attorneys and is offered in conjunction with Tyson & Mendes University, a multifaceted training program to teach all firm attorneys case handling, trial strategy, and client service according to the firm’s unique methodologies.

Tyson & Mendes is celebrating 20 years of protecting its clients’ interests and delivering justice both inside and outside the courtroom. With 16 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.

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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.

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Media Contact:
Ashley Bendas, J. Walcher Communications, 619-295-7140