San Diego-based law firm Tyson & Mendes has expanded to the East Coast with a new office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Florida office is the ninth Tyson & Mendes has opened. The firm also has other offices in California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Washington state.

Damian M. Fletcher, who was previously partner at the Fort Lauderdale office of Chicago-based firm Hinshaw & Culbertson, will head the new office, Tyson & Mendes announced Sept. 25.

Tyson & Mendes, which specializes in insurance defense, employs about 130 people, including more than 75 attorneys.