Maynard Cooper & Gale and Nexsen Pruet have agreed to merge on April 1, 2023. Together we will be Maynard Nexsen.

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Cynthia's Profile

Cynthia is a Shareholder and serves as Chair of the Estate Planning, Fiduciary Advisory Services, and Fiduciary Litigation practice groups at Maynard, in which she has practiced since 1989. She also has served two terms on the Firm’s Executive Committee.

In her Fiduciary Advisory Services practice, Cynthia serves as primary outside counsel to corporate fiduciaries (trust departments, trust companies, and wealth management entities), overseeing policies and procedures, marketing materials, corporate restructuring, and overall risk management.

In her Fiduciary Litigation practice, Cynthia regularly advises individual and corporate trustees and executors and represents them in pre-litigation, mediation, trial, and appellate proceedings.

In her Alternative Dispute Resolution practice, Cynthia frequently serves as a mediator in trust and estate disputes.

In her Estate Planning practice, Cynthia focuses primarily on assisting clients with the thoughtful management of their wealth and appropriate planning for family members with special needs and circumstances, and includes sophisticated will and trust drafting; estate and gift tax planning; charitable planning; insurance and employee benefit planning; and a variety of wealth transfer techniques. Her estate administration practice is designed to help clients fulfill their testamentary and tax objectives while strengthening family relationships.

Cynthia's skills have earned her numerous accolades, including her consistent Band 1 ranking by Chambers and Partners as a leading attorney in the area of "Private Wealth Law." She has been awarded The Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" in 2022, 2020 and 2015 for “Litigation: Trusts and Estates” and again in 2016 for “Trusts & Estates.” She is consistently recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® and in Super Lawyers in the areas of Trusts and Estates and Trust and Estate Litigation. Alabama Super Lawyers has recognized her among its Top 50 Lawyers in Alabama and Top 25 Women Lawyers in Alabama. In 2016 and 2017, Cynthia earned the distinction as one of Mid-South Super Lawyers' "Top 50 Female Lawyers." In 2020, Cynthia was recognized by the Birmingham Business Journal as “Best of the Bar” in Trusts and Estates.

Cynthia is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, where she is national chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Committee and state-chair elect. Cynthia also serves on the Executive Committee of Yale Law School and an advisory board of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School and holds a B.A. summa cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College.

“She has long-time experience, is very accessible, always has the clients’ interests first and does a really good job of helping the client understand what they need.”

“She is the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life. She has a photographic memory and is well-spoken, businesslike and very knowledgeable.”

“Cynthia is well-rounded and is an excellent lawyer both on the planning and litigation side.”

“She is one of the premier trust and estate litigators.”

Cynthia's Accolades

  • Chambers and Partners HNW Guide: The World's Leading High Net-Worth Advisors, Band 1 Leading Individual in "Private Wealth Law" (2017-present)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© for Litigation: Trusts and Estates and Trust and Estates (2005-present)
  • Best Lawyers® 2015, 2020, and 2022 "Lawyer of the Year" in Litigation: Trusts and Estates; Trusts and Estates (2016)
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers for Estate & Trust Litigation (2016-present); "Top 50 Super Lawyer in Alabama" and "Top 50 Mid-South Female Lawyer" (2016-present)
  • Alabama Super Lawyers® for Estate Planning & Probate, 2009-2015; Top 50 Lawyers, 2011-2012; Top 25 Women Lawyers in Alabama (2009, 2011-2015)
  • Distinguished as “The Best of the Bar” for 2020 by the Birmingham Business Journal
  • Birmingham Magazine's 2017 "Top Attorneys" for Probate
  • Southern Women's Committee of 50 - Woman of Distinction (2007)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Rating - Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers (2013)

Cynthia's Affiliations and Civic Involvement

Affiliations

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
    • Fellow, elected 2002
    • Foundation Director. elected 2012
    • Fiduciary Litigation Committee
    • Charitable Planning Committee
  • American Bar Association
    • Real Property, Probate and Trusts Section
    • Tax Section
  • National Association of Estate Planners
  • Alabama State Bar Association
    • Tax Section
    • Women's Section
    • Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • Alabama Bar Institute
    • Probate Procedures Committee
    • Uniform Trust Code Committee
    • Unitrust Statute Committee
    • Standing Committee on Trust and Probate Legislation
  • Estate Planning Council of Birmingham
  • Birmingham Bar Association
    • Probate Section, Immediate Past President
    • Executive Committee, 2011
    • Birmingham Bar Foundation Board of Directors, 2012

