"Justice is a level playing field where the least powerful are just as entitled to rights and benefits as the most powerful. It is the ideal that informs all of my work."

Kelly M. Dermody

Kelly M. Dermody

Kelly M. Dermody

Partner
Location:
San Francisco, California
Email:
Phone:
415.956.1000
Fax:
415.956.1000

A Leader in the Plaintiffs' Bar Representing Workers and Consumers

Kelly M. Dermody is a passionate advocate and experienced litigator for the underdog who takes on corporations to end unfair and illegal business practices that hurt employees and consumers.

The managing partner of our San Francisco office and chair of Lieff Cabraser's employment practice group, Kelly is supervising many of the most significant and challenging employment class action lawsuits in our nation today, including complaints brought by female and minority professionals alleging gender/race discrimination by top Wall Street firms, overtime pay lawsuits against nationally prominent corporations, and ERISA claims that she has tried on behalf of employees and retirees for pension plan abuses.

Kelly is supervising the firm's prosecution of a high-profile class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, Intel, and other prominent Silicon Valley corporations for allegedly entering into anti-competitive pacts that suppressed the wages of technical, creative, and other salaried employees. She also oversaw a precedent-setting case against Tata, one of India's largest corporations, that resulted in a $29.75 million settlement. Tata employees sent from India to work for Tata at U.S. companies alleged that Tata required them to sign over their federal and state tax refund checks, and failed to provide them promised compensation.

The Daily Journal observed that Kelly's

"values have translated into real workday value for lots of people -- people who have won better job opportunities from companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, Home Depot, and Smith Barney, or monetary damages from banks that have engaged in predatory lending and servicing."

Kelly also represents consumers in consumer protection cases. California Lawyer magazine awarded her its prestigious California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award for her successful prosecution of several class action lawsuits against California's main hospital chains for charging the uninsured exorbitant and unconscionable prices for medical care. Under settlements in these cases, uninsured patients received more than $1 billion in refunds or bill adjustments.

Kelly is a leader in organizations devoted to serving the public interest, improving access to justice, and ensuring that the rights of historically disenfranchised persons are protected. In 2011-2012, she served as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco and since 2009 has served on the Governing Council of the American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law.

Both Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers have repeatedly recognized Kelly as one of the top lawyers in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. Additionally, she was selected as 2014 Lawyer of the Year for Employment Law - Individuals in the San Francisco area through peer-review assessments among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity. Likewise, our employment practice group, under Kelly's leadership, has been selected by The Recorder as one of top employment practice groups for plaintiffs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Areas of Practice

Areas of Practice

  • Employment
  • Consumer Protection
Education

Education

  • University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California
    • J.D. - 1993
    • Honors: Moot Court Executive Board, 1992-1993
    • Law Journal: Industrial Relations Law Journal/Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Articles Editor, 1991 - 1992
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • A.B. (Magna Cum Laude) - 1990
    • Honors: Senior Class Ames Memorial Public Service Award
Bar Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1994
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2006
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2007
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1995
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2007
Professional Associations and Memberships

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section (Governing Council, 2009 - present; Co-Chair, Section Conf., 2008 - 2009; Vice-Chair, Section Conf., 2007 - 2008; Co-Chair, Comm. on Equal Opportunity in the Legal Profession, 2006 - 2007)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco (Board of Directors, 2005 - 2012; President, 2011 - 2012; President-Elect, 2010 - 2011; Treasurer, 2009 - 2010; Secretary, 2008 - 2009; Litigation Section; Executive Committee, 2002 - 2005)
  • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom
  • Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (Board of Directors, 1998 - 2005; Secretary, 1999 - 2003; Co-Chair, 2003 - 2005)
  • Carver Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools (Steering Committee, 2007)
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Equal Rights Advocates (Litigation Committee, 2000 - 2002)
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights (Board of Directors, 2002 - 2008; Co-Chair, 2005 - 2006)
  • Northern District of California Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (2007 - 2010)
  • National Association of Women Judges (Independence of the Judiciary Co-Chair, 2011-present; Resource Board, 2005-present; Co-Chair, 2009-2011)
  • National Employment Lawyers' Association
  • Pride Law Fund (Board of Directors, 1995 - 2002; Secretary, 1995 - 1997; Chairperson, 1997 - 2002)
  • Public Justice Foundation
  • State Bar of California
Published Works

Published Works

  • Co-Author, "Discovery in Employment Discrimination Class Actions," Litigation and Settlement of Complex Class Actions, Glasser Legal Works, 1998
  • "Class Actions: Latest Developments in Litigating and Settling Employment Discrimination Class Actions," American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Equal Employment Opportunities Committee, American Bar Association, 2001
  • Co-Author, "A Road Map to Discovery in Employment Discrimination and Wage/Hour Class Actions", Glasser Legal Works, 2000
  • "Employment Discrimination Class Actions in the Wake of Allison v. Citgo Petroleum Corp. and Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(f)", Federal Bar Association, 1999
Classes/Seminars

Classes/Seminars

  • "Class Actions: Latest Developments in Litigating and Settling Employment Discrimination Class Actions", American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Equal Employment Opportunity Committee
  • "A Road Map to Discovery in Employment Discrimination and Wage/Hour Class Actions", with James M. Finberg, Glasser Legal Works Seminar
  • "Employment Discrimination Class Actions in the Wake of Allison v. Citgo Petroleum Corp. and Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(f)", Federal Bar Association
Honors and Awards

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • "Employment Law - Individuals, Litigation - Labor and Employment," Best Lawyers, 2010 - 2015
  • "Lawyer of the Year," Best Lawyers, Employment Law, San Francisco, 2014
  • "California Litigation Star," Benchmark Plaintiff, 2013 - 2014
  • "Top Labor and Employment Attorneys in California," Daily Journal, 2011 - 2014
  • "Top California Women Litigators," Daily Journal, 2007, 2010, 2012 - 2014
  • "Top 10 Northern California Super Lawyer," Super Lawyers, 2014
  • "Top 50 Female Northern California Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers, 2007 - 2014
  • "Top 100 Northern California Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 - 2014
  • "Super Lawyer for Northern California," Super Lawyers, 2004 - 2014
  • "Top 100 Attorneys in California," Daily Journal, 2012 - 2013
  • Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer, LegalEase, 2013
  • "Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America," Lawdragon, Inc., 2010 - 2011
  • "Women of Achievement Award," Legal Momentum, 2011
  • "Florence K. Murray Award," National Association of Women Judges, 2010
  • "Irish Legal 100" Finalist, The Irish Voice, 2010
  • Lawdragon Finalist, Lawdragon, Inc., 2007 - 2009
  • "Community Service Award," Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, 2008
  • "Community Justice Award," Centro Legal de la Raza, 2008
  • "Award of Merit," Bar Association of San Francisco, 2007
  • "California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award," California Lawyer, 2007
  • "Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiffs' Lawyers," Lawdragon, Inc., 2007
  • "Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist," Public Justice Foundation, 2007
  • "Consumer Attorney of the Year" Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California, 2006
  • California's "Top 20 Lawyers Under 40," Daily Journal, 2006
  • "Living the Dream Partner," Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, 2005
  • "Top Bay Area Employment Attorney," The Recorder, 2004
Past Employment Positions

Past Employment Positions

  • Golden Gate University School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Law, 2001
  • Chief Judge John T. Nixon, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, Law Clerk, 1993 - 1994

"One of the nation's premier plaintiffs' firms." American Lawyer

"Representing the best qualities of the plaintiffs' bar." The National Law Journal