Known for her straightforward, proactive approach, Deborah P. Kelly brings value to her clients by offering carefully balanced solutions to business and legal challenges. Deborah represents employers in the professional services, hospitality, nonprofit, software, retail and financial services industries, appearing before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. Deborah helps employers adopt best practices that minimize the risk of litigation. She designs and leads in-person and web-based training for Boards of Directors, in-house counsel, managers, human resource professionals and other employees. Her popular workshops address topics such as antidiscrimination, EEO compliance and social media issues. She also counsels boards of directors about complex high-level employment matters. In litigation, Deborah handles employment matters including non-competes, trade secret litigation, breach of contract, wage and hour, and all forms of discrimination.
Before joining Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Deborah practiced at two prominent law firms, including one where she headed the employment practice, served as the firm’s deputy general counsel and served two terms on its executive committee. Deborah spent almost a decade in academia before becoming a lawyer, serving on the political science faculty at American University and University of Maryland. Deborah also spent five years at The Brookings Institution where she researched perspectives of the criminal justice system and worked on a book on congressional oversight of federal administrative practices. In recognition of her professional contributions, Deborah was elected into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2016.