Jeffrey M. TrissellSenior Associate
Mr. Trissell is an accomplished civil litigator with numerous wins in both state and federal court. The majority of his practice is in high-profile constitutional law cases and in pre-trial, post-trial, and appellate briefing. The rest of his practice is focused on general civil litigation, including serious personal injury cases, and homeowners’ association and business disputes. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in his practice.
At the trial level, he has successfully moved for or opposed summary judgment on numerous occasions, in his practice representing both plaintiffs and defendants. His motion experience runs the gamut from motions for recusal (of both counsel and judicial officers), anti-SLAPP motions, motions to vacate judgments, motions for attorneys’ fees (where he has received seven figure awards), motions for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, pre- and post-trial motions for judgement as a matter of law, and motions for sanctions.
Mr. Trissell handles all of the firm’s appellate work. He has handled many appeals and writs in both California and federal court. In California, he has handled appeals in the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Appellate Districts. Many of his appeals have also resulted in published opinions, including in California’s Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Appellate Districts, the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Collectively, those published appellate opinions have been cited by other courts more than 250 times.
Mr. Trissell obtained his law degree from the George Washington University Law School in 2013. When he attended, it was ranked in the top 20 of law schools nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. Prior to that, he graduated magna cum laude as a fourth generation Cowboy from Oklahoma State University. He passed the California bar in 2013 and after a short legal fellowship, joined LiMandri & Jonna to work on their high-profile constitutional law cases. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of California, California’s four U.S. District Courts, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also appeared pro hac vice in the Western District of Washington. He is active in local bar associations and has served on the board of the St. Thomas More Society of San Diego, a bar association for Catholic attorneys, since 2015. For 2019 and 2020, he was elected the President of the St. Thomas More Society, and in 2020 and 2021, he was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers San Diego. He is married to his beautiful wife Madeleine, and has one daughter so far.
- In March 2021, Mr. Trissell successfully defeated an appeal from a final judgment in a corporate derivative action. Two years prior, LiMandri & Jonna had successfully prosecuted a five-week trial on behalf of their clients, members of a trade association for small grocers. The former president of the corporation appealed, but the Fourth Appellate District upheld the judgment.
- In 2020 and 2021, Mr. Trissell aggressively litigated a challenge to California’s discriminatory restrictions on gatherings for worship. After the Ninth Circuit denied the challenge, and an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court was taken, California voluntarily agreed to lift the restrictions. The case was titled: South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, 959 F.3d 938 (9th Cir. 2020), 140 S.Ct. 1613 (2020). When California later re-imposed the restrictions, Mr. Trissell again brought suit, and this time both the Ninth Circuit and the Supreme Court struck down portions of those restrictions. The second case was titled: South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, 985 F.3d 1128 (9th Cir. 2021), 141 S.Ct. 716 (2021). The case was later recognized by the prestigious CLAY Awards.
- In January 2021, Mr. Trissell successfully moved to strike a cross-complaint using the Anti-SLAPP statute in Salem v. Leonne, No. 37-2020-00017999. The cross-complaint was stricken in its infancy, and LiMandri & Jonna LLP were awarded their attorneys’ fees.
- In September 2020, after obtaining an Order to Show Cause re: Contempt of Court, Mr. Trissell was awarded $4,800 in sanctions for a party’s willful violation of a court-entered protective order.
- In August 2020, Mr. Trissell was interviewed on Catholic Radio about his demand letter sent to a California county informing them that removing a California Mission church from official county imagery would constitute unconstitutional hostility towards religion.
- In August 2020, Mr. Trissell successfully blocked the County of Los Angeles’s attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction against a church holding indoor worship services. This was the first legal success by any church in California. Unfortunately, the order did not survive an appeal.
- In March 2020, in light of public discussions about the rationing of health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Trissell authored a widely circulated memorandum concerning how rationing ventilators or care on the bases of age or disability violated federal law.
- In May 2019, Mr. Trissell successfully moved for summary judgment in an action alleging that an insurance carrier’s refusal to pay LiMandri & Jonna LLP’s attorneys’ fees (amounting to more than $1.15 million) in an underlying action breached the insurance agreement. The case then settled for a confidential amount. The case was titled: USLIC v. A&B Market Plus, Inc., No. 3:19-CV-0172, 2019 WL 2107808 (S.D. Cal. 2019).
- In May 2019, Mr. Trissell was interviewed by NBC7 San Diego about forthcoming Supreme Court battles on privacy and abortion jurisprudence under the U.S. Constitution.
- In December 2018, Mr. Trissell was elected to the Presidency of the Thomas More Society of San Diego.
- In August 2018, Mr. Trissell successfully moved to dismiss and strike portions of a complaint on the basis of the Ministerial Exception of the Free Exercise Clause. The case then promptly settled.
- In February 2018, Mr. Trissell moved to disqualify opposing counsel on the basis that he was improperly refusing to return privileged communications, and had improperly contacted employees of Mr. Trissell’s client. The case settled for a confidential amount on the eve of the hearing.
- In February 2018, Mr. Trissell successfully defeated an application for a preliminary injunction which sought to prevent a wedding baker from exercising her religious rights at her business. The case garnered national attention. The case was titled: Department of Fair Employment & Housing v. Cathy’s Creations, Inc., No. BCV-17-102855, 2018 WL 747835 (Cal. Super. 2018).
- In January 2018, Mr. Trissell successfully defeated an anti-SLAPP motion to strike his client’s complaint for tortious interference with contract. The case dealt with client-stealing by a law firm. Upon defeating the motion, the case immediately settled for a confidential amount.
- In August 2017, Mr. Trissell drafted a successful anti-SLAPP motion, striking a retaliatory case in its infancy on the basis that all of the conduct at issue was protected litigation activity. Mr. Trissell also received an award of approximately $30,000 in attorneys’ fees.
- In April 2017, Mr. Trissell successfully moved for summary judgment on behalf of a condominium association which sued a member for submitting false renovation plans. Mr. Trissell also received an award of over $240,000 in attorneys’ fees.
- In April 2016, following a loss on summary judgment, Mr. Trissell successfully moved to set aside the verdict as void on the basis that the plaintiff lacked standing to litigate the action. Unfortunately, the decision did not survive an appeal.
- In March 2016, Mr. Trissell moved for terminating sanctions due to the destruction of medical records in a dental malpractice claim. The case settled for a confidential amount on the eve of the hearing.
- In August 2015, Mr. Trissell successfully defeated an application for a preliminary injunction which sought to block publication of videos regarding misconduct in the tissue procurement industry. The case was titled: StemExpress, LLC v. the Center for Medical Progress, Case No. BC589145. The case was subsequently voluntarily dismissed.
- State Bar of California (2013)
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (2016)
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (2020)
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (2020)
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (2020)
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (2016)
- United States Supreme Court (2017)
- Member of the San Diego County Bar Association, the San Diego North County Bar Association, and the St. Thomas More Society of San Diego
- The George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C., J.D., May 2013
- Merit scholarship recipient based on LSAT (95th percentile) and undergraduate GPA
- Member of the Military Law Society and the Hispanic Law Student Association
- Intern with the U.S. Army JAG Corps and the Office of General Counsel of the USCCB
- Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, B.A French and Philosophy, May 2010, Magna Cum Laude
- Merit Scholarship Recipient – National Hispanic Scholar Finalist
- Dean’s Honor Roll (Spring 2008 and 2009)
- Member of the Philosophy Honor Society Phi Sigma Tau, the Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi, the Pre-Law Fraternity Phi Alpha Delta, the OSU Ultimate Frisbee Club, the OSU Lumberjack Club