"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
"One of the nation's premier plaintiffs' firms."
"Representing the best qualities of the plaintiffs' bar."
The National Law Journal
"Their effective and caring advocacy for clients has earned Lieff Cabraser its first-class reputation."
The Daily Journal
A Leader in the Plaintiffs' Bar Representing Workers and Consumers
Kelly 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 chair of Lieff Cabraser's employment practice group, Kelly is managing 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 also supervising the firm’s prosecution of a precedent-setting case against one of India’s largest corporations for allegedly violating U.S. labor laws and a high-profile class action lawsuit against Silicon Valley giants, including Apple, Google, and Intel, for alleged anti-competitive pacts that suppressed the wages of technical, creative, and other salaried employees.
The Daily Journal observed that Kelly's
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. She serves as the Immediate Past President of the Bar Association of San Francisco and is a Member of 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. 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.
Awards & Honors
- "Top 100 Attorneys in California," Daily Journal, 2012
- "Leading Labor and Employment Attorneys in California," Daily Journal, 2011-2012
- "Top California Women Litigators," Daily Journal, 2007, 2010, 2012-2013
- AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
- "Litigation Star," Benchmark Plaintiff (ranked as one of the nation's top litigators for plaintiffs' employment/labor law)
- "California Litigation Star," Benchmark Plaintiff (ranked as one of California's leading litigators in consumer protection and employment/labor law)
- Best Lawyers in America, based on peer and blue ribbon panel review, selected for list of "San Francisco's Best Lawyers," 2010-2013
- "Northern California Super Lawyer," Super Lawyers, 2004-2012
- "Top 50 Female Northern California Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers, 2007-2012
- "Top 100 Northern California Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012
- “Women of Achievement Award,” Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund), 2011
- "Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America," Lawdragon, 2010-2011
- "Florence K. Murray Award," National Association of Women Judges, 2010 (for influencing women to pursue legal careers, opening doors for women attorneys, and advancing opportunities for women within the legal profession)
- "Irish Legal 100" Finalist, The Irish Voice, 2010
- "Lawdragon Finalist," Lawdragon, 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, Winter 2007
- "Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist," Public Justice Foundation, 2007
- California's "Top 20 Lawyers Under 40," Daily Journal, 2006
- "Consumer Attorney of the Year" Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California, 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.
- Law Clerk to Chief Judge John T. Nixon, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, 1993-1994
- Adjunct Professor of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, Employment Law, Spring 2001
Publications & Presentations
- "Class Actions: Latest Developments in Litigating and Settling Employment Discrimination Class Actions" American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Equal Employment Opportunity Committee (Mid-Year Meeting 2001)
- "A Road Map to Discovery in Employment Discrimination and Wage/Hour Class Actions," with James M. Finberg, Glasser Legal Works Seminar (2000)
- "Employment Discrimination Class Actions in the Wake of Allison v. Citgo Petroleum Corp. and Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(f)," Federal Bar Association Convention (1999)
- Co-Author with James Finberg, "Discovery in Employment Discrimination Class Actions," Litigation and Settlement of Complex Class Actions (Glasser Legal Works 1998)