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Deborah P. Kelly

1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 600, Washington, District of Columbia 20036
Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP  |  Website

Deborah P. Kelly

1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 600, Washington, District of Columbia 20036
Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Deborah P. Kelly's Profile Image
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Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Years In Practice

Phone Number (202) 585-6500
Deborah Kelly joined Dickstein Shapiro in 1988 and is head of the firm’s Employment Practice as well as Deputy General Counsel. She also served a four-year term on the firm’s Executive Committee. Ms. Kelly focuses her practice on civil litigation with emphasis on all aspects of employment law. She defends employers against class action suits; regularly counsels companies in all areas of employment including advice and litigation concerning non-competes, anti-solicits, and other restrictive covenants; conducts training in all aspects of equal opportunity employment (EEO) compliance and human resources (HR) issues, including social media; drafts employee policy manuals; and represents companies in employment claims up to and including jury trial litigation. Ms. Kelly has been recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Washingtonian, The Washington Business Journal, The Best Lawyers in America, Lawdragon, Washington DC Super Lawyers, The Project for Attorney Retention, and Profiles in Diversity Journal.

Before becoming an attorney, Ms. Kelly spent almost a decade in academia. From November 1979 to August 1981, Ms. Kelly worked in Governmental Studies at The Brookings Institution, where she also conducted research on rape victims’ perspective of the criminal justice system and, between 1977 and 1979, concentrated on congressional oversight of federal administrative practices. Ms. Kelly has taught many courses, including law and the political system, public law, national government, law and social policy, constitutional law and politics, judicial process, and the legal status of women. She was a political science professor at American University from 1983 to 1988 and at University of Maryland from 1981 to 1982. She served as an adjunct professor in Civil Procedure II at American University’s Washington College of Law in the spring semesters of 1992 and 1993.

Ms. Kelly was nominated by the Honorable Emmett Sullivan and subsequently selected by the full U.S. District Court bench to serve a three-year term on the Grievance Committee for the DC federal court system. Known as “the judge’s committee,” this is a highly prestigious and visible appointment. In early 2012, Ms. Kelly was reappointed for another three-year term. In January 2013, Ms. Kelly was selected by the federal district court judges to serve as Vice Chair of the committee. Ms. Kelly is admitted to practice in Maryland and in the District of Columbia. She is admitted to practice before the District of Columbia, and before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Kelly has been a member of the Council for Court Excellence since 1999, serving on both its Executive Committee and Board of Directors. She also is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Employment Section. Ms. Kelly served on the Board of Reviewers Management for the Equal Employment Law Update for the 2003 through 2007 editions, published by the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law. She also is on the Dean’s Advisory Boards of her alma mater, American University’s Washington College of Law. AWARDS & HONORS Since 2010, Super Lawyers has named Ms. Kelly one of the top 50 women attorneys in Washington, DC. Ms. Kelly was named a “Top Lawyer” by Washingtonian magazine in 2009 as well. Since 2007, she has been included in The Best Lawyers in America and has been recommended in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading attorney in the area of Employment for the District of Columbia since 2006. The guide quoted a client who called her “the most rock solid, straight-shooting legal adviser we’ve ever had.” According to Chambers, “The head of the employment practice won praise for her pleasant and constructive approach: she is a person to ‘only focus on the target and not get distracted by the baloney of lawyering.’” In addition, she is praised for being “great at both the legal aspects and the relationship-building side of negotiations.” In 2010, Ms. Kelly was selected by American University’s Washington College of Law to receive its Women and Law Leadership Award. In 2009, she received the Project for Attorney Retention’s Flex Success Award in recognition of the many years she spent working a reduced schedule to spend time with her children while simultaneously founding and building Dickstein Shapiro’s Employment Practice.

Ms. Kelly is a frequent commentator on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, NPR, and Fox News concerning high-profile employment law cases. She appeared on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer in October 2011 as well as other CNN news shows to comment on issues concerning allegations of sexual harassment by Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain; and on NBC’s “The Today Show” in June 2008 to comment on sexual harassment issues in the workplace. She also has been a guest lecturer, keynote speaker, and panelist at numerous conferences and organization meetings, and has authored many publications.
What legal services does this lawyer offer?
American University, J.D.
Graduated 1988
University of Vermont, BS
Graduated 1974
Contact Details and Office Locations
Office: (202) 585-6500
1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 600
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
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