Patrick M. Kelly is one of the pre-eminent trial lawyers, litigators, law firm leaders and professional association leaders in the country. He has vast experience in numerous substantive areas that he will bring to bear in efficiently, effectively and economically resolving matters as a mediator, arbitrator or referee. During his lengthy career, Mr. Kelly has tried, litigated, arbitrated, mediated and/or settled thousands of cases involving the following areas of law:

  • Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith
  • Employment
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Class Actions and Complex Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Premises Liability and Sports Litigation


From 1980 to 2019, Mr. Kelly served as Partner and Senior Counsel at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, an international litigation firm founded in insurance defense. His practice focused on advising and representing insurance carriers in coverage matters and defending individuals and companies in high-stakes professional liability and commercial cases. He also handled numerous insurance bad faith, insurance coverage, product liability, premises liability, employment litigation, ski resort liability and railroad liability matters. He has particular experience with class actions involving directors and officers (D&O) liability, product liability, employment and consumer fraud claims.

From 1980 through 2013, Mr. Kelly served as the firm’s Los Angeles Region Managing Partner, Western Region Managing Partner and Director of Litigation, and Member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He also served as General Counsel to Snow Summit Ski Corporation, an owner of several ski resorts in California.

Mr. Kelly is a frequent author, columnist and lecturer in numerous subjects including trial tactics, insurance coverage and bad faith, personal injury, and professional liability. He is an original co-author of Insurance Litigation, The Rutter Group California Practice Guide, a frequently cited insurance treatise in California, and continues to edit the Directors and Officers chapter of the publication.


  • Shattuck-Price Outstanding Lawyer Award, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Southern California Lawyer of the Year (Arbitration), The Best Lawyers in America
  • Griffin Bell Volunteer Achievement Award, Dispute Resolution Services
  • Top 100 Lawyers in California, Daily Journal
  • MetNews Person of the Year, Metropolitan News Enterprise
  • Bench Bar Coalition Advocacy Award, Bench-Bar Coalition
  • Diversity Award, State Bar Council on Access and Fairness
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Association of Ski Defense Attorneys
  • Repeatedly recognized by Marquis Who’s Who in American Law, as a Super Lawyer, as a Best Lawyer, and as one of the the Irish Legal 100


  • Mediating the Litigated Case (40 hours), Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
  • 40-Hour Mediation Training Program, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • J.D., Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California
  • B.A., Pomona College, Claremont, California


Mr. Kelly’s reputation as a problem solver and community leader have been recognized by his peers on both sides of the litigation spectrum. He has been elected to numerous professional organizations and leadership positions, including:

  • President of the State Bar of California
  • President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • President of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
  • President of Dispute Resolution Services
  • President of the Coalition for Justice
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel

He also served multiple terms as a Los Angeles Delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates and the Steering Committee of the Open Courts Coalition.


Mr. Kelly was elected or appointed to several positions working with the California Judiciary, including:

  • Member of the California Judicial Council, the board chaired by the Chief Justice that oversees the California Judicial Branch, including all California courts
  • Special Advisor to the Executive Committee and Commissioner for the Commission on the Future of the California Courts, which developed the recommendations guiding development of the courts
  • President of the the Coalition for Justice, which supports the independence of the judiciary
  • One of 11 members and Chair of the Rules Committee for the Commission on Judicial Performance, which administers judicial discipline in California state courts

In Federal Court, Mr. Kelly served two terms as a Lawyer Representative to the 9th Circuit and the Federal Magistrate Selection Committee.


In pursuing his service to the community, Mr. Kelly was a member of the Boards of Directors of numerous community service organizations, including the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, and Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He was also appointed by the then-mayor as a Commissioner of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.


  • California State Bar
  • California Lawyers Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Association of Ski Defense Attorneys
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • Irish American Bar Association
  • Cowboy Lawyers
  • American Bar Association
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society
  • Chancery Club of Los Angeles


Mr. Kelly’s background and accomplishments have been the subject of numerous profiles in legal publications. He is also a frequent author and columnist. To read the latest profile published by the Daily Journal, click here: “For Patrick Kelly, mediating cases will be a final act in a career filled with class acts”. For a full list of articles, please visit his website at

