Lynn E. Calkins is a trial lawyer and appellate advocate, concentrating in civil enforcement actions and federal regulatory litigation. Ms. Calkins is experienced in representing clients in civil disputes involving the federal government and plaintiff advocacy groups, including defending clients against civil enforcement actions and bringing affirmative challenges to final agency actions.

Ms. Calkins regularly defends selling shareholders and companies with respect to fiduciary and prohibited transaction issues related to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and other employee benefit plans arising under the Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA). These matters are usually putative class action lawsuits filed by plaintiff firms or government investigations brought by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Ms. Calkins is a member of the ESOP Association, and many of the precedential cases she has defended have been cited during presentations during those legal forums.

With a particular focus on defending discrimination and accessibility cases, Ms. Calkins also represents public and private real estate investment trusts (REITs), developers, hotels, website operators, restaurants, local governments and financial institutions in the defense of claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and similar state law claims. Ms. Calkins' cases are varied and cover issues relating to alleged patterns and practices of discrimination, disparate impact, design and construction, criminal background screening and many other subsets of anti-discrimination laws. She is a member of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA), and is regularly asked to speak on evolving enforcement issues affecting the multifamily housing industry.

Ms. Calkins is also experienced in challenging an agency's regulatory authority through rulemaking challenges brought under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and in seeking nationwide restraining orders of regulations where applicable.

Ms. Calkins is based in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., and Nashville offices, but her practice is national. She has successfully defended and affirmatively filed actions in many federal courts across the country.

Ms. Calkins serves as the deputy section leader of Holland & Knight's Litigation Section and as a member of the firm's Directors Committee. Previously, she served as the practice group leader for the firm's Washington, D.C., Litigation Group. In 2004, Ms. Calkins was selected for Holland & Knight's Rising Stars program, a dynamic and intensive program in leadership, marketing and management. In 2005, she co-chaired that program. Prior to her current roles, Ms. Calkins served as the marketing partner for the firm's three offices in the Mid-Atlantic region.

In 1995, Ms. Calkins clerked for the Honorable Deborah K. Chasanow in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, where she now serves as a member of the court's Bench-Bar Liaison Committee.

Representative Experience

  • Defeated class certification in 401(k) fee dispute case brought under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Defeated class certification and then secured judgment in favor of selling shareholders on an ERISA class action
  • Secured dismissal with prejudice of an ERISA class action matter and later withdrawal of appeal by plaintiff's counsel after opposing brief submission
  • Negotiated favorable settlement of ERISA class action matter after securing finding of no cause by U.S. DOL
  • Secured a nationwide restraining order against the federal government relating to rulemaking by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Defended client in Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigations relating to purported allegations of false advertising relating to COVID-19
  • Negotiated multiple favorable settlements of fair housing design and construction matters after substantial litigation wins against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and local U.S. attorney offices
  • Secured numerous wins of matters filed with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) relating to denials of requests for reasonable accommodations and/or modifications under the FHA
  • Successfully defended disparate impact claim based on criminal background screening practices and negotiated favorable resolution relating to the same
  • Obtained a substantial settlement for an Indian tribe in a breach of fiduciary case against the United States
  • Secured summary judgment victory, requiring a cost-of-living adjustment to the salaries for federal judges


  • American University, Washington College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • University of Delaware, B.A., Philosophy and Political Science, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Tennessee
  • Maryland
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • Entryway, Nashville City Advisory Board Member
  • National Apartment Association, Member
  • Chief – Washington, D.C., Founding Member
  • National Multifamily Housing Council, Board of Directors
  • National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • The ESOP Association, Member
  • The Journal of Federal Agency Action, Board of Editors
  • DC Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2014-2016
  • Intro Nashville, Alumni, February 2024
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • The Barristers, Member
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Bench-Bar Liaison Committee, 2006-2023
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel, Appointee, April 2017
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Commercial Litigation, 2013-2024
  • Leading Litigators in America, Lawdragon 500, 2022, 2024
  • The Legal 500 USA, Labor and Employment – ERISA Litigation
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020
  • Phi Beta Kappa