• J.D., New York University (1977) Member, NYU Law Review
  • A.B. (magna cum laude), Princeton University (1974)

Substantive Practice Areas

  • Corporate Governance
  • Environmental & Energy
  • Litigation Against Federal Agencies
  • Toxic Torts

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Virginia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals (DC , First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits)
  • U.S. District Court, DC
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. Va.
  • U.S. District Court, Md.
  • U.S. District Court, N.D. Ill.
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Fairfax County Bar Association
  • Illinois Bar Association
  • The Federalist Society
  • Virginia Bar Association
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Robert J. Cynkar

phone: 703-350-4052

fax: 202-789-1813

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ROBERT J. CYNKAR has been an active member of the legal communities of Washington, DC and Virginia for 30 years as a trial and appellate lawyer, both in private practice and in government service, and as a member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee staff.

Before entering private practice, Mr. Cynkar served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia (Criminal Division), as a Special Assistant to U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, and as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Civil Division, where he oversaw over 100 litigators of the Federal Programs Branch and the Office of Consumer Litigation. In that capacity, Mr. Cynkar was the primary lawyer responsible for defending in the federal district courts the programs and regulatory initiatives of nearly all federal departments and agencies. This litigation ran the gamut of constitutional and statutory issues that could be raised by federal action. Mr. Cynkar personally argued many of the most sensitive or controversial cases. In the more political realm, Mr. Cynkar served on the Senate Judiciary Committee staffs of Senator Bob Dole, and then of Senator Paul Laxalt, dealing with a range of issues related to federal regulation and the regulatory process.

In private practice for the last 20 years, Mr. Cynkar has brought his broad experience in complex and innovative regulatory, administrative law, and constitutional matters to bear on behalf of individual and institutional clients, including insurance companies, financial institutions, utilities, healthcare providers, state governments, federal programs, and public interest groups. These matters have involved diverse subjects ranging from property rights and takings issues, ratemaking and energy regulation, healthcare regulation and related Medicare and Medicaid issues, and the regulation of financial institutions, through environmental, toxic tort, and serious personal injury issues, to the defense of First Amendment rights. Mr. Cynkar’s work on these matters has often involved a blend of litigation and legislative strategies.

Mr. Cynkar has tried over 25 cases in federal and state courts.  He has briefed numerous appeals in the majority of Federal Circuits and in State Supreme Courts, and in the U. S. Supreme Court, and has personally argued many of those appeals.  Among his noteworthy cases are: U.S. v. Fleming (E.D.Va. 1984) (successful prosecution of a drunk driver who killed a mother of 11 for second-degree murder); U.S. v. Winstar (U.S. Sup. Ct. 1996 ) (holding that even the requirements of a broad change in regulatory policy by Congress cannot excuse the federal government’s breach of contract); U.S. ex rel. Ubl v. IIF Data Solutions (E.D.Va. 2009) (successful defense of a government contractor accused of violating the False Claims Act in a bet-the-company case); Livingston v. Virginia Dept. of Transportation (Va. Sup. Ct. 2012) (establishing that a damaging for public use does not need to rise to the level of a taking to qualify for just compensation under the Virginia Constitution); Settle v. RGR, (Prince William Cir. Ct. 2012) (over $3 million jury award for the widow of a truck driver killed in a collision with a train).

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