Civic Involvement

  • YWCA Board of Directors, 2021
  • Women's Fund of Greater Birmingham - Smart Party Honoree 2015

Cynthia's Speaking Engagements

  • The 57th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, Orlando, FL: Plenery Session Co-Presenter: “Using and Misusing the Marital Deduction,” January, 2023
  • CLE Alabama, Birmingham, AL: Plenery Session Co-Presenter with Jessica S. Grover: “The SECURE Act: Treasury’s Proposed Regulations,” December, 2022
  • The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”): National Summer Meeting, Banff, Alberta, Canada: Plenery Session Moderator, “Master Class in Estate Administration,” June, 2022
  • The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”): National Annual Meeting: Fiduciary Litigation Committee, Plenery Session Moderator and Presenter, “Modification and Reformation of Trusts,” March, 2022
  • The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”): Southern Regional Meeting, New Orleans, LA: Plenery Session Presenter, “Practical Decanting,” December, 2021
  • The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”): National Fall Meeting: Plenery Session Moderator and Presenter, “Transfer Tax Considerations in the Settlement of a Will or Trust Contest,” October, 2021
  • The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”): National Summer Meeting: Plenery Session Moderator and Presenter, “Charities in a Time of Crisis,” June, 2020
  • The American Institute on Federal Taxation, Birmingham, AL: Plenery Session Presenter: “Decanting: A Balancing Act,” June, 2019
  • The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”): National Annual Meeting: Plenery Session Co- Presenter with Diana S.C. Zeydel and John C. Moran, “Changing or Unwinding Irrevocable Trusts: Modification, Decanting, Reformation and More,” March, 2019
  • The Southern Federal Tax Institute, Atlanta, GA: Plenery Session Presenter: “Decanting: A Balancing Act,” October, 2018
  • Alabama Bankers Fall Trust Conference, Birmingham, AL: Co-Presenter with Jessica S. Grover and James P. Naftel: “Planning Considerations for Digital Assets,” September, 2015
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”): National Annual Meeting, Rancho Mirage, CA: Plenery Session Presenter: “Symposium: Practice Tips from the Best in the Business,” March, 2009
  • The American Institute on Federal Taxation, Birmingham, AL: Plenery Session Presenter: “Alabama’s Uniform Estate Tax Apportionment Act,” June, 2008
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”): National Annual Meeting, Boca Raton, FL: Plenery Session Co-Presenter with Prof. Jeffrey N. Pennell: “Tax Apportionment -- The Law and Forms,” March, 2008
  • Alabama Bar Institute on Continuing Legal Education (ABICLE), Birmingham, AL: Presenter, “New Minimum Distribution Rules for IRAs and Qualified Plans,” December, 2001.

Admissions

State Bar: Alabama, Tennessee (Pending)

Education
  • Yale Law School
    • (1988, J.D., Phi Eta Sigma Scholarship; American Association of University Women Fellowship; The Yale Law Journal, Senior Editor; The Yale Journal of International Law, Editor; Student Representatives, Chair)

  • Birmingham-Southern College
    • (1985, B.A., summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; Phi Eta Sigma; Omicron Delta Kappa)


Monday, August 22, 2022

200 Maynard Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2023

Maynard is pleased to announce that 200 of the Firm’s attorneys have been recognized in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, including 11 who are distinguished as “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective areas of expertise and 56 of the Firm’s younger attorneys who are recognized...

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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Maynard Receives High Marks in the Area of Private Wealth Law by Chambers and Partners

Maynard is pleased to announce the Firm’s Estate, Trust & Business Planning Practice and four Shareholders are recognized in the 2022 edition of the Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) Guide: The World’s Leading Private Wealth Advisors. Cynthia Lamar-Hart, Danny Markstein, Jennifer Justice McEwen, and Kirby Sevier are recognized as leaders...

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Cynthia Lamar-Hart Leads Breaking the Glass Ceiling Discussion with ACTEC

Maynard Shareholder Cynthia Lamar-Hart recently moderated a panel discussion for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). The video was a featured Women's History Month discussion on ACTEC's history of inclusion and diversity. Cynthia interviewed some of the earliest female leaders of the College as they discussed how...

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