Cyndie M. Chang
Partner

Duane Morris LLP
865 South Figueroa Street, Suite 3100
Los Angeles, CA 90017-5450
USA

Phone: +1 213 689 7432
Fax: +1 213 403 5937
Email: cmchang@duanemorris.com

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Cyndie M. Chang

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Cyndie M. Chang is the managing partner of the firm's Los Angeles office. Ms. Chang litigates complex business and commercial disputes involving contracts, unfair competition, trademark, trade secrets, products liability, broker disputes, entertainment and real estate law. Further, she has litigated various kinds of insurance coverage issues, including significant, multimillion-dollar environmental, asbestos, toxic tort and long tail liability claims, as well as subrogation, contribution, bad faith, and reinsurance disputes. In addition, she has counseled insurers on complicated claims management and coverage issues involving first party and third party claims.

Ms. Chang has represented many businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, and has obtained favorable results in trial and arbitration. Ms. Chang was recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the 2014 Top 100 Women Lawyers in California. The award honors 100 women lawyers whose extraordinary talent and experience are helping to shape industry and the law.  She was also named a 2014 "Super Lawyer" in the Super Lawyers Magazine, an honor limited to no more than 5% of attorneys in the state. From 2010 to 2013, she was named a "Rising Star" in Los Angeles Magazine's Super Lawyer Rising Star section, given to no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state, and in 2012-2014 was listed in its The Top LA Women Lawyers. Further, The Recorder named Ms. Chang a "2013 Lawyer on the Fast Track." Selections for the honor were based on attorneys' career achievements and leadership roles within their practice, organization and community. Ms. Chang was also named in the Lawyers of Color Inaugural Hot List, which honored 100 early-to-mid-career minority attorneys for excellence in the legal profession. In addition, Ms. Chang was named the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association ("NAPABA") 2010 "Best Lawyers under 40," awarded to 20 lawyers across the country.

She is the Immediate Past President of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association ("SCCLA"), one of the oldest and largest Asian-American bar associations in the country. She is also an executive officer of NAPABA, as its current Vice-President of Communications and past Secretary and Regional Governor for the Central District, which encompassed over ten minority interest bar organizations in Southern California. Ms. Chang has also participated in the American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section ("TIPS") 2010 Leadership Academy, selected with a group of approximately 20 lawyers in the nation identified to be emerging bar leaders. Further, Ms. Chang was appointed as the Vice-Chair of the ABA-TIPS Business Litigation Committee. In addition, she is her firm's office Pro Bono Coordinator and an inaugural Fellow to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity ("LCLD"), a dynamic leadership training program comprised of high-potential attorneys from major law firms and corporations in the country. Ms. Chang has also served as a board member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles ("APABA"), a Vice-Chair of the ABA-TIPS Business Litigation Committee, and an appointed member of the ABA-TIPS Standing Committee on Diversity in the Profession. Ms. Chang has also been featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal, Diversity Journal, Diversity Executive, the Daily Journal and other legal publications.

Ms. Chang previously served as judicial extern to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Chang is a graduate of Loyola Law School, where she was a published Note and Comment Editor for the Entertainment Law Review, the Student Editor of the ABA Student Lawyer national magazine and a member of the National Moot Court Team and Scott Moot Court Honors Board. She previously was a member of the ABA Law Student Division Board of Governors, a liaison to the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and an elected officer of the Loyola Student Bar Association. Further, Ms. Chang is a graduate, with honors, of Johns Hopkins University and was awarded the Senior Leadership Award for her class and the Multicultural Student Affairs Award. She was elected into the academic honor societies of Pi Sigma Alpha for Political Science, Psi Chi for Psychology, and the Order of Omega. Ms. Chang served as the chair of the Inter-Asian Council, chair of Asian Awareness Month, and the convocation speaker for Black History Month. She also obtained the National Leadership Award in her sorority and the Louis Azrael Fellowship for writing excellence.

In the community, Ms. Chang has served on the Board of Directors for the Asian Pacific Community Fund ("APCF"), a non-profit organization that supports Asian Pacific Islander communities in need and generates funding for 29 affiliate agencies in Southern California. Ms. Chang is also a licensed California Real Estate Broker.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained compensatory and punitive damages, and prejudgment interest, resulting in a multi-million dollar award after leading an over 3-week jury trial on behalf of foreign investor involving commercial real estate fraud.
  • Obtained on behalf of Global Excel Management, Inc. in a matter of first impression in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California a dismissal with prejudice of a cause of action brought by a hospital on the basis that no private right of action existed for reimbursement under California Health & Safety Code section 1371.4 for emergency medical services.
  • Obtained decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that affirmed a district court's decision to remand its declaratory judgment action to state court and to dismiss the case pursuant to the Colorado River doctrine. R.R. Street & Co. Inc. v. Transport Insurance Co., 656 F.3d. 966 (9th Cir. Sept. 2, 2011).
  • Counsel for lead party in a multimillion-dollar environmental coverage action arising from perchloroethylene ("PCE") contamination. Briefings addressed novel issues under California law regarding coverage for the settlement of punitive damage claims and an excess insurer's duty to defend.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in favor of Starpoint USA, Inc. d/b/a Daewoo Motor America, Inc., a former corporate subsidiary of defendant Daewoo Motor Co., Ltd. (Daewoo Korea), in its action seeking defense and indemnity for products liability pursuant to the parties' agreement.
  • Representation of corporations, including publicly traded companies and Fortune 500 companies, in contract, indemnity, licensing, trade secret and commercial lease disputes.
  • Representation of national restaurant chains in local commercial litigation disputes; Prevailed at binding arbitration on behalf of national fast food chain against a $8.6 million claim for damages. See West's Trial Digest, 2 TD 13th 25.
  • Representation of major oil company in eminent domain matters.
  • Representation of companies in environmental liability disputes.
  • Representation of insurance companies in complex coverage claims arising out of environmental contamination and/or injuries against product manufacturers and distributors.
  • Pro Bono

