Kristi D. Kelly is a Director who focuses her practice on labor, employment, and municipal law, as well as assisting veterans in their claims for VA disability benefits.
Attorney Kelly received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut in 1997, and her Juris Doctor from the Quinnipiac University School of Law, cum laude, in 2001. She is admitted to practice in Connecticut (2001), New York (2002), Washington (2012), and the United States District Court, District of Connecticut (2002), Western District of Washington (2012), and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (2019).
Attorney Kelly regularly advises and represents numerous public and private clients in all areas of state and federal labor and employment law, including, for example, collective bargaining, internal investigations, discipline, grievances, arbitration, prohibited practice charges, family and medical leave compliance, discrimination and harassment claims, compliance and violations of state and federal wage and hour laws, and wrongful termination matters. Ms. Kelly has represented clients in labor and employment matters before administrative agencies such as the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, and the Freedom of Information Commission as well as in litigation matters pending in state and federal courts.
Prior to joining Suisman Shapiro, Attorney Kelly served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington from 2012-2014, advising and representing the Departments of Transportation and Corrections, State Ferries, and the State Patrol in matters involving, for example, collective bargaining, grievances, unfair labor practice charges, discipline, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Ms. Kelly previously served as a civilian Labor Attorney for the U.S. Department of Army in Alaska and from 2001-2007, and she was an Associate at Carmody & Torrance LLP in Waterbury.
Attorney Kelly is a Department of Veterans Affairs accredited attorney and has successfully assisted disabled veterans in recovering service-connected monetary and healthcare benefits to which they are entitled. Ms. Kelly has also assisted disabled veterans in obtaining Social Security Disability benefits and, as a fifth-year volunteer for the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, regularly handles other legal matters that Connecticut veterans face, dedicating numerous pro bono hours each year to this population.
Since 2016, Ms. Kelly has been on the Board of Directors, currently President, of Higher Edge, Inc., a non-profit entity providing college access services to low-income and/or first generation college students in New London and Willimantic.
Attorney Kelly is the 2020 Recipient of The Honorable Anthony V. DeMayo Pro Bono Service Award, an award presented by the Connecticut Bar Association in recognition of those who tirelessly fight for fundamental fairness, championing the legal rights of the poor and accused, and who consistently go beyond the “call of duty” and inspire others to do the same, and who have achieved outcomes that make a significant difference their client’s life or an impact beyond the individual matter.
Areas of Practice
- Municipal Law
- Veterans Benefits
- Connecticut, 2001
- New York, 2002
- Washington, 2012
- Quinnipiac University School of Law, Hamden, Connecticut
- J.D. - 00/2001
- Honors: cum laude
- University of Connecticut
- B.A. - 1997
- Major: Political Science