Christopher J. Kelly

Of Counsel
Tel 856.761.3446
Fax 856.761.1020
New Jersey

Christopher J. Kelly is an attorney in Ballard Spahr's Labor and Employment group. Chris has represented both public and private employers in a broad range of litigated matters, including wage and hour, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower, breach of contract, unfair competition, and wrongful termination, and employment- and business-related tort claims in both state and federal courts across the country.

Chris has served as lead counsel in a variety of matters and conducted trials to verdict and judgment. He has handled appeals before the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. 

Chris has significant experience serving the legal needs the public sector, higher education, and health care industries. He also has experience providing day-to-day employment counseling. 

Prior to joining the firm, Chris served as a Deputy Attorney General in the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, defending New Jersey public employers against employment-related statutory, constitutional, and tort claims. In addition, he practiced in Los Angeles for six years, initially as a sole practitioner and then as managing partner of a five-attorney firm where he handled California state and federal discrimination and wage and hour matters as well as commercial litigation.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully argued before the Third Circuit to uphold summary judgment in case alleging wrongful termination of public employee
  • Obtained a directed verdict following a two-week jury trial vindicating a public university that terminated a university police officer found to be unfit to carry a gun
  • Obtained two victories before the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division limiting discovery of confidential internal files
  • Conducted internal investigations into employee misconduct
  • Negotiated and drafted numerous employment agreements
  • Obtained a published decision in the civil rights case of Doe v. Beard, 63 F. Supp. 3d 1159 (C.D. Cal., 2014), establishing that prisoners maintain a right to privacy in their medical records when that right does not interfere with the legitimate penological objectives of the correctional system
  • Obtained summary judgment in numerous discrimination cases in federal and state courts

Pro Bono Experience

While in law school, Chris assisted in obtaining the release of Fernando Bermudez, who was incarcerated for 18 years in New York for a murder he did not commit.

Judicial Clerkship

Hon. Serena Perretti & Hon. Philip M. Freedman, Superior Court of New Jersey, 2008-2009

Professional Activities

New York State Bar Association

New Jersey State Bar Association


Co-author, "New York Dramatically Changes Harassment/Discrimination Landscape for Employers," Ballard Spahr alert, August 12, 2019

Co-author, "New York Expands Salary Protections for Employees," Ballard Spahr alert, July 11, 2019

Co-author, "Significant Changes in Store for New York Employers When It Comes to Sexual Harassment," Ballard Spahr alert, May 17, 2018

Co-author, "CA Supreme Court Decision Calls for Reevaluation of Worker Classifications," Ballard Spahr alert, May 15, 2018

Co-author, "New Jersey Passes New Law on Pay Equity — and Much More," Ballard Spahr alert, April 24, 2018

Seton Hall Law School (J.D. 2008)

Pomona College (B.A. 2001)


New Jersey

New York


U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit