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Cynthia McGuinn Photo

Cynthia McGuinn

Partner
  • Profile
  • Associations
  • Awards
  • Notable Work
Bio

Cynthia’s skills in the courtroom are the envy of many attorneys and she has the trial record to prove it—a number of her jury trials have resulted in eight-figure verdicts and in 2015 she earned the record for the largest personal injury verdict in the history of Sonoma County.

Her ability to read and connect with jurors is second to none and she has the knack of making even the most difficult cases clear to each juror on the panel. Cynthia also consults with attorneys who have cases that are going to trial and tries cases for other attorneys who have worked up a complex case that cannot be resolved.

Cynthia’s client base is diverse; she represents consumers from infants to the elderly. Past clients include industrial workers such as ironworkers, operating engineers, boilermakers, fork and crane lift operators, auto and airline mechanics, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons, roofers, painters, press operators, tile setters, truck drivers and general laborers. She has also represented other professionals such as computer analysts, IT professionals, nurses, doctors, teachers, judges, and models. A substantial part of her representation involves prosecuting actions for surviving family members in wrongful death cases and in prosecuting actions on behalf of persons sustaining injuries resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia and brain injuries.

McGuinn was honored as the 2003 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and has been recognized as a “Top Woman Litigator” in California every year since 2005. In 1998 she was elected the first woman president of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a national, invitation-only group of premier trial attorneys; in 2018 she was elected by attorneys across the country to serve as ABOTA’s national president.

Cynthia is a Fellow of several other invitation-only organizations, including the International Society of Barristers, the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. The International Academy is limited to 600 members worldwide. Cynthia is also a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California, American Association for Justice, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and Bar Association of San Francisco. Cynthia has been included in the California Super Lawyers list every year since 2005, and included in The Best Lawyers in America since 2008.

While maintaining an active litigation practice, Cynthia writes, lectures and has taught at law schools (UC Berkeley and Harvard) on the subject of trial advocacy. When time permits she likes to bike, ski and ride her horses.

Cynthia has an A.V. Preeminent® rating for ethics and legal talent rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Her jury verdict results are available upon request.

