Christopher J. Kelly


Chris has extensive experience representing both public and private employers. He regularly litigates complex employment matters, including discrimination, restrictive covenant, employee raiding, and employment-related trade secret matters in state and federal courts across the country. He also represents clients in state and federal wage and hour audits, conducts employment-related due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, assists clients in handling reductions in force, represents management in grievance arbitrations, drafts uniform employment policies for employers on training, leave, and other requirements of multiple states, and drafts physician and executive compensation agreements.

Chris has handled appeals before the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Chris is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Committee and the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction.  Prior to joining the firm, Chris was of counsel for a national law firm and handled labor and employment matters. Chris also served as a deputy attorney general for the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. He was lead counsel representing state agencies and employees from pleadings through trial in complex employment discrimination litigation matters, including Title VII, ADA, FMLA, CEPA, NJLAD, workplace violence, medical testing and employment-related tort and civil rights matters. Chris was a law clerk to the Hon. Serena Perretti, Hon. Philip M. Freedman, Hon. John A. McLaughlin and Hon. James Mulvihill in the Superior Court of New Jersey Civil Division.

Chris also has significant experience handling California employment matters, having practiced in Los Angeles for more than six years, initially as a sole practitioner and then as managing partner of a five-attorney firm. Both while in Los Angeles and currently, Chris handles California state and federal discrimination and California Labor Code litigations. 

 Chris earned his bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and his law degree from Seton Hall Law School.




Marijuana Laws and the 2022 Workplace

March 31, 2022

Christopher Kelly was quoted in SHRM discussing marijuana laws and their impact on the workplace.

Cozen O’Connor Makes Strategic Move with Addition of Former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Christopher J. Kelly to the Labor & Employment Department

October 25, 2021

Kelly joins the firm as a member working in Cozen O’Connor’s Philadelphia office.


Marijuana in the Workplace [Gaming Law Review]

September 11, 2019

Christopher Kelly co-authored an article discussing the methods by which states have chosen to legalize marijuana and the federal government's approaches to legalization, as well as what protections employees who use have both from disability discrimination and to be accommodated under state and federal law, and what sorts of testing are legally and practically possible.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Industry Sectors


  • Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., 2008
  • Pomona College, B.A., 2001
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • California
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court -- Colorado
  • U.S. District Court -- Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Hon. Serena Perretti, and Hon. Philip M. Freedman - Superior Court of New Jersey, Newark, NJ


New Jersey State Bar Association, Appellate Practice Committee, Member

New Jersey State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, Member

New York State Bar Association, Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, Member

New York State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, Member