Special Projects Manager
Cynthia Martin is a licensed attorney and Special Projects Manager with Schmitz & Associates, Inc. Cynthia maneuvers land use clients through the entitlement and development process including project submittals as well as governmental hearings and appeals. She also prepares feasibility studies to provide preliminary assessment of development standards and policies impacting land development projects, including evaluating potential developmental constraints and likelihood of obtaining governmental project approval. When compliance is not feasible, Cynthia analyzes proposed compliance alternatives to mapped ESHA areas, USGS blue line streams, flood plains and other developmental constraints by utilizing transfer development credits, open space easements and proposed legislative changes. Her experience includes advocating with regulatory agencies having an impact on land development including, but not limited to, the California Coastal Commission, Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Lands Commission and County and City regulatory agencies.
As a registered lobbyist, Cynthia has successfully proposed and advocated legislation affecting land use policies.
Cynthia is an experienced trial attorney including civil litigation with the law firm Hanger Steinberg Shapiro & Ash, where she skillfully handled complex litigation including property law, real estate transactions, construction defect cases and premises liability. Notable successes include the landmark construction defect case, CIR plumbing v. P. E. O’ Hare, involving defective PVC pipe used in construction projects throughout the state. The case spanned over a decade and Cynthia prevailed at the trial court level and through several years of appeals.
Cynthia also spent several years with the surveying and engineering firm Chris Nelson & Associates, Inc. in her role of General Counsel, Project Coordinator and Business Development. In this capacity, she was responsible for land use consulting, working with governmental agencies, interpreting laws related to land surveying and land development, litigation, project management, due diligence, structuring and negotiating agreements, and working with project consultants such as surveyors, engineers, geologists, architects and biologists.
Early in her career, Cynthia was an on-air TV reporter with NBC News where she honed her communication skills and strengthened her effectiveness as a negotiator. Notable interviews include President George Bush, Oliver North and Clint Eastwood.
Cynthia graduated from Pepperdine School of Law where she was the research assistant to the Academic Dean and drafted several chapters for the Thompson on Real Property treatise. She was a member of the Moot Court Honors Board and the Phi Delta Phi legal honors society. Cynthia also studied law at Cambridge University in the UK, Moscow’s Institute of Law and Economics (MGIMO) and the Europa Institute in the Netherlands where she was certified in European Union law. Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from UCSC and studied journalism at UCLA.
ᵒ Scored in the top 3% nationwide on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
ᵒ Member of the United States Supreme Court Bar, sworn in before the full Bench by the late Chief Justice Rehnquist; licensed to argue cases before the High Court.
ᵒ Attended the Bush Gorbachev Summit in Moscow.
Cynthia’s volunteer work includes providing land use mapping services for the White Heart Foundation’s “Ride to the Flags” annual motorcycle rally from Pt. Mugu to Pepperdine’s 9/11 Flags. The proceeds benefit amputee veterans.