Cynthia Leppert, a principal with Neuberger, Quinn, Gielen, Rubin & Gibber, P.A., is a seasoned business litigator and advisor. Over her more than 35 years of practice, she has earned a reputation as an astute strategist. Her clients – businesses and individuals, including fellow lawyers – come to her knowing that she will devote her full energies to their matters. She believes that open communication between lawyer and client is paramount. And her familiarity and comfort with the courts, as well as issues that confront clients who are in the public eye, add a perspective that can be invaluable when navigating sensitive matters.
Cynthia focuses her law practice upon business issues, including litigation/dispute resolution for businesses and individuals, and general counsel work for growing, closely held businesses. Her litigation/dispute resolution practice predominantly encompasses contract, real estate, commercial, trademark, copyright, employment, shareholder/partnership, trade secret and administrative law matters. She is also a well-respected bankruptcy litigator and advisor to creditors of bankrupt entities, and in 2020 was named by Lawdragon to its inaugural list of 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers.
Her general business representations include acting as “soup to nuts” outside general counsel to closely held companies, with respect to everything from day-to-day matters to strategic plans and significant undertakings. She also advises entrepreneurs, start ups, midlife companies, key employees, and companies that compete in the technology, Health Care IT, or Health Care Analytics space on an issue-by-issue basis.
Central to Cynthia’s practice is the simple fact that she loves being a lawyer. She is a leader in the legal community and frequently speaks to assemblies of lawyers regarding legal practice and professionalism. In 2020, she was appointed by the Baltimore County Executive, and confirmed by the Baltimore County Council to Chair the Baltimore County Ethics Commission. From 2011-2015, she served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Appellate Courts Nominating Commission, which creates the "short list" from which the Governor of Maryland makes appointments to the appellate courts.
Cynthia is a recent past President of the 2500-member Bar Association of Baltimore City (BABC), one of the oldest bar associations in the nation. She was previously president of the Baltimore Bar Foundation (BBF) and has held numerous other leadership roles in the BABC and BBF. She currently serves on the 8-member Executive Committee of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) as well as the MSBA’s Ethics Committee, which publishes written ethics opinions to guide Maryland lawyers.
Cynthia is also a leader in the community of women lawyers. She is a past President of the Women's Bar Association of Maryland (WBA) and recently completed 17 consecutive years on the WBA’s Executive Board. She is Treasurer of the Women’s Bar Foundation of Maryland, and chairs its Finding Justice project. Cynthia previously served as a gubernatorially-appointed Commissioner on the Maryland Commission for Women.
Cynthia is consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America and in Maryland Super Lawyers. She has been designated one of the “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Maryland” by Law and Politics and twice has been named a “Smart Lawyer” by Baltimore’s SmartCEO Magazine. Maryland’s business newspaper, The Daily Record, has recognized Cynthia with its "Leadership in Law" award. The Daily Record has also named her three times to its list of Maryland’s “Top 100 Women,” ultimately awarding her a permanent listing in its “Circle of Excellence” in 2011. Cynthia was named “Baltimore County Woman of the Year” by the Baltimore County Commission for Women in 2008.
Cynthia graduated from The Johns Hopkins University with honors in Economics, and from the UCLA School of Law where she was Comments Editor of the UCLA Law Review. She also completed one year of post-graduate study in Economics as a Regents’ Fellow at UCLA.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law
- Comments Editor, UCLA Law Review
- UCLA Graduate School (Regents' Fellow, Economics)
- The Johns Hopkins University (B.A., Political Economy, with Honors)
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- Best Lawyers in America (2012-present)
- Maryland Super Lawyers (2007-present)
- Lawdragon, 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers (2020; Inaugural List).
- The Daily Record, “Leadership In Law” Award (2005).
