Cynthia L. Zedalis was born in Pasadena, California, and grew up in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Zedalis was graduated from Occidental College cum laude in 1981 with a degree in political science. While at Occidental, Ms. Zedalis was co-editor in chief of the student newspaper, The Occidental. Ms. Zedalis then attended the University of California, Davis, School of Law, where she co-authored Student Editorial Discretion, the First Amendment, and Public Access to the Campus Press, 16 U.C. Davis Law Review 1089 (1984), and was editor of The Advocate, the law school newspaper. She also served as an Executive Editor of the U.C. Davis Law Review from 1983 to 1984.
Following graduation from U.C. Davis School of Law in 1984, Ms. Zedalis worked as a defense lawyer for twenty years before associating with the Branch Law Firm as of counsel. From 1984 to 1987, Ms. Zedalis was an associate with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Los Angeles, California, assigned to that firm's Litigation Section. She then joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, LLP, now the largest firm in the United States devoted solely to litigation. Ms. Zedalis was Quinn Emanuel's tenth lawyer, and practiced with that firm for sixteen years, at first on a full-term basis, and then part-time as she was raising her three children. While at Quinn Emanuel, she worked on a broad variety of business litigation matters in both state and federal courts, including employment, intellectual property, consumer fraud, and construction. She represented such Fortune 500 companies as Mattel, Inc., Lockheed Corporation, and Hughes Aircraft Company, and also represented the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in disputes concerning its world-famous Oscar© statuette.
Prior to moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1998, Ms. Zedalis worked two years in New York, New York for Hall, Dickler, Kent, Friedman & Wood, LLP (now Reed Smith LLP) as a senior litigation associate, representing such clients as Major League Baseball, The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and Priority Records in advertising, intellectual property, and employment/labor matters.
Ms. Zedalis is a member of the State Bar of California and has taken and passed the New York Bar examination. She resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband, Jeff Hanrahan, a pediatric oncologist, and her three sons, Atticus, Rory and Cole. The Zedalis/Hanrahan family also owns a home in the New Orleans area.