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Joel P. Kelly

Los Angeles

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


Joel P. Kelly


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.

Joel 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.

Joel’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. Joel is a member of the Jackson Lewis Diversity Committee.

Honors and Recognitions

  •  The Best Lawyers in America©, "Employment Law - Management", "Labor Law - Management" and "Litigation - Labor and Employment" (2016-present)
  • Super Lawyers®, "Super Lawyer" (2009-2018, 2020-2021)


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]