Cyril V. "Cy" Smith

Cyril V. "Cy" Smith

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Recognized since 2011

Baltimore, Maryland

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation

Health Care Law

Legal Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs

Litigation - ERISA

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Cy Smith has three decades of trial experience and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He primarily represents plaintiffs and defendants in large, complex civil litigation in diverse industries such as financial services and healthcare. Recently, the Delaware Court of Chancery called his work “an exemplar of exactly how entrepreneurial plaintiffs’ contingent fee litigation ought to work,” adding that his representation should be used to “instruct law students” on how to practice.

The New York Times covered Cy’s representation of former NFL players in a class action suit against the league, in addition to covering prior cases involving individual players injured while playing for the Washington Redskins, New York Titans (now the Jets), and Miami Dolphins, among others.Cy’s work for football retirees began in 2005 when he helped the family of the late Pittsburgh Steelers great Mike Webster win a multimillion-dollar judgment in retroactive benefits and other relief from the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan.

The case was the first-ever win against the NFL pension plans, and paved the way for today’s public, litigation, and legislative scrutiny of pro and amateur sports’ concussion crisis. Cy testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and has appeared on HBO and ESPN to discuss pro football and concussions.

As examples of Cy’s diverse practice, he currently represents a state university system as a defendant in a decade-long dispute related to the state’s historically black colleges, resulting in a seven-week trial addressing a proposal for a multi-billion-dollar restructuring of that system.

And in the consolidated national class action antitrust proceedings against the Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurers, Cy was selected by the Alabama federal district court to serve on the five-person Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee directing litigation on behalf of health insurance subscribers.

In other high-stakes cases, Cy represented the son of real estate mogul and corporate raider Victor Posner in a multimillion-dollar settlement in one of the largest will contests in U.S. history. More recently, Cy represented an accountant in the Manila office of a global construction firm, who was kidnapped and tortured after the employer refused either to pay his ransom or permit his family to do so.

Cy has also represented clients who are witnesses, targets, and defendants in federal investigations and administrative proceedings concerning insider trading, money laundering, false statements to the government, insurance fraud, and other white collar and enforcement matters.

Contact & Links


  • 100 East Pratt Street, Suite 2440
    Baltimore, MD 21202-1031


  • University of Virginia , J.D., graduated 1986
  • Dartmouth College, B.A., graduated 1981

Bar Admissions

  • United States, Maryland
  • United States, District of Columbia

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
Headquarters: Washington, District of Columbia

34 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

4 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

Best Law Firms Badge Full Firm Profile

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Litigation - ERISA
  • Health Care Law
  • Legal Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs

Special Focus

  • Complex Litigation
  • Fiduciary Duties

"Cyril Smith is smart, tough, and aggressive, but he also very effective in mediation and knowing when to back off. He is highly ethical and about the best lawyer with whom I have ever worked."

- Ronald Landsman (Ron M. Landsman, P.A.), Rockville, MD

"I brought in Cy Smith as lead litigation counsel on major Medicaid class action litigation and he was superb throughout the proceeding. He was relentless in pursuing theories, extremely effective in court, able to negotiate with opposing parties with the right combination of toughness and reasonableness, and maintained control of an immensely complicated settlement procedure involving three other major parties (besides class plaintiff). He was also collegial and easy to work with, respectful of what others brought to the table, and justly confident of what he could do. I could not imagine a more satisfactory working relationship."

- Ronald Landsman (Ron M. Landsman, P.A.), Rockville, MD

"Mr. Cyril V. Smith is a very experienced, well-educated, and smart lawyer. He gives personal attention and has the unique ability to understand and resolve issues of international clients as well. He is always ahead of time in responding to the clients. Cyril Smith has excellent communication skills in and out of court. He is extraordinary in his field and also has a good sense of humor."

- Azhar Khan (None)

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