Marilyn J. Holifield practices in the general litigation
area, with a specific emphasis on representing corporate clients. Her practice
includes employment, business litigation, corporate governance, trade secrets,
covenants-not-to-compete, class action and intellectual property litigation. Ms.
Holifield has represented corporate clients as lead counsel in jury and nonjury
trials, arbitrations and administrative proceedings.
Ms. Holifield practices employment law and was named by Black Enterprise
Magazine as one of America’s top employment lawyers. Ms. Holifield was also
named one of South Florida’s 25 most successful and prominent black business
women by Network Miami magazine.
For five years, Ms. Holifield was an assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal
Defense and Educational Fund in New York City, where she was responsible for
litigating class action employment and prison reform lawsuits before federal
trial and appellate courts in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Illinois and New
York. She was the General Counsel for the New York State Division for Youth and
a law clerk for Judge Paul H. Roney of the United States (former) Fifth Circuit
Court of Appeals.
When Ms. Holifield was named the 2000 Chesterfield Smith Lawyer, she received
the outstanding lawyer of the year award, the highest honor the firm awards to a
Ms. Holifield has served on the Directors Committee of Holland & Knight
and the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College. She has also served as a member
of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, and Executive Council
of Florida Bar Labor and Employment Section.
She has given continuing legal education lectures on alternative dispute
resolution, employment law, trial practice, defamation law and corporate
governance for the American Bar Association Litigation Section, The Florida Bar,
National Bar Association, Caribbean Commercial Law Workshop and the American Law
The federal district judges of the Southern District of Florida selected Ms.
Holifield to serve on the magistrate selection panel that pre-screened
candidates for magistrate positions. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio
appointed Ms. Holifield to the federal Judicial Nominating Commission for the
Southern District of Florida. She has also served on the Ad Hoc Rules and
Procedure Committee for the United States District Court of the Southern
District of Florida.
Ms. Holifield served two terms as chairperson of the ABA Conference of
Minority Partners in Majority/Corporate Law Firms and as a member of the ABA
Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession. The Governor of
Florida appointed Ms. Holifield as a co-chair of the 1994 Summit of the
Americas, which included historic meetings of the Heads of State of 34 countries
in this hemisphere.