Best Lawyers 2020

  • State Bar of California
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • National Employment Lawyers Association
  • Western Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • International Society of Barristers
  • Marin Trial Lawyers Association
  • Litigation Counsel of America
Memberships
  • Lifetime Achievement Award 2015, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, San Francisco, California
    Lifetime Achievement Award 2015, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, San Francisco, California
  • Masters in Trial, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2010 - 2011
    Masters in Trial, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2010 - 2011
  • Top 75 Women Litigators, 2005 - 2013
  • Top 50 Women Lawyers, Super Lawyers 2008 - 2013
    Top 50 Women Lawyers, Super Lawyers 2008 - 2013
  • Selected for inclusion in California Super Lawyers 2005-2013
    Selected for inclusion in California Super Lawyers 2005-2013
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year finalist, 2004, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, San Francisco, California
    Trial Lawyer of the Year finalist, 2004, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, San Francisco, California
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year 2003, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, San Francisco, California
    Trial Lawyer of the Year 2003, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, San Francisco, California
  • Best Lawyers, 2020
    Best Lawyers, 2020
Awards
Presentations & Publications
  • March 24, 2017, American Bar Association 2017 TIPS/ABOTA National Trial Academy, Reno, Nevada 2017
  • November 10, 2016, American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial Series, Seattle, Washington 2016
  • October 27, 2016, San Francisco Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial Series, “Premises Liability Trial”, Cross Examination of Defendant Property Manager 2016
  • September 28, 2016, San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association, “Effective Use of Discovery in Preparation for Trial”, San Mateo, California 2016
  • September 20, 2016, ABOTA James Otis Lecture Series, Austin Texas 2016
  • September 24, 2015, Alameda County Bar Association, “The Art of Jury Selection”, Oakland, California 2015
  • June 6, 2015, Los Angeles Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial Series, “Trying the Traumatic Leg Amputation Case” Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, California 2015
  • May 15, 2015 Buffalo Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial Series 2015
  • October 14, 2014, American Board of Trial Advocates’, Presented in the National Masters in Trial Series at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia 2014
  • October 9, 2014, San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association, Feature Speaker of “Consumer Attorneys College of Trial Arts’ Annual Kaiser Arbitration Seminar” San Francisco 2014
  • July 31, 2014 Practicing Law Institute, California Trial Advocacy Program, “Opening Statements and Closing Arguments” – San Francisco, California 2014
  • June 2014 Faculty, ABOTA National Trial College, Harvard Law School 2014
  • May 19, 2014, James Otis Lecture Series, Seattle, Washington 2014
  • March 22, 2014 Consumer Attorneys of California, Annual Tahoe Seminar, Key Note Speaker 2014
  • August 7, 2013, Practicing Law Institute, California Trial Advocacy Program, "Opening Statements and Closing Arguments" San Francisco 2013
  • May 14, 2013, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, "Openings & Closings by the Masters" San Francisco 2013
  • November 30, 2012, Sacramento Valley Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial Series, "Expedited Jury Trial Program" Sacramento 2012
  • November 1, 2012, Seattle Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial Series, "Cross Examination of the Adverse Expert" Seattle, Washington 2012
  • June 23, 2012, TEX- American Board of Trial Advocates CLE Roundup, "Opening Statement" Santa Fe, New Mexico 2012
  • February 2012, Columbia Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial Series, "The Legal Malpractice Trial" Columbia, South Carolina 2012
  • December 9, 2011, Association of Defense Counsel, "How to Win" San Francisco 2011
  • September 16, 2011, Consumer Attorneys of California, "Learning from Women Who Pick Winning Juries in Employment Cases" Woodside, California 2011
  • November 9, 2010, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, “Advanced Jury Techniques.” San Francisco 2010
  • October 7, 2010 Houston Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial. Demonstration - Opening Statement to Jury Deliberation. (Direct Exam of Plaintiff) 2010
  • September 15, 2010 Consumer Attorneys of California, Masters Seminar - Women’s Caucus “Making Your Point, Effective Advocacy” San Francisco 2010
  • June 11, 2010, Los Angeles Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, “Masters In Cross-Examination, Universal City 2010
  • December 3, 2009, Consumer Attorneys of California, “100 Days Before Trial – Part III,” Webinar, San Francisco 2009
  • November 20, 2009, American Board of Trial Advocates, “Masters In Cross Examination,” Sacramento, California 2009
  • November 19, 2009, Consumer Attorneys of California, “100 Days Before Trial – Part II,” Webinar, San Francisco 2009
  • October 22, 2009, Consumer Attorneys of California, “100 Days Before Trial – Part I,” Webinar, San Francisco 2009
  • October 21, 2009, San Francisco Trial Lawyers, “Art of Negotiation,” San Francisco 2009
  • September 29, 2009, Consumer Attorneys of California and San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association, “Masters Seminar: 12 Angry Jurors,” Burlingame 2009
  • September 15, 2009, San Francisco Trial Lawyers, “Jury 2.0,” San Francisco April 16, 2009, Consumer Attorneys of California, “Jury Questionnaires” Webinar, San Francisco 2009
  • March 10, 2009, American Board of Trial Advocates, “Ethics & Civility Program,” Golden Gate University, San Francisco 2009
