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, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 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, broker, 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 as first chair 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. In 2014-2017, she was also named a "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 2012-2016 was listed in its The Top LA Women Lawyers. She is also AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell: The highest peer rating standard. This rating signifies that the lawyer's reviewed peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards. Best Lawyers Magazine, Spring Edition 2016, profiled Ms. Chang as one of 15 women in the legal profession leading the charge for achievements in the practice and policy, on both local and national levels. 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 President of NAPABA for the 2016-2017 term, with previous service as its Vice-President of Communications,Secretary and Regional Governor for the Central District, which encompassed over ten minority interest bar organizations in Southern California. She is also the Past President of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association ("SCCLA"), one of the oldest and largest Asian-American bar associations in the country. 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 was 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 was featured in the documentary Opening the Door: Personal Stories of Groundbreaking Los Angeles Lawyers and Judges, which was screened during the LA Law Library's Pro Bono Week in October 2016. The Library also featured Ms. Chang in an exhibition during Pro Bono Week. This project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.
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 a convocation speaker with civil rights activist Myerlie Evers-Williams 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. She also serves on the Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (AAAJ-LA) Pro Bono Advisory Council. She also represented AAAJ in a highly-publicized pro bono matter regarding the constitutionality of a proposed business sign ordinance requiring use of the modern Latin alphabet (e.g., English) in the City of Monterey Park. Ms. Chang is also a licensed California Real Estate Broker.
- Obtained resolution for national retail chains against allegations of website accessibility issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- 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.
- Representation of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles ("AAAJ-LA") 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 and with its 2014 annual Pro Bono Service Award.
- Representation of certain civil rights, civil liberties, and professional legal organizations who regularly advocate for American-Muslim, Asian-American, and other religious and religious organizations in the U.S. in filing an amicus brief in the Court of Appeal in New York concerning a request under New York's Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") on the New York Police Department's Zone Assessment Unit (formerly Demographics Unit) program.
- 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
- Loyola Law School Los Angeles, J.D., 2003
- The Johns Hopkins University, B.A., with honors, 2000
Honors and Awards
- Ms. Chang was featured in the documentary Opening the Door: Personal Stories of Groundbreaking Los Angeles Lawyers and Judges, which was screened during the LA Law Library's Pro Bono Week in October 2016. The Library also featured Ms. Chang in an exhibition during Pro Bono Week. This project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Board of Governors
- President, 2016-2017
- President-elect, 2015-2016
- Best Lawyers Magazine, Spring Edition 2016, profiled as one of 15 women in the legal profession leading the charge for achievements in the practice and policy, on both local and national levels.
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell : The highest peer rating standard. This rating signifies that the lawyer's reviewed peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.
- Attended Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy (CBLA), a leadership program initiative by the ABA and national minority bar associations, Seattle, June 2016
- Recipient of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles("AAAJ-LA") Pro Bono Service Award for firm's work on business sign ordinance issue in Monterey Park, 2014
- Named one of the 100 "Top Women Lawyers" by The Daily Journal, 2014
- Southern California Super Lawyers, 2014-2017
- American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow, 2014-present
- 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, 2013-2016
- Named in the inaugural "Hot List" by the Lawyers of Color, 2013
- 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, 2012-2015
- 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
- Contributor, Duane Morris Insurance Law Blog
- Featured in "NAPABA President And Managing Partner Cyndie Chang Aims To Continue Her Family's Legacy of Community Building," Above the Law, November 11, 2016
- Interviewed for "Attorneys Across America: Featuring Cyndie Chang," Ms. JD, March 17, 2015
- Co-Author, "Sign Languages," Los Angeles Lawyer, January 2015
- Profiled in "Top Women Lawyers" Supplement, Daily Journal, May 7, 2014
- Profiled in "New Guard at Duane Morris: Young Leaders with Deep Ties," Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 1, 2014
- Profiled in "Giving Back to Her Community," Diversity Journal, March/April 2014
- Interviewed for "Pro Bono Spotlight: Cyndie M. Chang & Duane Morris LLP," Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA Blog, February 20, 2014
- Profiled in "Three for Three: Three Questions for Three Loyola Alumni Who Are Dedicated to Pro Bono Work," Loyola Lawyer Magazine, 2013 Edition
- Profiled in "How Obstacles Were an Impetus for One Lawyer's Success," Diversity Executive, August 21, 2013
- Featured in "Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association: Developing a New Generation of Leaders," Diversity & the Bar, January/February 2013
- "Exploring Internet Privacy Through Cable Broadband Struggles; ISPs Walk a Fine Line Between Privacy and Security," Loyola Entertainment Law Review
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "Communication and Persuasion: Combining Improv Techniques with Advocacy," Legal Department of Southern California Edison, July 28, 2016
- Co-Moderator, "Communication and Persuasion: Improv Skills Every Lawyer Should Know", DRI's Annual Trial Tactics Seminar, Phoenix, Arizona, March 9-11, 2016
- Speaker, "Examining Opening Statement Strategies for Plaintiffs and Defense Attorneys," 2015 Annual Meeting of The State Bar of California, Anaheim, California, October 8, 2015
- Speaker, "Women@theTable: The Woman Factor — How Women at the Top Impact Organizations," Lim Ruger & Kim LLP and LACBA Diversity in the Profession Committee, June 25, 2015
- Speaker, "50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act: A Time to Celebrate, Reflect, and Recommit," Diversity for Success Seminar, The Voice of the Defense Bar (DRI), June 11-12, 2015
- Panelist, Duane Morris Diversity Retreat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 2015
- Speaker, "Are Warriors the Ideal Litigators? How Stories Infect Our Behavior and Our View of the World," American Bar Association, Webinar, February 26, 2015
- Speaker, "It's Only Forum Shopping When It's Coming from the Other Side?," 2015 Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, Tucson, AZ, March 4-7, 2015
- Panelist, "Committee of 100 Leadership and Mentoring Program: Graduation and Kickoff," Committee of 100, Rosemead, CA, December 6, 2014
- Speaker,"NAPABA Pre-Law Conference: Career Panel," 2014 NAPABA Annual Convention, Scottsdale, Arizona, November 8, 2014
- Speaker,"The Rise of the AAPI Managing Partners: Wisdom and Stories from the Field," 2014 NAPABA Annual Convention, Scottsdale, Arizona, November 7, 2014
- Speaker, "50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act: Our Responsibilities as Lawyers-A Time to Celebrate, Reflect and Recommit," DRI Annual Convention, San Francisco, October 24, 2014
- Moderator, ""Leadership in the Boardroom," CAUSE Women in Power Quarterly Luncheon, Los Angeles, August 1, 2014
- Keynote Speaker, Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association and Joint APA Bar 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 ("C100") 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
- Panelist, 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