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Cynthia Rollings





Tel: 212-277-5813

Cynthia Rollings
Cynthia Rollings became a partner of the firm in 1982. Her area of practice is civil litigation with a focus on employment, civil rights and discrimination, and entertainment and art litigation. She has successfully litigated cases ranging from constitutional and employment actions for individuals and as class counsel to cases involving major New York cultural institutions and political figures. She has particular expertise representing physicians and university faculty members in professional disputes with academic and health care institutions. She practices in federal and state courts and before administrative tribunals and is experienced in alternative dispute resolution, both as party representative and neutral.
Professional Activities

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Member, Committee on Women in the Courts, 1987-1990; Committee on Social Welfare Law, 1997-2000; Committee on Bioethical Issues, 2003-2006; UN Committee 2012-2017)

National Employment Lawyers Association and NELA/NY

American Arbitration Association, Commercial and Employment Panels 

New York Supreme Court Commercial Division ADR Mediation Panel (New York and Westchester)

United States District Court, Southern District of New York, Mediation Panel

ISLP Volunteer Attorney: Kosovo, Nigeria, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Cambodia, Nepal 

ABA ROLI Pro Bono Legal Specialist Nepal

Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), Banjul, Gambia, Board Member



Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (M.P.H.) 


New York University (J.D.), Order of the Coif


Wellesley College and Barnard College (A.B.)





Civil Rights & Discrimination

International Human Rights

Entertainment & Art Law

Bar Admissions
New York

U.S. District Court, Southern & Eastern Districts of New York


U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit 




2023 “Lawyer of the Year”, Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law- Individuals; Top Women Attorneys in Metro New York; Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment; Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers; Women Leaders in the Law; Best Lawyers; SuperLawyer; AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Rating
Representative Cases

Piligian v. Icahn Sch. of Med. at Mount Sinai, No. 1:17-CV-01975 (ALC), 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178058, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 28, 2020) (Defeated summary judgment in a disability discrimination case on behalf of a physician terminated from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai).

Novotney v. SUNY et al., No. 17-cv-1180 (E.D.N.Y. March 3, 2017) (SUNY Downstate head veterinarian restored as Attending Veterinarian after filing federal injunction action raising due process and First Amendment violations).

Moynihan v. NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, Index No.108817/10 (N.Y. Co. Nov 14, 2013)(defendants in whistleblower action directed to produce emails relating to human subject research at Harlem Hospital).


Roe v. Johnson (State agrees to pay $1.9 million in settlement of action alleging sexual abuse of female resident in custody of NYS Office of Children and Family Services).


Coleman v. Cornell University, Index No. 652840/11 (N.Y.Co. 2011) (temporary restraining order granted to tenured Cornell faculty member).


Rehman v. SUNY, 596 F. Supp2d 643 (E.D.N.Y. 2009)(physician's complaints re safety and credentialing issues raise public welfare concerns sufficient to defeat motion to dismiss First Amendment claim).


Wright v. Stern, 01-CV-4437 (S.D.N.Y.), 553 F.Supp.2d 337 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) and 450 F.Supp.2d 335 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (NYC agrees to pay $21 million to settle employment discrimination class action on behalf of African American and Hispanic employees of NYC Parks Department).


Almontaser v. NYC Dept. of Education, 07-CV-5468 (S.D.N.Y.), 519 F.3d 505 (2d Cir. 2008) and 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84696 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) (First Amendment and discrimination claims by Arab American school principal).


Krukenkamp v. SUNY, 04-CV-0569 (E.D.N.Y.) (preliminary injunction granted to Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at State University of New York at Stony Brook raising First Amendment retaliation claims).


Metropolitan Opera Ass'n Inc v. Figaro Systems, Inc., 794 N.Y.Supp.2d 611 (N.Y. Co. 2005)(First Amendment challenge to General Business Law on behalf of inventors of opera house title system).


Matter of Paula R. v. Goldstein, Index No. 100388/02 (N.Y.Co. 2002)(challenge by CUNY students and faculty to CUNY Trustees' vote to dismantle open enrollment).


Bordan v. North Shore University Hospital, 712 N.Y. S. 2d 155 (2d Dept. 2000)(dismissal of hospital physician's whistleblower claim raising quality of care concerns premature prior to disclosure of information concerning patients at issue).


Green v. Guiliani, 721 N.Y.S. 2d 461 (N.Y.Co. 2000)(challenge by New York City Public Advocate to Mayor Giuliani's disclosure of sealed information relating to man shot by police).


Shady v. Tyson, 5 F.Supp.2d 102 (E.D.N.Y. 1998)(Due Process and First Amendment challenge to nonrenewal of faculty appointment).


Visual Equities, Inc. v. Sotheby's, 199 A.D.2d 59, 604 N.Y.S. 117 (1st Dept. 1993)(restraining order preventing Sotheby's from delivering original print of Declaration of Independence after auction).


Publications and Other

"Attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Major Obstacles for Women," March 21, 2016 []

"Lead Poisoning in Kosovo: A Cautionary Tale for Flint," February 22, 2016 []

"Patient Care, Peer Review and the First Amendment," New York Law Journal, March 10, 2006 []

Guest Speaker, 91st Annual Clinical Congress, San Francisco, CA, October 2005


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