Representative Cases

Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

  • Failure to pay policy benefits
  • False Claims Act mass claim against mortgage company for violation of the false claims act and breach of fiduciary duty based upon alleged wrongful placement of numerous mortgage loans.
  • Mass action by residents of a community for injuries allegedly caused by toxic fumes from a manufacturing facility and concurrent coverage action between multiple insurance liability layers and involved directors.
  • Action by note holders against issuer corporation for fraud and insurance dispute regarding coverage for loss and defense expenses.
  • Dispute between carrier and insured over whether defense costs in a significant commercial claim are covered.
  • Multiple claims against directors of a publicly traded corporation for misrepresentations in public announcements and filings and coverage dispute with respect to same.
  • Bad faith claim against insurer for failure to pay demand of claim with subsequent greater verdict.
  • Demand by public entity that insurer afford coverage to a punitive additional insured for claims arising from the placement of electrical equipment.
  • Bad faith claim against insurer for failure to allow insured selection of counsel.
  • Numerous 1934 Act class actions involving alleged misrepresentations in the sale of securities.

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  • Claim by female employee of a non profit corporation for alleged abusive physical contact on multiple occasions.
  • Claim against a national health provider for termination of a cycling instructor.
  • Claim by employee against not for profit corporation for alleged sexual harassment.
  • Actions by two employees of a non profit corporation for harassment by company manager.
  • Claim against national corporation for wage and hour violations in California.
  • Action against restaurant corporation for wrongful termination long term employee cook.
  • Action by terminated employee against furniture supplier for wrongful termination.
  • Claim against transportation entity for wrongful termination of employees in retaliation for report of violations of law.
  • Action by former manager against a not for profit educational institution for constructive termination.

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Personal Injury

  • Child severely burned by water dispenser purchased at national retailer.
  • Motorcycle operator injured by ambulance which allegedly violated his right of way.
  • Action against retail institution for failure to maintain premises causing serious slip and fall personal injuries.
  • Action by municipal entity for damage to police vehicle and counter claim for property damage and personal injury.
  • Action by injured pedestrian against building owner and municipality for injury occurring on sidewalk.
  • Action by individual against contractor and municipality for falling into hole on public sidewalk.
  • Action against manufacturer of Coker units used in the petroleum industry for defective design or installation of units causing injury to company employee.
  • Claim against a municipality and contractor for failure to secure a job site adjacent to a public street.
  • Automobile collision injury where plaintiff had numerous injuries including TBI and there was a going and coming issue.
  • Action against ambulance company for negligence in caring for patient who was injured falling from van.
  • Plaintiff slipped and fell in a shopping center causing serious injuries allegedly because the floor was not dried after cleaning.
  • Numerous significant cases for ride share service involving automobile accidents in vehicles owned and operated by alleged independent contractors.

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Products Liability

  • Injury caused when a Coker unit regurgitated causing injury to an employee.
  • Action against supplier of hose appliance for failure of device and severe damage to multiple condominium units.
  • Wrongful death claim by the survivors of a painter of military aircraft against the manufacturer of the primer used alleging it caused terminal cancer.
  • Claim by wake boarder for injuries sustained when binding on wake board failed.
  • Dispute between accountant and accountant’s professional liability insurer for attorneys’ fees incurred in the defense of a claim by an investor in a company partially owned by the accountant insured.

    Professional Liability

    • Action against broker for failure not secure a fair price for a sale property.
    • Action by attorney against client for fees with cross complaint against attorney for malpractice.
    • Action against attorney for failure to assert exclusivity of workers compensation remedy in a serious personal injury matter.
    • Action for wrongful termination of employee by officer of a private foundation for performance issue.
    • Grievance by former NFL player against sports agent before NFLPA forum for failure to perfect contract rights with the team owner.
    • Action against sports agent for failure to timely file injury grievance against the football club and advise client of time limits required to perfect filing.
    • Action by former client against attorney for failure to advise significance of explicit termination clause from agreement for sale.
    • Action against law firm for damages for recommending that plaintiff accept an inadequate offer made at settlement conference in a very complex case.
    • Action against attorney by former aircraft fixed base operator for failure to give appropriate legal advice in connection with disputes with adjacent landowner.
    • Malicious prosecution action against lawyer for bringing case involving death of a sports participant against racing promoter.

