Cynthia H. Hyndman

Phone: (312) 663-3100
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Cindy regularly litigates both employment discrimination and other commercial matters. In February 2008, she successfully argued CBOCS West, Inc. v. Humphries, No. 06-1431, before the United States Supreme Court, on behalf of Hedrick Humphries. On May 27, 2008, the Court issued a landmark 7-2 decision in the case, 128 S.Ct. 1951 (2008), affirming the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and finding a cause of action for retaliation cognizable under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The New York Times labeled the Court's decision "significant," and the Legal Times described it as "probably the leading employment case of the term."

In addition to her appellate work, Cindy is an accomplished trial lawyer. She has tried numerous employment and commercial cases in administrative agencies and state and federal courts throughout the country.

Before joining Robinson Curley, Cindy was an associate at Shilepsky, Messing & Rudavsky in Boston, counsel at the First National Bank of Chicago, and an associate at Peterson Ross Schloerb & Seidel in Chicago.

Notable Engagements

Employment Litigation

  • Cook County Circuit Court -- 2012. Represented former police officer in sexual harassment lawsuit against suburban Chicago police department. Favorably settled during trial.
  • Northern District of Indiana -- 2009 and 2010. Represented Fortune 500 manufacturer in two separate disability and age discrimination in employment actions. Successfully defeated plaintiffs' claims on motions for summary judgment in both cases.
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals -- 2003. Represented plaintiff in disability discrimination action against health care institution at second trial and on appeal. Seventh Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part attorneys' fee award by district court, finding that district court had properly awarded prejudgment interest on attorneys' fees to compensate for delay in payment of fees.
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals -- 1999. Represented plaintiff in pregnancy discrimination action at trial and on appeal. Seventh Circuit affirmed the jury verdict in favor of plaintiff, finding that "a remark need not explicitly refer to the plaintiff's protected status ... for a reasonable jury to conclude that it is direct evidence of illegal motivation based on that status."
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals -- 1991. Represented national bank in age discrimination case, both at trial and on appeal. Seventh Circuit reversed the jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff based upon the bank's argument that plaintiff could not prove age discrimination merely by arguing that the jury chose not to believe the bank's witnesses.

Receivership/Insolvency Litigation

  • Southern District of Mississippi -- 2011. Represented receiver of three failed insurance companies in RICO, fraud, and negligence claims against persons and entities, including a major financial institution, involved in a massive insurance company looting and money-laundering scheme. Claims against multiple defendants favorably settled for the receiver.
  • District of Rhode Island -- 2003. Represented receiver of Rhode Island failed insurance companies asserting RICO, fraud, and negligence claims against entity that sold insurance companies to persons who proceeded to loot the companies of tens of millions of dollars. Defeated summary judgment on validity of sale to known looters claim, leading to substantial settlement before trial.

Other Commercial Litigation

  • Eastern District of Michigan -- 2012. Represented financial institution asserting RICO and fraud claims against scores of defendants arising out of massive mortgage fraud scheme. Obtained favorable settlements and default judgments for plaintiff.
  • Confidential -- 2009. Represented Fortune 500 manufacturing company in insurance arbitration involving dispute over premium due on workers compensation policies. Favorably settled claim on eve of arbitration.

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Awards & Recognitions

  • Named Illinois "Super Lawyer" in Employment and Labor each year, 2005-2016

Memberships & Activities

  • Shimer College, Chicago, Illinois
    • Secretary, Board of Trustees, 2015-present
    • Member, Board of Trustees, 2015-present
  • Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law
    • Chair, Board of Directors, 2012
    • Member, Board of Directors, 2009-present
  • American Constitution Society, Chicago Lawyer Chapter
    • Member, Board of Advisors
  • Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
    • Co-Chair, Board of Directors, 1999-2001
    • Member, Executive Committee, 1997-2003
    • Co-Chair, Board Governance Committee, 2001-2003
    • Member, Board of Directors, 1997-2003
  • City of Chicago, Mayor's Advisory Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues
    • Member, 1994-1997
  • Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders
    • Member, Litigation Committee, 1991-1992


  • University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1982
  • Shimer College, A.B. with Distinction, 1978, Honors in Humanities

Publications & Presentations

  • Strict Liability for Sexual Harassment by Supervisors, Illinois Bar Journal, September 2009
  • Court Finds Section 1981 Prohibits Retaliation, Labor and Employment Law, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Volume 36, Number 4, Summer 2008
  • U.S. Supreme Court Takes on Retaliation Actions, National Employment Lawyers Association, Representing Workers in Harassment & Retaliation Claims, October 2008
  • The Supreme Court Speaks: The Impact of Humphries and Gomez on Retaliation Litigation, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, July 2008