  • Representation of Asian Americans Advancing Justice ("AAAJ") on a high-profile pro bono matter regarding the constitutionality of a proposed business sign ordinance requiring modern Latin alphabet (e.g. English) in the City of Monterey Park. AAAJ honored the Firm, as well as Cyndie Chang, of the Los Angeles office, in its Pro Bono Spotlight.

Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

Education

  • Loyola Law School Los Angeles, J.D., 2003
  • The Johns Hopkins University, B.A., with honors, 2000

Honors and Awards

  • Named one of the 100 "Top Women Lawyers" by The Daily Journal, 2014
  • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2014
  • Named a Top 50 California "Lawyer on the Fast Track" by The Recorder, 2013
  • Named a Top 40 Litigation Lawyer Under 40 in California by American Society of Legal Advocates, 2013, 2014
  • Named in the inaugural "Hot List" by the Lawyers of Color, 2013
  • Elected as VP of Communications to the NAPABA Board of Governors
  • Named in NAPABA's 2010 "Best Lawyers under 40"
  • Rated 10.0 Superb by Avvo
  • Named a "Rising Star" in Los Angeles Magazine's Super Lawyer Rising Star section, 2010-2013
  • Listed in The Top LA Women Lawyers, 2012-2014
  • Fellow to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity ("LCLD"), 2011
  • Graduate of the American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section ("TIPS") Leadership Academy, 2010
  • Graduate of the International Association of Defense Counsel ("IADC") Trial Academy
  • Graduate of the Committee of 100 ("C100") Leadership and Mentorship Program, 2010-2011
  • Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association President's Award for outstanding service and commitment to association
  • Scott Moot Court Honors Board, Top Ten Brief
  • Women Lawyers of Long Beach, Scholarship Recipient
  • Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, Scholarship Recipient

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "Leadership in the Boardroom," Women in Power Quarterly Luncheon, Los Angeles, August 1, 2014
  • Speaker, Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association Summer Associate Mixer, Los Angeles, July 16, 2014
  • Panelist, "Phoenix Rising: Asian American Lawyers as Advocates and Leaders," Loyola Law School, January 2014
  • Panelist, "Affiliate Leadership Summit," Annual NAPABA Convention, Kansas City, Missouri, November 2013
  • Panelist at Associate Business Development Program and Speaker at Diverse Attorney Meeting, Duane Morris Annual Retreat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 2013
  • Speaker, Opening Remarks for the Investiture and Swearing-In of Judge Curtis A. Kin to the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles, August 23, 2013
  • Panelist, "Leadership Competencies," Duane Morris Diversity Retreat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2012
  • Speaker, Committee of 100 Gala, Pasadena, California, April 19, 2012
  • Co-Moderator and Co-Chair, "Acting for Lawyers II" workshop, 23rd Annual NAPABA Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2011
  • Co-Moderator and Co-Chair, "Acting for Lawyers" workshop, 22nd Annual NAPABA Convention INSPIRE, Los Angeles, California, November 2010
  • Panelist, "Examples of Successful Marketing," Duane Morris Annual Retreat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 2010
  • Panelist, "Balancing Responsibilities: Are Law Firms Doing Enough to Promote/Recruit Lawyers of Color to Partnership? How Can Corporate America Help?" Duane Morris Diversity Retreat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2009
  • Panelist, Insurance Practice, Duane Morris Annual Retreat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 2008
  • Speaker, Duane Morris Diversity Retreat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2008
  • Speaker, Career Workshop, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California, January 2008
  • Moderator and Chair, "Phoenix Rising," full day CLE program presented by the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, Loyola Law School, October 2007
  • Panelist, Marketing and Business Development Philadelphia, Duane Morris Annual Retreat, Pennsylvania, October 2007
  • Panelist, Duane Morris Diversity Retreat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 2007
  • Presenter, "Pellicano: How Do You Hire and Supervise Private Detectives, and What Happens When Things Go Wrong?" MCLE presentation for the Southern California Business Litigation Inn of Court, Los Angeles, California, October 2006 - Received Circle of Excellence Award from the American Inns of Court for placing second in Top Programs of 2007