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Joel P. Kelly

Los Angeles

P 213-630-8235
F 213-689-0430


Joel P. Kelly is a Principal in the Los Angeles, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is a veteran employment litigation and trial attorney, and provides counsel to employers from Alaska to Texas on a wide variety of workplace issues.

Mr. Kelly litigates disputes on behalf of employers in the areas of wrongful discharge and discipline, discrimination and harassment, whistle-blowing, retaliation, unfair trade practices, trade secrets and confidentiality, and related matters. He has expertise in complex class actions, including those involving EEO and wage and hour issues.

Mr. Kelly’s experience is not limited to the courtroom, however. For more than 25 years he has conducted human resource counseling and management training, emphasizing a preventative approach to avoiding labor problems and reducing employer liability. He is a requested speaker at seminars for clients, local bar associations, and personnel management groups on how to conduct effective internal investigations, respect in the workplace, and managing within the law to minimize litigation and human resource problems, among other topics. He is a regular CLE instructor on employment law topics, and provides expert witness consultation and trial testimony regarding all facets of labor and employment law, including standards for personnel policies, employee handbooks, and the investigations of workplace misconduct. Mr. Kelly is a member of the Jackson Lewis Diversity Committee.

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Professional Associations and Activities

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • National Bar Association
  • State Bar of California

Published Works

  • "But My Accountant Told Me...A Primer On The Sometimes Harsh Reality Of Tax Treatment Of Payments Made In Settlement Of Employment Claims," Los Angeles County Bar Association (2006) [Author]
  • "When You're Called To Testify: Improving Your Effectiveness As A Witness In Depositions And Adversarial Legal Proceedings," Southern California Employer Roundtable (2005) [Author]
  • "'Waiter, I’ll Just Have The Soup of the Day': The Unguided Proliferation of Unfair Competition Claims Under Business & Professions Code § 17200," Unpublished (2003) [Author]
  • "Sue While You Work: How To Prevent And Defend Against Retaliation Claims Brought By Current Employees," Association of Corporate Counsel (2002) [Author]
  • "Dealing With Mental Illness In The Workplace: What Do You Really Need To Know?" HR Advisor (March 1999) [Author]
  • "Conducting Effective Pre-Employment Interviews: Save Time, Money, Angst (and Possibly Years of Litigation)," HR Advisor (January 1999) [Author]
  • "Reducing Your Biggest Workplace Cost – Employees! Managing Your Business Through Proper Use of Temporary, Lease and Contract Workers," Unpublished (1998) [Author]
  • "The Strained Silence in the Land: Workplace Harassment Law and Employee Free Speech," HR Advisor (November 1996) [Author]
  • "Whose Email Is It Anyway? The Increasing Popularity of Electronic Mail In The Workplace Raises Difficult Legal and Practical Issues Pitting Employee Privacy Against Management’s Need to Know," HR Advisor (March 1996) [Author]

See AllJoel P. Kelly in the News

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August 15, 2018
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

August 15, 2018

WHITE PLAINS, NY (August 15, 2018) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce more than 200 attorneys throughout the firm’s locations have been named to the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, a publication that has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal... Read More

August 3, 2018
Family Promise

Jackson Lewis Provides Pro Bono Services to Family Promise

August 3, 2018

Jackson Lewis is spotlighted for providing pro bono legal services in "Family Promise Partners with National Law Firm," published by Family Promise.  Subscription may be required to view article Read More

December 4, 2017

Talya Friedman and Joel Kelly Discuss Implications of the Recent Sexual Harassment Allegations in Hollywood

December 4, 2017

Talya Friedman and Joel Kelly discuss implications of recent sexual harassment allegations and the firings of abusers in Hollywood in "How Hollywood Can Do Better in Dealing with Sexual Harassment," published by Variety. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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December 28, 2016

Employees on Rest Breaks Must Be Off Duty, California Supreme Court Rules

December 28, 2016

A class of security guards received an early holiday present from the California Supreme Court on December 22. The Court ruled that California law requires employees on rest breaks be relieved of all duties. It reinstated Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Shepard Wiley’s Order granting summary judgment and awarding... Read More

December 19, 2016

Class Action Trends Report Winter 2016

December 19, 2016

Our quarterly report discusses new developments in class action litigation and offers strategic guidance and tactical tips on how to defend such claims. This issue covers the following topics: Defending class discrimination claims Disparate treatment vs. disparate impact The legislation The case law Prevention pointer... Read More

September 28, 2016

Class Action Trends Report Fall 2016

September 28, 2016

Our quarterly report discusses new developments in class action litigation and offers strategic guidance and tactical tips on how to defend such claims. This issue covers the following topics: “Class” claims, EEOC-style When private plaintiffs pile on The legislation The caselaw Regulatory roundup... Read More

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California Legal Update Webinar Series

October 26, 2016 - 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM PST

Credits: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

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See AllBlog Posts by Joel P. Kelly

To Successfully Oppose Class Certification, You Have To Do The CSI
October 23, 2018

Six years after the California Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brinker v. Superior Court (2012) 53 Cal. Read More

California: What Happens In Mediation Stays (Confidential) In Mediation
September 13, 2018

An amendment to Section 1122 of the California Evidence Code on mediation confidentiality requires attorneys representing clients in connection with mediation to provide written disclosures to their clients about mediation confidentiality beginning January 1, 2019. Read More

California Non-Compete Law Renders Surgeon Settlement Agreement Unenforceable
August 20, 2018

Answering a question left from a previous appeal in the same case, a divided panel of the U.S. Read More