- The Daily Record, recognized as one of “Maryland's Top 100 Women” (2006, 2008, 2011)
- The Daily Record, inducted into the “Circle of Excellence” (2011)
- Law and Politics, “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Maryland” (2008)
- Baltimore County Commission for Women, “Baltimore County Woman of The Year” (2008)
- Baltimore Smart CEO Magazine, “Smart Lawyer” (2004, 2005)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating (1994-present)
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow (2008-present)
- Maryland Bar Foundation, Fellow (2005-present)
- Baltimore Bar Foundation, Fellow (2007-present)
- Litigation Counsel of America, a National Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, Charter Fellow (2006-present)
- Women’s Bar Association of Maryland, “President’s Award” (2004, 2006, 2007, 2015)
- Bar Association of Baltimore City
- President (2013-2014)
- Other Officer Positions (2009-2013)
- Chair, Membership Committee (2006-2009)
- Chair, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee (2005-2006)
- Executive Council (2005-2015)
- Ethics Committee (2005-2007, 2012-present)
- Bench Bar Committee (2012- present)
- Baltimore Bar Foundation
- President (2011-2012)
- Other Officer Positions (2009-2010)
- Trustee (2009-present)
- Maryland State Bar Association
- Executive Committee (2020-present)
- Board of Governors (2014-2016 and 2019-present)
- Ethics Committee (2014-present)
- Planning Committee (2016-present)
- Faculty, Professionalism Course required for all new Admittees to the Maryland Bar (2002-2011)
- Women’s Bar Association of Maryland
- President (2007-2008)
- Other Officer Positions (2004-2007)
- Chair or Co-Chair, Judicial Selections Committee (2000-2004)
- Chair, Rita C. Davidson Award Dinner, which honored U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor at the historic conclusion of her tenure on the Court and was attended by over 500 lawyers and judges (2005)
- Task Force on Judicial Selections Policies and Procedures (2008-2009)
- Executive Committee (2000-2016)
- President, Baltimore Chapter (1999-2000)
- National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations
- Board of Directors (2007-2012)
- Maryland Women’s Bar Foundation
- Board of Directors (2007-present)
- Chair, “Finding Justice” Project (2014-present)
- Development Committee, “Finding Justice” Project (2008-2013)
- Attorney Grievance Commission
- Peer Review Committee (2001-present)
- Inquiry Committee (1998-2001)
- Maryland Institute for The Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL)
- Board of Trustees (2004-2012)
- Baltimore County Ethics Commission
- Chair (2020-present) and Commissioner (2019-present), appointed by the County Executive of Baltimore County, Maryland and confirmed by Baltimore County Council
- Baltimore County Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Community Advisory Council
- Council Member (2020-present), appointed by the County Executive of Baltimore County
- Maryland Commission for Women
- Commissioner, appointed by Governor of Maryland (2002-2007)
- Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland
- Co-Chair, 25th Anniversary Gala (2015)
- Finance Committees for various Maryland, Baltimore County and Baltimore City elected officials (2009-present)
- National Association of Women Business Owners, Baltimore Chapter
- Secretary and Director (2005-2007)
- Education Chair and Director (2007-2009)
- Wakefield Improvement Association
- President (2008-2010)
- Board of Directors (2003-2006, 2008-2012)
- Staff Attorney, Federal Trade Commission (1983-1986)
- Partner, formerly Associate, Frank, Bernstein Conaway & Goldman (1986-1992)
General Business Representation (as Sole or Lead Counsel)
- Outside lead general counsel for highly successful, growing, cutting-edge company in the IT/Health Care industry, starting from the moment of start-up and continuing through its growth into a thriving, prosperous mid-life company and acquisition by a publicly traded company, providing advice to management on a daily basis regarding a full array of business issues.
- Outside lead general counsel to a defense manufacturing contractor located in Puerto Rico, providing advice to owners on full array of business issues, successfully taking Puerto Rico federal bar exam at client’s request (receiving highest score in the Commonwealth) to more fully serve the client.
- Provided issue-specific advice to closely held businesses in diverse industries regarding a variety of strategic and contractual matters.
- Represented numerous individuals in negotiation of employment agreements or severance packages, including with respect to non-competes, other covenants and buyouts of restricted stock.
- Represented numerous individuals in varied industries in contractual negotiations to protect intellectual property and developments.
Real Estate Litigation (as Sole or Lead Counsel)
- Represented the seller in the trial of a real estate broker’s claim for a $1.2 million commission on the sale of a $19 million warehouse, and in the subsequent appeal. Judgment was entered in favor of the seller and the Fourth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s judgment.
- Represented the owner of undeveloped land valued at $2 million in a boundary dispute, obtaining an agreement that successfully resolved the dispute before trial.
- Represented numerous purchasers of residential real estate with respect to claims against brokers, sellers and/or home inspectors regarding undisclosed defects.
Trademark/Copyright and Business Tort (as Sole or Lead Counsel)
- Obtained a jury verdict in favor of an apparel manufacturer in a lawsuit under the Federal Arbitration Act to compel arbitration of a multi-million dollar trademark dispute. At the subsequent arbitration, won a decision from the arbitrator that the manufacturer owned the subject trademarks.
- Represented a wine distributor in a trademark action filed by wine manufacturer, obtaining in mediation a settlement permitting the distributor to continue to market under the subject trademark.
- Represented a sausage manufacturer in a trademark action against a distributor, obtaining a settlement pursuant to which the distributor would no longer be permitted to market its own sausage under the subject trademark.