  • October 25, 2008, San Francisco Trial Lawyers, “Cross Examination with the Women of ABOTA” 2008
  • September 25, 2008, Nevada Justice Association’s 32nd Annual Convention/Seminar, Napa California - “Selecting Juries in an Unhappy America” 2008
  • May 30, 2008, The Mediation Society, 6th Annual Education Program, San Francisco, “Mediation 2008: How The Process Has Evolved” 2008
  • April 8, 2008, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Jury Techniques: “How to Select, Engage and Enlist Your Jury,” Chair 2008
  • Autumn 2007, Stanford Law School, “Advocacy Skills Workshop” Faculty 2007
  • October 12, 2007, ABOTA, Masters in Trial, San Bernardino, “Cross-Examination of Defense Expert,” Child High Chair Case 2007
  • September 21, 2007, ABOTA Masters in Trial, Reno, Nevada, “Cross-Examination of Defendant’s Seat Designer”, Collapsing Seat, Auto Case 2007
  • May 31, 2007, ABOTA Masters in Trial, San Francisco, “Plaintiff’s Closing Argument.” Wrongful Termination Case 2007
  • May 22, 2007 Consumer Attorneys of California, Live Web Seminar “Engaging in the Resolution Discussion-Opening a Dialogue to Set Cases Up for Resolution” 2007
  • April 10, 2007, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Seminar, “Practical Tips for Communicating with Your Jury” 2007
  • February 17-18, 2007, 32nd Western Regional National Trial Competition, Judge 2007
  • November 17-19, 2006, Consumer Attorneys of California, 45th Annual Convention, “The Powerful Closing Argument” 2006
  • November 14, 2006, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Seminar, Marketing the case to the Jury, Jury Persuasion in the 21st Century” 2006
  • June 25, 2006, National Employment Lawyers Association, 2006 17th Annual Convention, San Francisco, California “Proving Emotional Distress Damages” 2006
  • June 10, 2006, Regional Trial Lawyers Conference, Bacara Resort, Santa Barbara, California – “Trial Tips from the Masters” 2006
  • April 9, 2006, Golden Gate University School of Law’s Appellate Advocacy Program (Justice) 2006
  • November 4, 2005, ABOTA Masters in Trial Program, Seattle Washington “Trial Demonstration Auto/Motorcycle Accident” 2005
  • May 19, 2005 ABOTA Masters in Trial Program, San Francisco, California “The Ultimate Trial Notebook-Opening Statement” 2005
  • April 2005 Northern District of California Judicial Conference “Adaptation or Extinction: The Evolution of Trial Lawyers" 2005
  • January 2005, ABOTA Masters in Trial Program, Laguna Beach, California “Direct Examination of Plaintiff’s Expert-Brain Injury 2005
  • October 2004, Hastings Law School, Center for Negotiation & Dispute Resolution, Judge, In School Negotiation Competition 2004
  • June 26, 2004 NELA's 2004 Annual Convention, San Antonio Texas, Beyond Scrapes and Bruises-Proving What Can’t Be Seen-Emotional Distress Damages 2004
  • May 9, 2003, American Board of Trial Advocates, Los Angeles, Masters in Trial Program - Negligence/ Premises-Criminal Act Case 2003
  • January 2003, American Board of Trial Advocates, San Francisco, Masters in Trial Program-Negligence/ Product Liability 2003
  • April 2003, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Jury Selection and Beyond: Dealing With Juror Bias in the 21st Century 2003
  • June 2001, Western Trial Lawyers Association, Maui, Hawaii, Demonstrating Liability & Damages Using Computers, Day in the Life Videos and Settlement Brochures 2001
  • April 2001, University of San Francisco, School of Law, Mediation A to Z from the Plaintiff’s Perspective 2001
  • July 2000, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Discovery in Construction Litigation 2000
  • June 2000, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Demonstrative Evidence in Brain Injury Cases 2000
  • October 1999, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Summary Judgments in Construction Cases 1999
  • December, 1998, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Sexual Torts Seminar 1998
  • June, 1998, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel/Association of Defense Counsel, Lake Tahoe Seminar, Demonstration - Mock Trial. Plaintiff's Opening Statement, Wrongful Death - Cross Over Median Barrier Case 1998
  • March, 1998, Consumer Attorneys of California, Annual Tahoe Seminar: Gathering and Using Evidence in Third Party Actions Arising Out of Construction Site Injuries 1998
  • February 1998, Consumer Attorneys of California, Winter Seminar, Beaver Creek, Colorado, Trying the Wrongful Death Action 1998
  • November 1997, American Board of Trial Advocates Seminar, Masters in Trial Program, Direct Examination of Plaintiff' Expert - Accident Reconstructionist 1997
  • September 1997, California Association of Licensed Investigators, Developing an Holistic Investigative Service-How to become Indispensable to the Trial Lawyer 1997
  • May 1997 San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association: Evidence Seminar: The Pros and Cons Of Interactive Evidence 1997
  • September 1996 San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Evidence Seminar: General Damages in the Wrongful Death Case, Quantifying the Intangibles of Care, Comfort And Society 1996
  • April 1996 31st Annual CAOC Tahoe Seminar: Quick Hits, Newest Evidence & Concepts: Voir Dire When Your Jury is Defense Minded 1996
  • June 1995, Western Trial Lawyers Association, Voir Dire: The Auto Case 1995
  • June 1995, American Board of Trial Advocates Seminar: The Ultimate Trial Book, Cross Examination 1995
  • March 1995, 30th Annual CAOC Tahoe Seminar: Creative Approaches to Establishing Difficult Damage Issues Loss of Consortium 1995
  • “Trial Demonstration Opening Statement through Closing Argument”, Direct Examination of the Plaintiff” Buffalo, New York.

Why Choose us?

Serving Clients Since 1980
  • Largest Settlements In The Bay Area
  • 150+ Years of Collective Experience
  • No Attorneys' Fees Unless We Win
  • Nationally Accredited Counsel
  • Top-Rated by U.S. News–Best Lawyers®
  • Over $500 Million Recovered

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