Cynthia J. Rigsby


Cynthia J. Rigsby


Cynthia J. Rigsby is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where she is a member and former vice chair of the IP Litigation Practice and a member of the International Practice and the firm’s Medical Device Initiative. She also formerly served as IP Department chair for the Milwaukee office.

Cynthia’s practice involves licensing across different fields, the resolution of patent, copyright, trade secret, and other complex commercial disputes. Her work involves various industries and technical areas, including software, medical device, telecommunications, media, entertainment, automotive, sports, semiconductors, pharmaceutical, Internet of Things (IoT), industrial automation, and financial services.

Cynthia has significant trial experience, and has successfully first- and second-chaired both jury and bench trials. She has appeared before both state and federal courts, including appellate courts, and has represented clients in preliminary injunction hearings, in arbitrations, and before governmental agencies.

Cynthia also has extensive experience with the day-to-day management of complex fact-intensive cases, and thus the cases she has taken successfully through to trial include these multi-million dollar cases and class actions. She has also managed and conducted complex fact-intensive internal investigations, including investigations relating to trade secrets and federal compliance issues, and has counseled clients with regard to related governmental investigations.

One of her major cases led to a $400 million settlement between a global leader in medical technology and a global health care company. The litigation between the companies dated to 1998 and involved lawsuits in the U.S. and across Europe, all of which are now settled. Cynthia had significant responsibility for the day-to-day management of that matter, and argued discovery motions, claim construction, summary judgment, and pre-trial motions.

Prior to joining Foley, Cynthia also served as an extern to Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John L. Coffey. She is also White Belt Legal Lean Sigma® certified by the Legal Lean Sigma Institute.

Awards and Recognition

Cynthia was honored by the Wisconsin Law Journal as one of the Women in the Law 2013. This distinguished listing recognizes women attorneys who achieved excellence in their respective fields, benefitted the legal profession through their community involvement, and influenced other women to pursue legal careers. She was also recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the practice area of intellectual property litigation (2022)


Cynthia has served as an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School, teaching an IP litigation course. She has lectured on a variety of litigation topics, including topics relating to electronic discovery, depositions, claim construction, expert witness practice, damages and case management. She has also lectured on ethics issues.

Cynthia is a member of the Licensing Executives Society. She is a member of the Trade Secrets Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association and the American Society of Trial Consultants and a former co-chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Milwaukee Bar Association.

01 June 2022 Press Releases

Foley Ranks Among Nation’s Top Law Firms in Chambers USA 2022

Foley has again been recognized by Chambers & Partners as one of the top law firms in the 2022 edition of Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
20 April 2020 In the News

Rigsby Cited in Supply Chain Dive About the Meaning of Force Majeure for Carriers

Partner Cynthia Rigsby was cited in the Supply Chain Dive article, “Carrier force majeure explained,” which explored how force majeure declarations will impact shippers.
20 March 2020 In the News

Rigsby Cited in Supply Chain Dive About Force Majeure

Partner Cynthia Rigsby was cited in the Supply Chain Dive article, “DHL Global Forwarding Declares Force Majeure, Reserving the Right to Modify Services.”
04 March 2020 In the News

Rigsby Quoted in MultiChannel Merchant About Impact of Coronavirus on Retail, Ecommerce

Partner Cynthia Rigsby was quoted in the MultiChannel Merchant article, “Coronavirus Impacts Being Felt Far and Wide in Retail, Ecommerce,” about the toll the virus is taking on retail and the boost it is giving to ecommerce retailers.
11 September 2019 Events

Fashion Law on the Runway: Top Legal Trends This Season

Join Foley’s Fashion Apparel & Beauty Team (Foley FAB) as they team up with fashion industry insiders to discuss how best to develop, protect, and monetize brand assets in such a dynamic environment.
01 May 2019 In the News

Rigsby Featured on Milwaukee Fox 6 News Highlighting Milwaukee Fashion Initiative

Partner Cynthia Rigsby was featured on the Fox6 Now segment “WakeUp” discussing the Milwaukee Fashion Initiative and its spring showcase.