Cynthia joined Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost (then Swanson, Thomas & Coon) in 2004. She became a partner in 2012.
She was born in 1960 in Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Pullman, Washington. Inspired by her father, who was an orthopedic surgeon, she first considered a career in health care. Then, in her last semester at Washington State University she signed on with the school newspaper. The editor assigned her to cover the trial in nearby Whitman County: Blair v. WSU, the landmark case brought under Washington State’s Equal Rights Amendment by WSU track and field athlete Blair, 38 other female athletes and coaches of 11 women’s sports against the university, alleging they were denied an equal education and sex discrimination. Cynthia had never met an attorney before, let alone a team of women trial lawyers who fought and won the case for the athletes.
After college, Cynthia worked at a dialysis clinic caring for underprivileged patients and taught writing as a graduate student. Still, she could not forget the trial lawyers from the Blair case and, in 1983, chose law over both health care and journalism, and entered law school to learn the skills necessary to advocate for others within the legal system.
In 1987, Cynthia graduated Hastings College of the Law where she received the Jurisprudence Award in Civil Advocacy and wrote for the International & Comparative Law Review.
After law school, Cynthia stayed in California and practiced at the prestigious Walkup Firm, prosecuting medical negligence, premises liability, construction and products liability cases. She earlier worked on the defense side at an insurance defense firm and at the railroad.
Cynthia has successfully tried and arbitrated a wide variety of injury and death actions. Her practice focuses on medical negligence, workplace (general contractor and third party), and vulnerable road users (bicyclist and pedestrian) injury and death cases.
Cynthia is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of California (1987), Oregon (2003) and Washington (2013).
Cynthia regularly gives bicycle/pedestrian rights and safety clinics for a wide variety of Portland groups, including women’s cycling groups, young women’s groups and companies interested in increasing non-vehicle commuting and recreation. She is an active member of OTLA, OWLS, the Multnomah Bar Association and the State Bar. She has served on the MBA’s Judicial Screening Committee, Professionalism Award Committee and currently serves on its CLE Committee. Previously, she chaired the State Bar Uniform Civil Jury Instructions Committee. She currently serves on the board of npGreenway, an advocacy group supporting a trail from the Steel Bridge to Kelly Point Park, linking North Portland neighborhoods with the Willamette River for recreation and access to jobs.
When she’s not reconstructing a collision at the scene or combing through medical records, you can find Cynthia on her bike, in the swimming pool, out in her garden or hiking in the Gorge or on Mt. Hood with her husband and two labs, Rocky and Duma.
Practice area focus: Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Catastrophic Injury, Brain Injury, Construction/Industrial Accidents, Medical Negligence, Car Collisions, Truck Collisions, Bicycle Accidents, and Pedestrian Accidents.