Thomas E. Cinnamond

[ Age 85 ] The retired trial attorney and former lawfirm chairman specialized in railroad and industrial injury cases.

May 03, 2007|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,Sun Reporter

Thomas E. Cinnamond, a retired trial attorney and former chairman of the law firm of Semmes, Bowen & Semmes who specialized in railroad and industrial injury cases, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Monday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The longtime Homeland residentwas 85.

Born in Baltimore and raised on East 30th Street, he was a 1939 graduate of Loyola HighSchool and earned a bachelor?s degree in business administration at Loyola College. He played varsity basketball and tennis in both schools.

His studies at Georgetown University School of Law were interrupted by his service in World War II. He joined the Navy in 1943, went through officers? candidate school at Columbia University and served aboard the destroyer escort USS Charles R. Greer in 1944 and 1945. He served in both the Atlantic and Pacific and left active service as a lieutenant commander.

He earned a law degree at the University of Maryland while working in the claims department of Travelers Insurance Co.

Mr. Cinnamond joined the Semmes law firmin early 1955. He became chairman of its trial department and was later firm comptroller, vice chairman and chairman. He retired in 1990 and held the title ?of counsel? at his death.

"Tom had a gravelly voice and was short-spoken," said a legal associate, Rudolph L. Rose. ?He carefully chose his words and juries liked himbecause hewas like a father. Hewas so believable."

A leader in the city's legal community, he regularly met with attorneys from other firms for informal lunches at Werner's restaurant on East Redwood Street.

Among his clients were Esskay meats, Armco Steel and Bethlehem Steel?s Patapsco & Back Rivers Railroad. He was considered an expert on cases related to industrial railroad injury.

While at Semmes, Mr. Cinnamond worked to increase its workmen's compensation practice, which grew from one attorney to more than 30 today.

"Tom was wonderful in working with young lawyers when they came to the firm, including me," said Cleaveland D. Miller, head of Semmes' business practice group.

Mr. Cinnamond also helped oversee his law firm?s move from Light Street to 250W. Pratt St. in the 1980s.

Acting Gov. Blair Lee III appointedMr. Cinnamond to a state commission to review workmen's compensation laws in 1978. He also chaired a panel to revise occupational disease laws. Colleagues said he worked with Johns Hopkins physicians to create a standard governing industrial hearing loss.

He was among the first parishioners to serve on a lay board at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. He had also been an official of the Homeland and Rodgers Forge community associations. After residing on Taplow Road for many years, he moved to Timonium ten years ago.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 101 Church Lane in Cockeysville. Survivors include his wife of nearly 59 years, the former Rita Guckert; three daughters, Patty Best of Radnor, Pa., Mary Jo Borders of Tell City, Ind., and Katie Doyle of Bernardsville, N.J.; and seven grandchildren.

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