Carolyn Short is a trial attorney who leads the firm's Philadelphia Regional Litigation team. Ms. Short focuses her practice on commercial and employment disputes, including class action litigation, corporate governance issues, high-level executive investigations and management issues. She represents publicly traded multinational corporations and defends federal and state class action matters, antitrust, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, employment discrimination, securities fraud and medical device cases, as well as various other commercial matters.

In addition, Ms. Short is highly experienced in the defense of civil rights cases and navigating the legal compliance world of government contracting. She also is well-versed in various aspects of complex litigation, from jury selection techniques to cross-examination and effectiveness in closing arguments.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Short was called upon by high-ranking state officials to handle sensitive, public investigations and disputes. In January 2005, Sen. Arlen Specter asked Ms. Short to serve as general counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary for the Supreme Court nomination hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.


  • Lead counsel for a publicly traded government contractor in successfully resolving a civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) action in Mississippi brought by the Attorney General
  • Lead counsel in multiple "bet-the-company" investigations and crisis management
  • Lead counsel for a prominent payment card firm in a national federal putative class action matter defending against assertions of Sherman Act Section 1 and 2 claims relating to merchant contract provisions, resulting in a favorable settlement
  • Lead counsel for a large, quasi-governmental agency in a high-profile federal putative class action civil rights matter, defending against allegations of race and gender discrimination
  • Co-lead counsel in an Illinois-based Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) putative class action matter
  • Co-lead counsel in a New York-based FCRA putative class action matte
  • Lead counsel in a Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower retaliation matter defending a medical device manufacturing company resulting in a dismissal of the lawsuit and a public apology by the plaintiff
  • Lead counsel in federal court in New York in a commercial real estate property damage case
  • Represented multiple financial services corporations in defense of claims of employment discrimination in multiple jurisdiction
  • Represented the boards of trustees of institutions of higher education in crisis management and internal investigations
  • Conducted numerous high-level, C-suite investigations and designed programs for reform in governance to help the leadership move the company toward its business goals and missions while staying true to its culture


  • University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D.
  • University of Notre Dame, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Pennsylvania
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Merit Selection Committee, 2006-2008
  • Third Circuit Lawyers Advisory Committee, 2006-2008
  • American Law Institute, Member, 2016-Present
  • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow, 2015-Present
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow, 2009-Present
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2004-Present
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2003-Present
Honors & Awards
  • Philadelphia Business Journal, Best of the Bar: The Top Legal Minds in Philadelphia, 2017
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Litigation: General Litigation, 2016-2019
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine, 2005, 2008-2019
  • Philadelphia Business Journal, Business Woman of Distinction, 2016
  • Nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2008
  • Lynette Norton Award, Pennsylvania Bar Association, 2006