Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
1050 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Known for her straightforward, “cut-to-the-chase” approach to lawyering, Deborah P. Kelly represents employers in virtually all areas, from multibillion-dollar high tech and financial services companies to nonprofit associations and other law firms.
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 has regularly been recognized as a top employment lawyer in publications ranging from U.S. News to Chambers Leading Guide for Businesses.
The Employment Law Practice:
Technology, new regulations and globalization are fundamentally changing the workplace—and presenting companies with more challenging decisions than ever regarding their workforce.
Given the complexities of today’s labor climate, building a relationship with a legal team that can guide you through new developments, explain your options clearly and help you make thoughtful, informed decisions is key. Our team works closely with you, often serving as an extension of your in-house human resources and legal departments.
Manatt is focused on where your business needs to go and what it takes to get there.
Our lawyers put to work years of experience and extensive employment law skills to:
- Help you prevent problems by creating the best workplace policies and procedures, as well as designing training and auditing programs.
- Guide you through the maze of federal and state regulatory employment and labor laws.
- Provide you with aggressive and goal-oriented representation before courts, administrative agencies, arbitrators and mediators.
- Handle the collective bargaining process and advance your interests in interactions with labor unions.
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP:
Manatt is a multidisciplinary, integrated national professional services firm known for quality and an extraordinary commitment to clients. We are keenly focused on specific industry sectors, providing legal and consulting capabilities at the very highest levels to achieve our clients’ business objectives.
Our groundbreaking approach—bringing together legal services, advocacy and business strategy—differentiates us from our competitors and positions us to provide a unique and compelling value proposition. We strive to be essential to our clients.
From our roots in banking, entertainment and government, our clients are from industries as diverse as healthcare, financial services, media, technology, retail and consumer products, real estate, and energy. Our practice mix and deep understanding of the industries that drive the U.S. and global economies benefit clients as we resolve complex and potentially enterprise-threatening disputes, help finance their operations and expand their businesses, and navigate the maze of law and regulation governing virtually all commercial activity.
Our strong presence in America’s most important business markets enables us to address and exceed client expectations. Our largest offices are strategically located in Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Orange County, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Our offices in Sacramento and Albany—the capitals of California and New York—provide connections to government decision makers and to solutions that are unavailable from our competitors.
Beyond this energizing work, we are deeply committed to diversity, to public service, to involvement in the communities we serve and to excellence in all we do.