Kelly has a diverse practice in all areas of corporate litigation defense, with focuses in the areas of products liability, railroad, employment, life and disability insurance, professional liability, general casualty, and premises liability. Kelly defends mass actions, class actions and individual claims, and has extensive experience in the defense of claims from inception through to trial.

Kelly has experience in both bench and jury trials and has successfully defended claims through to verdict, including substantial experience in the case management of complex litigation, particularly the defense of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, whether in the context of single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, or mass-consolidated personal injury products liability litigation.

Kelly's railroad practice includes the defense of employee lawsuits arising under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act and the defense of grade-crossing accidents, derailments, and trespasser claims. Her employment practice includes the defense of general educational institutions, businesses, and individuals against claims of discrimination, civil rights violations, harassment, and contract disputes. She routinely defends claims related to life and disability insurance, including those involving ERISA-qualified plans.


Second chair in both jury and bench trials in the areas of professional liability, general insurance, and general casualty defense

Lead counsel representing client in a pharmaceutical professional liability multidistrict litigation involving multiple plaintiffs and defendants

Experience as member of trial team in numerous other matters that settled shortly before trial

Authoring and arguing dispositive motions in numerous cases on a variety of grounds, including preemption, Iqbal/Twombly, class certification, Daubert, prescription/statute of limitations, and causation

Drafting of appellate briefs in Louisiana appellate and supreme courts, as well as the United States Fifth Circuit, resulting in favorable decisions granting various relief, including post-trial relief from the Louisiana Supreme Court

Successful removal of products liability litigation against various pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers

Taking numerous depositions of plaintiffs, physicians, lay and expert witnesses in both individual matters and matters in mass-consolidated proceedings

Involvement in mock jury exercises

Representing a variety of clients in multiple mediations

Identifying, retaining, and coordinating experts in litigation-relevant subjects

Honors & Affiliations

Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America, Product Liability Litigation - Defense (2019-2022)

Louisiana Super Lawyers Rising Stars

AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell rating

Tulane Law Review, Associate Editor

2006 Dean Rufus C. Harris Civil Law Award

Civic Affiliations

  • Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Board Member (2015-2017), Performing Arts Committee (2016-2017)
  • Housing and Education Foundation, Board Member (1998-2013)
  • Young Leadership Council
  • 2011 Class of Emerging Philanthropist of New Orleans, 2012 Liason to Economic Development Group

Professional Affiliations

  • New Orleans Bar Association, 2019 Secretary of the Board of Directors, 2016 Chair of Young Lawyers Section, 2014 Bench Bar Conference Committee Chair, Summer Associate/ Networking Committee Chair (2010-2014)
  • Defense Research Institute, Women in the Law Committee
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Louisiana Law Institute, Junior Honorary Member and member of Security Devices Committee


Publications & Presentations


  • A Practical Approach to Introducing Evidence at Trial

    New Orleans Bar Association's 2019 Bench Bar Conference

    March 30, 2019
  • Professionalism: Play Nice in the Sandbox, and Other Kindergarten Lessons for Lawyers

    New Orleans Bar Association Procrastinator's Program

    December 14, 2016
  • Drug and Medical Device: The Year in Review (2015)

    New Orleans Bar Association Procrastinator's Program

    December 30, 2015
  • Impact of Successful Mentoring

    Association for Women Attorneys

  • The Ethical Use of Social Media and ESI Evidence in Litigation Defense

    Pfizer PLACE Presentation

    May 13, 2014
  • IADC Trial Techniques and Tactics Committee Newsletter

    June 2008


  • Louisiana state courts
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana


J.D., Tulane University Law School (2006)

B.A., Louisiana State University (2002)

International Association of Defense Counsel's, Trial Academy at Stanford Law School (2011)

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