Trial Lawyer of the Year
On Saturday, March 5, 2022, the CAL-ABOTA Board of Directors proudly selected Cynthia McGuinn of the San Francisco Chapter as the 2022 Trial Lawyer of the Year. Since 1962, this award is recognized as the highest honor a California trial lawyer can receive. The CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year is awarded annually to a recipient exhibiting the best traits of a trial lawyer - excellence in advocacy, a distinguished career and a reputation for civility, ethics and fair play.

The CAL-ABOTA Board of Directors includes officers of the eight local chapters. Each CAL-ABOTA chapter is entitled to nominate a candidate for Trial Lawyer of the Year. Written and oral presentations are submitted to CAL-ABOTA's board followed by the selection of the award recipient by majority vote.

General Criteria For Selection Of California Trial Lawyer Of The Year

  1. THAT THE PERSON BE AN EXCELLENT ADVOCATE
  2. THAT THE PERSON HAVE A DISTINGUISHED CAREER
  3. THAT THE PERSON HAVE A SUPERB REPUTATION OF CIVILITY, ETHICS AND FAIR PLAY
  4. THAT THE PERSON HAVE PARTICIPATED IN AN OUTSTANDING RESULT
Cynthia McGuinn. 2022 Trial Lawyer of the year.
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 ABOTA; 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. Cynthia is also a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California, American Association for Justice, and the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. 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.

CAL-ABOTA will celebrate Ms. McGuinn during the 2022 Hawaii Conference with a special dinner in her honor on Friday, November 4, 2022 at the Mauna Kea; please plan to attend the Hawaii Conference for this special occasion.



Past Cal-ABOTA Trial Lawyers Of The Year

2022 Cynthia McGuinn San Francisco
2021 John H. Howard California Coast
2020 No Award Given
2019 Richard D. Carroll Los Angeles
2018 Chris Wesierski Orange County
2017 Warren R. Paboojian San Joaquin Valley
2016 Michael P. Bradley San Francisco
  Douglas M. DeGrave Orange County
2015 William D. Shapiro San Bernardino/Riverside
2014 Michael A. Kelly San Francisco
2013 Edith Matthai Los Angeles
2012 Robert A. Buccola Sacramento Valley
2011 Michael Bidart San Bernardino/Riverside
Dennis F. Moriarty San Francisco
2010 Brian J. Panish Los Angeles
2009 Dennis A.Schoville San Diego
2008 Mark P. Robinson, Jr. Orange County
2007 David J. O'Keefe Los Angeles
2006 Richard Watters San Joaquin Valley
Edward J. Nevin San Francisco
2005 Jeffrey S. Raynes San Bernardino/Riverside
2004 Roger A. Dreyer Sacramento Valley
2003 Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr. San Diego
*2002 Marjorie W. Day Orange County
2001 James J. Brosnahan San Francisco
2000 Florentino Garza San Bernardino/Riverside
1999 H. Gilbert Jones Los Angeles
1998 Brian D. Monaghan San Diego
*1997 Lowell T. Carruth San Joaquin Valley
1995 Ronald H. Rouda San Francisco
1994 David E. Monahan San Diego
1993 Robert C. Baker Los Angeles
*1992 Albert R. Abramson San Francisco
*1991 John J. Collins Los Angeles
1990 Hon. Richard D. Aldrich Los Angeles
*1989 Eugene J. Majeski San Francisco
*1988 Morton L. Friedman Sacramento Valley
*1987 Wm. Marshall Morgan Los Angeles
*1986 Robert D. Barbagelata San Francisco
*1985 Charles A. Lynberg Los Angeles
*1984 Marshall T. Hunt Los Angeles
*1983 Marvin E. Lewis San Francisco
*1982 Donald A. Ruston Orange County
*1981 Don C. Brown San Bernardino/Riverside
1980 Joseph W. Rogers, Jr. San Francisco
*1979 John G. Bonelli Los Angeles
*1978 James C. Downing San Francisco
*1977 Mark P. Robinson Los Angeles
*1976 Richard McCormick San Joaquin Valley
*1975 Jack W. Crumley San Diego
*1974 Theodore P. Shield Los Angeles
*1973 Arthur N. Hews San Diego
*1972 Leighton T. Bledsoe San Francisco
*1971 David M. Harney Los Angeles
*1970 William A. Kurlander Los Angeles
*1969 Bruce Walkup San Francisco
*1968 William J. Schall San Diego
*1967 John J. Costanzo Los Angeles
*1966 DeForrest Home Los Angeles
*1965 Ingmar Hoberg San Francisco
*1964 John T. LaFollette Los Angeles
*1963 Raoul D. Magana Los Angeles
*1962 Roger E. Kelly Los Angeles
California Chapters of
American Board of Trial Advocates
2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 150
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: 916.239.4087
Fax: 916.924.7323
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