Deborah Kelly


Deborah Kelly


Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Deborah helps her clients adopt best practices that minimize the risk of litigation. She designs and leads in-person training for boards of directors, managers, human resources professionals and other employees. While these trainings focus on the importance of understanding and preventing discrimination, they are peppered with enough war stories, memorable visuals, and humor to make attendees both learn and enjoy the process. Her popular workshops address topics such as antidiscrimination (including state-compliant sexual harassment training), wage and hour, and how to handle professional versus private issues around social media. She also counsels boards of directors, including publicly traded companies, about complex C-suite employment matters in a way that deals with the matter without bad publicity or ripple effects on stock value.

In litigation, Deborah handles the full gamut of employment matters, including non-competes, trade secret litigation, breach of contract, wage and hour, and all forms of discrimination. Deborah has tried cases to jury verdicts in federal and state courts as well as in arbitration forums.

Before joining Manatt, Deborah practiced at two prominent national law firms, including one where she headed its employment practice, was chosen for two four-year terms on its executive committee and served as the firm’s deputy general counsel.

Deborah teaches Employment and Labor Law at American University Washington College of Law and spent almost a decade in academia before becoming a lawyer, serving on the political science faculty at American University and the University of Maryland. Deborah also worked at The Brookings Institution, where she researched perspectives of the criminal justice system for a book on congressional oversight of federal administrative practices.

In recognition of her professional contributions, Deborah is a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and for more than a decade has been consistently recognized as a top employment lawyer in publications ranging from U.S. News to Chambers Leading Guide for Businesses.


General Sessions

Employment & Labor Law Update

Deborah Kelly will provide us with updates on changes in the 2022 workplace as employers and employees adapt to life in year three of Covid and how employers cope with the patchwork of restrictions coupled with offers of travel and lodging benefits and personal choice in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization.

Tuesday, January 31

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Grand Cypress Ballroom

Insight Sessions

How to Navigate the New Workplace

Bring your labor and employment law questions to this roundtable discussion.

Tuesday, January 31

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Grand Cypress Ballroom C

NACDS Regoinal - Focus on the Future

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress • Orlando, FL

January 29–31, 2023

The NACDS Regional Chain Conference is a working meeting that offers unique networking opportunities with both your peers and trading partners.

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