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Paul V. Kelly


P 617-305-1263
F 617-367-2155


Paul V. Kelly is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, complex civil litigation and crisis management. Mr. Kelly is the firm’s White Collar and Government Enforcement Practice Group Leader. A former sports industry executive, he is also one of the firm’s Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group Leaders.

Criminal Law and White Collar Experience

Mr. Kelly has substantial trial experience in both state and federal courts. He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts for 10 years (1987-1996) during which time he prosecuted a wide array of federal criminal violations, including racketeering, fraud, corruption, money laundering and murder. Upon leaving the Department of Justice, he focused his practice on defending companies, business executives and others being investigated or prosecuted for the alleged commission of criminal offenses. Included among the matters he handled successfully are workplace enforcement actions, bid-rigging and fraud charges brought against defense contractors, alleged securities fraud and other financial crimes by corporate executives, fraud offenses brought against health care providers, life science companies, and their employees, and alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

While in private practice, Mr. Kelly has had significant experience in conducting internal investigations for companies, insurers, colleges and universities, governmental entities and other clients.  By way of example:

• He conducted an extensive internal investigation on behalf of a private security company that screened passengers on two of the doomed flights in connection with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to determine whether employees of the company engaged in any criminal, reckless or negligent conduct.

• He served as a special prosecutor/legal advisor to the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago and conducted a series of criminal investigations of suspected bribery, bid-rigging and other corrupt activities by former government officials and private parties within that country. Evidence developed resulted in criminal charges being laid in multiple cases.

• He has conducted several internal investigations for companies in the construction, financial services, technology, health care and hospitality industries involving alleged wrongdoing by company employees, subcontractors and outside vendors. These matters have involved acts of fraud, embezzlement, payment or receipt of bribes and kickbacks, theft of trade secrets and proprietary data, and falsification of records.

• He represented a billionaire entrepreneur and investigated receipt of extortionate threats and harassment by a third party/stalker.  Upon development of sufficient evidence, he convinced federal authorities to pursue criminal charges and against the offender. When the offender fled the country, he successfully tracked down the fugitive and helped to convince authorities in the host country to extradite the fugitive back to the United States to face prosecution.

Civil Litigation Experience

Mr. Kelly also has significant experience as a civil litigator.

  • Successfully represented a municipality and several police officials in a civil rights action
  • Successfully defended a prominent attorney charged with ethics violations
  • Successfully argued the appeal of a class action lawsuit alleging violations of the state wiretap statute by a telecommunications company before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
  • Successfully represented professional athletes in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings

Collegiate and Professional Sports Experience

In addition to his background as a trial attorney, Mr. Kelly has management and legal experience within collegiate and professional sports. He served as Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players Association, representing the 740 players of the NHL. He understands collective bargaining, salary cap management, franchise acquisition and location, player discipline, health and safety, drug testing, equipment issues, and the grievance and arbitration process. Upon leaving the NHL, Mr. Kelly established and thereafter served as Executive Director of College Hockey, Inc., the recruiting and promotional arm of NCAA Division I men’s hockey. Mr. Kelly has substantial working knowledge of NCAA bylaws and regulations, enforcement proceedings, and the challenges faced by collegiate athletic programs in such areas as recruiting, regulatory compliance, conference alignment and student-athlete behavior. He has served as a Board member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and a member of the International Council of USA Hockey.

Honors and Recognitions

  • The Hockey News, 50 most influential people in the sport of hockey (2007-2011)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Director's Award for Superior Performance (1992)
Paul V. Kelly
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Professional Associations and Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Sports Lawyers Association

See AllPaul V. Kelly in the News

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August 15, 2019
Jackson Lewis

The Best Lawyers in America 2020 Honors Jackson Lewis Attorneys

August 15, 2019

WHITE PLAINS, NY (August 15, 2019) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce more than 210 attorneys throughout the firm’s locations have been recognized in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, a publication that has become universally regarded as a definitive... Read More

May 31, 2019
The Boston Globe

Paul Kelly Discusses Robert Mueller's Remarks on the Trump-Russia Investigation

May 31, 2019

Paul Kelly discusses background on Robert Muller's concluding remarks from the Trump-Russia investigation in "Robert Mueller was true to form Wednesday, former colleague says," published by The Boston Globe. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

April 30, 2019
Arizona Daily Star

Paul Kelly Comments on NCAA-Related Issues Stemming From Federal Investigation into College Basketball

April 30, 2019

Paul Kelly comments on University of Arizona's NCAA-related issues stemming from the federal investigation into college basketball in "Attorneys for University of Arizona watching 'every day' of federal basketball trial in person," published by Arizona Daily Star. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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February 2, 2017

NLRB General Counsel Concludes Division I Scholarship Football Players are Employees under Labor Law

February 2, 2017

Scholarship football players in Division I FBS private sector colleges and universities are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard F. Griffin has concluded. Accordingly, he explained, the players have all of the rights and protections available to employees under the Act... Read More

January 30, 2017

What to Expect in Criminal Justice Priorities under Attorney General Sessions

January 30, 2017

Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General would be tough on urban crime, corporate wrongdoers, and immigration violations. An analysis of his recent Senate confirmation testimony, record as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, and public comments as a U.S. Senator, provides a picture of some of the prosecution... Read More

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Dec 4

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What You Need to Know When Government Investigators Knock

December 4, 2019 - 2:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST
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The NCAA Moving Forward: The Impact of the Rice Commission Report

May 8, 2018 - 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST

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 Paul V. Kelly

Maritime Technician Exonerated in Theft of Trade Secret Case
July 10, 2018

Following a month-long trial in Hartford, Connecticut, before Chief U.S. District Judge Alvin Thompson, a jury returned a split verdict in a case charging two defendants with conspiracy and theft of trade secrets. Read More

U.S. Department of Justice Reverses Hands-Off Enforcement Policy on Marijuana
January 8, 2018

Just days after retail sales of recreational marijuana became legal in California, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new marijuana enforcement policy that calls for rescinding the long-standing, lenient policy set by the Obama Administration.  Now it is up to the individual U.S. Read More

Plans to ‘Reframe’ Title IX Enforcement Announced
September 7, 2017

The Trump Administration believes that Obama-era guidance regarding sexual assault on college campuses created a “failed system” that was a “disservice to everyone involved,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said on September 7, 2017. Read More