- Represented several businesses or employees with respect to claims asserted by or against them for misappropriating employees, client lists or trade secrets, obtaining favorable judgments or settlements in each case.
- Represented publishers in various copyright actions brought by alleged owners of copyrights, obtaining favorable settlements in each case.
Contract and Commercial Disputes (as Sole or Lead Counsel)
- Represented manufacturer in the trial of a supplier’s claim for amounts allegedly due under a purchasing contract. Obtained judgment in favor of manufacturer after presenting expert testimony by the former chief documents examiner for the U.S. Secret Service establishing the authenticity of a second contract which precluded the supplier’s claim and which had been alleged to be a forgery.
- In arbitration, successfully defended signatory to a letter of intent pertaining to a contemplated joint venture against a claim that the letter was not binding. Obtained a ruling from the arbitrator that the letter of intent was binding.
- Represented a defense contractor in a dispute with supplier, obtaining a $1 million judgment.
- Represented guarantors of promissory notes in numerous lawsuits brought to enforce guarantees and obtained favorable resolution, often by identifying deficiencies in the guarantee or failures by the lender to comply with requirements under the guarantee or promissory note.
- Represented indemnitors under commercial agreements in several lawsuits brought to enforce indemnities and obtained dismissals or settlements for a small fraction of the claims.
- Represented defendants in numerous confessed judgment actions and obtained orders vacating the confessed judgments and ultimately favorable resolutions of the lawsuits.
Employment Disputes (as Sole or Lead Counsel)
- Successfully represented numerous employers in lawsuits arising out of employment contracts, including claims for severance and enforcement of covenants not to compete.
- Successfully represented several employees in claims by their former employers for enforcement of covenants not to compete.
- In a dispute concerning an executive’s compliance with provisions of employment contract, obtained a preliminary injunction against the honoring of a letter of credit securing the executive’s “golden parachute” severance payment.
- Represented a corporation in the arbitration of a $1.2 million severance claim brought by its former president, and uncovered evidence of the president's fraud in procuring his employment. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the corporation on the former president's claim and required the former president to pay damages.
Bankruptcy Litigation (as Sole or Lead Counsel)
- Represented bankruptcy trustee in a suit against a corporation’s former law firm based upon allegations that the law firm had an undisclosed personal interest conflict at the time it was representing the corporation. Supervised audit of law firm’s invoices. Case settled for a $1 million reduction in legal fees.
- Represented bankruptcy trustee in a trial of the trustee’s claim against a life insurance company for repayment of an unauthorized post-petition transfer. Obtained judgment in trustee’s favor from the Bankruptcy Court, and obtained appellate decisions from the District Court and Fourth Circuit affirming the Bankruptcy Court’s judgment.
- Managed litigation of 400 preference lawsuits brought on behalf of the trustee of a bankrupt corporation. Coordinated a team of accounting and business valuation experts and, based upon a detailed forensic analysis of the corporation’s financial records and assets, worked with the experts in developing evidence that the corporation was insolvent on pivotal dates. Personally handled mediations resulting in recoveries exceeding $5 million.
- Represented bankruptcy trustee in resolving approximately 1,000 claims by landlords for rejection damages. Developed and utilized a method for evaluating and defending the claims which dramatically reduced the value of these claims at very low cost and risk to the bankruptcy estate. As a result, was invited to present a paper on the methodology for litigating landlord claims at ABA Annual Meeting.
- Represented bankruptcy trustee in litigation that successfully established ownership of estate property, the title to which had been obscured by fraud.
- Represented a bankruptcy trustee in litigation against debtor who had fraudulently transferred assets to a related corporation and obtained favorable settlement.
- Represented numerous defendants in preference/ avoidance lawsuits brought by bankruptcy trustees, obtaining settlements for small fractions of the claims.
Insurance Coverage and Claims Disputes (as Sole or Lead Counsel)
- Represented a real estate developer with respect to a coverage claim against an insurance carrier and a negligence claim against a title examiner, obtaining a favorable settlement in mediation.
Family Law (as Sole or Lead Counsel)
- Represented individuals in divorce proceedings, including high-conflict break-ups and visitation disputes.
- Represented, on several occasions, individuals in breakups of same-sex partnerships.
Personal Injury (as Sole or Lead Counsel)
- Represented plaintiff in auto tort case, obtaining settlement of $600,000 for pain and permanent damage to arm and shoulder mobility.
- Represented plaintiff in auto tort case, obtaining settlement of $200,000 prior to mediation for injuries to back and residual pain even after surgery.