Cynthia Wright

Hon. Cynthia D. Wright, Senior Judge

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master


Case Manager
Michael Dawson
T: 404-566-2193
F: 404-588-0905
1201 W Peachtree, NW, Suite 2650, Atlanta, GA 30309

Biography

Hon. Cynthia D. Wright, Senior Judge, joined JAMS following two decades on the bench in Fulton County Superior and State courts, including two successful terms as chief judge. Judge Wright presided over thousands of civil cases involving employment issues, contracts, personal injury, professional malpractice, real estate, education and business and governmental entities. She chaired the Business Court Division, which was established to handle complex business cases. One of her milestone accomplishments as chief judge was the modernization of personnel practices for the judicial branch and the implementation of electronic filing of court documents.

Prior to serving in the judiciary, Judge Wright had a diverse legal career spanning both the public and private sectors. As chief counsel and assistant counsel to two Georgia governors, she provided advice on complex legal issues, drafted legislation and acted as a liaison to many state agencies. She also served as a hearing officer for the Georgia Office of Fair Employment Practices (now the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity) and was counsel to the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority, a public corporation that sold securities to finance multi-family and single-family housing.

Judge Wright spent time in the private sector at Troutman Sanders Lockerman and Ashmore and later founded her own firm. Prior to coming to JAMS, Judge Wright became a partner at a law firm and built a mediation and arbitration practice.

Judge Wright is known for her success in facilitating settlement discussions in even the most contentious and complex disputes by offering creative and evaluative paths forward. She has received accolades for her thorough preparation and professionalism, always demonstrating the utmost respect for counsel and litigants.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Presided over hundreds of settlement conferences in business, employment, governmental and family law disputes
  • Resolved matters involving FMLA, ADEA, Title VII, wage and hour disputes, among other employment related matters
  • Chaired the Superior Court’s Business Court Division and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Board for four years

Representative Matters

Employment

  • Arbitrated numerous wage and hour and classification disputes
  • Arbitrated a wrongful termination case involving the motion picture industry
  • Mediated and successfully resolved a dispute alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and violation of a non-compete agreement by an employee of a residential home building company
  • Arbitrated a matter in which the employer, a provider of residential financial services, alleged breach of contract, unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets by a former employee
  • Experience litigating, adjudicating, and settling disputes involving breach of non-solicitation, nondisclosure and noncompete agreements
  • Arbitrated several age discrimination disputes involving a global technology company
  • Arbitrated wrongful termination disputes involving various types of companies including a national retail home improvement company and a sportswear apparel manufacturer
  • Arbitrated a discrimination dispute claiming violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act involving a global telecommunications company
  • Mediated and successfully resolved a wrongful termination matter involving alleged breach of employment agreement and Title VII discrimination by a media company

Business & Commercial

  • Arbitrated several consumer matters governed by California law related to online content subscription services
  • Arbitrated a number of consumer credit card matters related to enforcement of the mediation provision found in the cardmember agreement
  • Arbitrated a consumer credit card matter related to consumer law violations
  • Arbitrated many disputes related to coin operated amusement machines (COAM) between Master Licensees and Location Licensees
  • Arbitrated several title loan transaction disputes alleging violations of a state consumer finance act
  • Arbitrated a dispute alleging breach of fiduciary duty based on an investment made into utility services company
  • Arbitrated the partnership dissolution of a laboratory supply company
  • Mediated a dispute alleging the mismanagement and misappropriation of funds of a delivery services company
  • Experience with disputes involving valuation of net worth, company values and trust asset

Governmental/Public Agency

  • Mediated a public policy dispute involving a U.S. state and major U.S. city
  • Mediated a public policy dispute involving a non-profit professional association of educators and a U.S. state
  • Handled disputes involving and between governmental entities related to county boundaries, jurisdictional questions and annexation, as well as contract letting by governmental entities, such as airport concessions

Personal Injury/Torts

  • Arbitrated and presided over numerous personal injury disputes involving rental cars, scooters, and other modes of transportation
  • Arbitrated and mediated many disputes between long term care facilities and former patients involving issues such as negligence, breach of standard of care and medical malpractice resulting in personal injury or wrongful death
  • Mediated a matter involving the death of an inmate in a correctional facility; allegations included wrongful death and breach of professional duty
  • Substantial litigation, judicial and settlement experience in various other tort-related disputes including defamation and libel, fraudulent conveyance and fraudulent transfer claims

Real Property

  • Mediated a dispute between a commercial real estate developer and a provider of communications infrastructure
  • Mediated and presided over various types of landlord-tenant disputes as well as government-subsidized housing issues

Family Law and Estate/Probate/Trust
As a judge, mediator, arbitrator and neutral evaluator, Judge Wright has handled a variety of domestic and family law matters including:

  • All types of divorce or dissolution including annulment and has conducted many divorce settlement conferences
  • High-asset divorces involving family trusts or closely held corporations
  • Custody disputes during a divorce, post-divorce, or for never married couples
  • Same-sex family issues, married, unmarried and civil unions
  • Negotiation, interpretation and enforcement of prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements
  • Family support and maintenance issues, including alimony, creation and modification of parenting plans, children with special medical or educational needs and parents with special issues (alcohol, drug, anger and mental health issues)
  • Transgender issues
  • Trust and estate or will disputes

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

Honors

  • George S. Stern Achievement Award, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2015
  • Emory Findley Award for Outstanding Judicial Service, Council of Superior Court Judges, 2014
  • Logan E. Bleckley Distinguished Service Award, Litigation Section of the Atlanta Bar Association, 2014
  • Public Service Award, Atlanta Bar Association, 2013
  • Family First Award, Family Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association, 2011
  • Who’s Who in Law & Accounting, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 2011
  • Appreciation Award for Outstanding Service in Family Law Division in Superior Court of Fulton County, Board of Directors of the Family Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association, 2010
  • 500 Leading Judges in America, Lawdragon, 2006
  • Jack P. Turner Award, State Bar of Georgia, Family Law Section, 2006
  • Joseph T. Tuggle Jr. Award for Professionalism, State Bar of Georgia, Family Law Section, 2000
  • Distinguished Achievement Award, Wesleyan College, 1995

Representative Speaking Engagements

  • “The Art of Negotiation—Effective (and Ineffective) Mediation Strategies,” co-author and co-presenter with William Alexander, Nuts and Bolts of Family Law ICLE seminar, 2018
  • “Hot Topics in Current Legal Challenges Facing LGBTQ Families,” National Association of Women Judges Annual Conference, 2017
  • “What’s So Special About Special Masters and Arbitration,” Dekalb Bar Family Law Section, 2017
  • “Divorce and Jury Trial Seminar, Form of the Verdict and Post-Verdict Issues,”2017
  • “The Frontier of Family Law: Family Issues After Obergefell 35,” Annual Family Law Institute, 2017 (ICLE)
  • “Alternative Dispute Resolution in Family Law Cases,” 24th Annual ADR Institute and 2017 Neutrals’ Conference, 2017
  • “Alternative Dispute Resolution in Large Cases: When Is It Appropriate, How Is It Best Staged and Who Should Be Present?,” American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers’ Family Law Seminar, 2016
  • “Arbitration as an Alternative Dispute Technique in Family Law Matters,”34th Annual Family Law institute, 2016 (ICLE)
  • “Professionalism”; co-presenter; 28th Annual North American Law Summit; Entertainment, Sports and Intellectual Property; 2015
  • “Separating the Unmarried Couple: Legal Remedies, Financial Considerations and Other Helpful Tips,” co-presenter, 33rd Annual Family Law Institute, The Art of Love and War, 2015
  • “Same-Sex Couples in Family Court, With Emphasis on Mediation,” 4th Annual Same-Sex Legal Issues Conference, 2015
  • Presenter/Instructor, Family Law Institute and Joint Conference with the Georgia Psychological Association, 2006

Publications

  • “Georgia’s Same-Sex Adoption is Valid in Alabama, U.S. Supreme Court Says” (co-authored by Amy Saul), Fulton County Daily Report, 2016
  • “More Couples Are Turning to Alternative Dispute Resolution to Prevent Invasive Financial Disclosures in Divorce,” Fulton County Daily Report, 2015
  • “Private Courtrooms for Business Disputes: Justice With Privacy,” Justicia, 2015 
  • Partner, Boyd Collar Nolen Tuggle & Roddenbery, 2015–2018
  • Chief Judge, Superior Court of Fulton County,  2010–2014
  • Judge, Superior Court of Fulton County, 1996–2015
  • State Court Judge, Fulton County, 1995–1996
  • Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Zell Miller, 1991–1995
  • Corporate Counsel, Georgia Housing and Finance Authority, 1984–1990
  • Corlew, Smith and Wright, 1982–1984
  • Associate, Troutman Sanders, 1981–1982
  • Assistant Legal Counsel to Governor George Busbee, 1978–1981
  • J.D., University of Georgia, 1977
  • B.A., magna cum laude,Wesleyan College, 1974

News

Events

Practice Areas

  • Arbitration
  • Business & Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Education Law
  • Employment Law
  • Family Law
  • Governmental/Public Agency
  • Higher Education & Title IX
  • Intellectual Property
  • Professional Liability
  • Special Master/Discovery Referee

Locations

Available nationwide

Disclaimer

This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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