We take your case personally. VERY PERSONALLY.


Areas of Practice:

Criminal Defense

Death Penalty Mitigation Specialist and national Expert in Death Penalty Cases

Serious Felonies

Murder Cases

Criminal Trial Consultant

Litigation Percentage:

100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions:

Missouri, 1987

Illinois, 1988

Cyndy Short

Criminal Defense

Cyndy Short graduated from law school in 1987 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Working her first position as a lawyer in a small labor law firm, she was appointed to represent a young poor woman the federal government accused of attempting to assassinate Jesse Jackson during his 1988 presidential campaign. This experience changed the course of her practice and she dedicated most of the next 15 years of her career to the representation of poor people as a public defender in Kansas City.  She served in the Kansas City office of the Missouri Public Defender first in the trial division, then in the capital litigation division, where she served as head of that office for nearly a decade.  The capital division worked exclusively for those indigent defendants facing the death penalty at trial.  Her job:  On many occasions, to prove their innocence and in all cases, to save their lives.

Cyndy’s achievements for her clients are too numerous to mention, having tried well in excess of 100 jury trials.  But one highlight occurred very early in her career, when a jury – angered by the treatment of her client – acquitted him and demanded an apology from the police and prosecutors for their wrongdoing in the case of State of Missouri vs. Ronald Webb.  In no other case tried in a Missouri court has this ever occurred.

Once she devoted her practice to death penalty cases, she achieved wonderful results for her clients including dismissals, acquittals, and an exoneration.

Her accomplishments have not gone unnoticed.  She received the Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award in 1997, given annually by the Missouri Bar in recognition of outstanding trial work.  She also received the Defender of Distinction Award in 1998 for her dedication to representing poor people charged with serious crimes.  That is the highest honor given by the Missouri State Public Defender. The Western Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty recognized her work on the Dick Dexter case with their Courageous Litigator Award.

Cyndy Short graduated from Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers’ College in 1994.  Since 1997, she has been a TLC faculty member and trains lawyers and judges around the country.

Numerous people owe their freedom and their lives to Cyndy’s dedication, compassion, personal sacrifice, and skill as a trial lawyer.


Saint Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri, 1987 – J.D.

St. Mary’s College, South Bend, Indiana, 1984 – B.S. Political Science

Honors and Awards

Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award, Missouri Bar, 1997

Defender of Distinction Award, Missouri State Public Defender, 1998

Professional Associations and Memberships

Spence Trial Lawyers College®, 2004 – 2014, Board of Directors

Spence Trial Lawyers College®, 1997 – Present, Faculty Member

Kansas City Missouri Bar Association, 2004 – Present, Member

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member

Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member

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