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    Class Actions and Complex Litigation

    • Federal Putative Class Action against numerous organizations involving claim by class representative parents of deceased children claiming chronic traumatic encephalopathy resulting from sporting activities.
    • Claim by representatives of multiple parties injured by bacterial invasion in dental procedures.
    • False Claims Act claim against mortgage company for violation of the false claims act and breach of fiduciary duty based upon alleged wrongful placement of numerous mortgage loans.
    • Action against media provider by Trustee for failure to protect assets of the corporation for the benefit of creditors.
    • National class action claims against a provider of home video security systems involving class allegations in multiple states.
    • Claim by residents of a state community for failure to control fire danger in site of a major Southern California wild fire that destroyed numerous homes and areas of property.
    • Action by beneficiaries and heirs of a series of significant trusts providing for wealth transfer from settlor to beneficiaries including children and grandchildren and dispute over jurisdiction and ownership of underlying corporation.
    • Putative class action for alleged defective bathroom fixture essential to shower function.
    • Action by government entity against medical care institution for improper submission of requests for reimbursement, violation of various consumer protection laws and wrongful termination of executive.
    • Numerous claims against directors of publicly traded corporations in multiple litigations for violation of the 1933 and 1934 Acts.

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    Commercial Litigation

    • Claim against medical billing and collection provider for failure to provide services and collect many millions of dollars in unpaid fees with cross complaint for indemnity.
    • Action by Trustee of bankrupt estate against former Director and Executive Director of nonprofit corporation for breach of fiduciary duty and professional liability.
    • Qui tam action against medial service provider for alleged improper insurance billing and wrongful termination of executive.
    • Wage and hours claim by employee of residential facility for failure to honor state break requirements.
    • Claim for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and promissory estoppel in the alleged agreement to provide retail services in stations of a significant light rail transport entity.
    • Grievance by former NFL player against sports agent before NFLPA forum for failure to perfect rights with the team owner.
    • Action by CFPB against commercial lender for failure to protect the rights of borrowers of payday loans.
    • Claims by minority shareholder for failure to comply with Section 13 D of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
    • Action by individual for unauthorized use of the individual’s likeness in commercial advertising.
    • Action by lender against multiple entities including a national staffing corporation with cross complaints against multiple parties for failure to repay loan.
    • Action by homeowners against community association for failure to provide documents and exclusion of residents from voting.
    • Action by lender against directors and officers of failed nonprofit to require personal liability of directors.
    • Action by former business associate against parent corporation and owner for breach of fiduciary duty and failure to perform lease obligations.
    • Action by beneficiary of the family trust of a well-known political figure against trust attorney for failure to accurately value his interest in the trust and protect his interests.
    • Unfair competition claim by employer against departed employee for breach of contract and unfair competition.
    • Breach of privacy action in Federal court by former business associate against corporation for use of emails sent and received under the domain name of the corporation.
    • Action by surviving heirs against funeral home for the loss of the remains of a family member.
    • Lemon law claim against dealership for defective vehicle and loss of the car while in their possession.
    • Action against founder of motivational corporation by investor for fraud and negligent misrepresentation.
    • Oversight of all documents and negotiations involved in the sale of several ski resorts.

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    Premises Liability and Sports Litigation

    • Action by survivors of a deceased skier for wrongful death of that winter sports participant against the owner and operator of the ski resort.
    • Action by skier against a ski resort who fell after a jump and became a quadriplegic.
    • Action against nationwide retailer for unsafe condition of facility and negligence of employee is causing injury t patron ultimately causing patron’s death.
    • Action for fall of a 4-year-old child from a play structure at the defendant’s preschool facility.
    • Action by skier for injuries sustained when he encountered a large variation in the snow and injured his back.
    • Action by snow boarder for serious injuries sustained when he boarded off trail and hit severe under snow obstructions.
    • Action by tenant against landlord for failure to return security deposit with consequential expansion to all existing tenants because of universal lease wording.
    • Numerous ski and snow boarding injury cases involving implied assumption of the risk and release issues.
    • Numerous silo and fall related injuries at ski resorts.

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    “I want to make sure you are completely aware of my gratitude for your skillful handling of the mediation. I appreciate your personal concern and your mediator “tricks” that brought the two sides together while understanding there were more than two sides. You are a legendary member of our profession.”

    “Pat Kelly was tough but fair. Great mediator!”

    “Mr. Kelly went above and beyond to resolve a very emotional case.”

    “I had not used Patrick Kelly as a mediator in the past but agreed to him based on his bio when he was suggested by the other side. He is now on my short list. He is an excellent mediator and a wonderful person. You must be very happy to have him on your panel.”

    “Mr. Kelly was superb. Will definitely use him again on my next complex case.”

    “Mr. Kelly did an excellent job in a difficult case. I would certainly use him again and recommend him to other lawyers.”

    An exellent mediator. Very informative and effective. You will be seeing a lot of me from now on.