Cinnamon Plonka is an accomplished litigator who handles a wide array of civil litigation matters, including first-party no-fault and third-party automobile negligence claims, premises liability, employment litigation, fraud, and insurance coverage disputes, both at the trial level and before appellate courts.
Cinnamon has an impressive track record based on her ability to engage the jury and persuade them to her way of thinking. She is passionate about being in the courtroom and her capacity for conveying a convincing story to seven strangers on a jury drives her success and cements her clients’ loyalty. She has a nearly flawless record of “No Cause of Action” verdicts over the past few years, including:
- Deborah Gaines v. State Farm – personal insurance protection jury trial in Wayne County Circuit Court
- Rudy Lewis and Darryl Hamer v. State Farm – personal insurance protection/uninsured motorist jury trial in Wayne County Circuit Court
- Frank Brown v. Pioneer – underinsured motorist jury trial in Wayne County Circuit Court
- Melanie Barnes, et al. v. State Farm – personal insurance protection/uninsured motorist jury trial in Wayne County Circuit Court
On more than one occasion, her reputation for winning has prompted insurance carriers to substitute Cinnamon for its existing defense counsel.
Prior to joining the firm, Cinnamon enjoyed a long career with Citizens Insurance Company. There, she rose through the ranks to become the manager of one of the company’s busiest staff counsel offices, before eventually choosing to return to the courtroom to resume her role as senior trial attorney.
Cinnamon earned her undergraduate degree in social work from Eastern Michigan University. She received her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where she competed on the school’s national moot court and trial advocacy teams. She also completed a rigorous training regimen at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
Giving back is an important aspect of Cinnamon’s practice, which she demonstrates through her service mentoring youths through community groups, with the State Bar of Michigan’s Attorney Discipline Board, and as a Member on the Board of Directors of the Black Women Lawyers Association.
- Thomas M. Cooley Law School,
Juris Doctor, 1999
- Moot Court Board
- Trial Advocacy Team
- Eastern Michigan University,
Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, 1994
- National Institute for Trial Advocacy,
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- State Bar of Michigan
Insurance & Indemnity Law and Negligence Law Sections
Hearing Panelist, Attorney Discipline Board
- Black Women Lawyers Association of Michigan
Director at Large, 2018
Treasurer, 2012 – 2015
Board of Directors, 2006 – 2015
President, 2004 – 06
- National Bar Association
Litigation and Insurance Defense Sections
- Zausmer, P.C. Diversity Committee, Co-Chair
- Trustee, Eastern Michigan University Foundation Board of Trustees
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Volunteer, Charitable & Community Organizations
- Host Committee, City Year Detroit – Women’s Leadership Breakfast
- “Running the Bahri Bases in Court,” Insurance Alliance of Michigan Seminar, September 2018
- “New Statutory Fraud Provisions in Runner, Capper, Steerer Laws & Assigned Claims Plan,” Insurance Institute of Michigan Annual Claims Seminar, September 2014
- “Admire v. Auto-Owners, Van Modification,” Insurance Institute of Michigan Annual Claims Seminar, September 2013
- “Trial Preparation from Start to Finish,” Institute for Paralegal Education, November 2012
Honors and Awards
- Michigan Lawyers Weekly
“Women in the Law” – 2017
- Michigan Top Lawyers – 2015