JB Kelly


Washington, D.C.

(202) 471-3418

(202) 861-1905

JB Kelly is a member of Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Practice. Leveraging his more than 30-year career in the public sector working with state attorneys general (AG) and as a private sector attorney, he handles a variety of complex, often multistate matters, involving critical public policy and strategic issues.

In addition to advising and representing clients in connection with AG issues across the country, JB counsels clients on a variety of consumer protection issues, especially those involving deceptive or unfair trade practices. He represents clients facing regulatory scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as well as by the state-level counterparts, which have similar statutory jurisdiction through “Little FTC Acts.” JB also helps clients understand consumer fraud laws and assists them in successfully navigating consumer complaints and the related government oversight process.

JB has extensive experience assisting clients in addressing enterprise-threatening, publicly scrutinized issues that require a sophisticated and nuanced approach with regulators, shareholders, consumers and other stakeholders. Although this includes preemptive compliance counseling and training, when issues do arise, JB also works with clients to design and implement accompanying tactics for communication with both regulators and the public that allow for minimal interruption of their business operations. When enforcement action is unavoidable, he regularly advises clients in negotiations with state AGs, the FTC and other federal regulators and represents them in inquiries, investigations and litigation.

Given his robust public service background, JB employs his enforcement insight to advise clients on both preemptive compliance and compliance necessary in the aftermath of a settlement or order. In this capacity, he advises on implementation of remedial measures and improvement of internal controls that both satisfy the agreement terms and bolster investor and consumer confidence.

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has repeatedly ranked JB as a leading practitioner, describing him as a “[h]ighly experienced attorney [who] has significant experience handling matters for public and private sector clients in an impressive docket of Attorney General matters. According to recent editions of Chambers USA, clients say "JB is a phenomenal attorney. He brings a unique perspective to his clients and the attorneys he has to work with. He is very adept at guiding clients through a legal process, seeing the issue from 360 degrees."

JB served as general counsel to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper from 2001 to 2012, overseeing major litigation involving the state of North Carolina. He was a member of the negotiation teams in high-profile, multistate settlements involving mortgage foreclosure, Ameriquest and tobacco, among others. He also oversaw the strategy, planning and development of Attorney General Cooper’s 2010 National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) presidential initiative focused on consumer protection strategies, analysis of Dodd-Frank provisions related to attorneys general, and preventing future financial crises. During that time he served in numerous leadership capacities for NAAG, including leading chief deputy training during Attorney General Cooper’s NAAG presidential term, as well as serving on its working groups for strategic planning and best practices, and its office review team. From 1996 to 2001, JB was senior counsel at Employment Learning Innovations, and from 1994 to 1996, he was special counsel for policy initiatives to North Carolina Attorney General Mike Easley. JB began his career in private practice.

While in law school, he served as research editor of the North Carolina Law Review.



The FTC’s Retooled Data Security Orders

May 10, 2019

JB Kelly spoke with FTC Watch about the FTC’s April 24, 2019, settlement orders in cases against ClixSense and i-Dressup.

AGs Join Forces to Help Consumers; Get Votes

February 22, 2018

JB Kelly, of Cozen O’Connor’s State AG group, was featured in the American Financial Services Association’s Newsbriefs highlighting his remarks at AFSA’s first Law & Compliance Symposium about how AGs develop their investigations against companies.

Cozen O’Connor Earns Client Recognition in 2017 Chambers USA Rankings

May 26, 2017

Chambers USA recognized 47 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 14 attorneys were recognized nationally and 11 were ranked in the top band.

Herbalife Settles with FTC and Illinois Attorney General’s Office

July 18, 2016

Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Practice represented Herbalife International, Inc. and Herbalife International of America, Inc. in separate settlements with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Cozen O’Connor Earns Client Recognition in 2016 Chambers USA Rankings

May 27, 2016

Chambers USA recognized 41 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 12 attorneys were recognized nationally and 11 were ranked in the top band.

Cozen O’Connor Earns Client Recognition in 2015 Chambers USA Rankings

July 06, 2015

Chambers USA recognized 37 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 12 attorneys were recognized nationally and 10 were ranked in the top band.

Lori Kalani and JB Kelly Discuss Lag in Pennsylvania AG Work

June 04, 2015

Lori Kalani and JB Kelly discuss the lag in Pennsylvania-related attorney general work and possible causes for the decline.

Cozen O’Connor Launches New State Attorneys General Practice with Addition of Nationally Acclaimed State AG Practice

May 05, 2015

On the heels of its recent announcement of the addition of 60 lawyers in Chicago, Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce the addition of ten attorneys and government professionals and the formation of the firm’s State Attorneys General Practice.


Federal Trade Commission Guidance to Multi-Level Marketing Companies [Today's General Counsel]

October 17, 2018

An article authored by JB Kelly and Bryan Mosca has been published in the most recent quarterly issue of Today’s General Counsel.

The State AG Report Weekly Update January 7, 2016 [The State AG Report Blog]

January 07, 2016

Charities Kansas Attorney General Settles with For-Profit Company for Alleged Charity Misrepresentations Kansas AG Derek Schmidt reached a settlement with American Handicapped & Disadvantaged Workers, Inc., (“ADHW”) and its president and CEO for allegedly misrepresenting their company as a...

The State AG Report Weekly Update December 17, 2015 [The State AG Report Blog]

December 17, 2015

Consumer Protection Maryland Attorney General Intervenes in Structured Settlement Transfer Cases Maryland AG Brian Frosh filed motions to intervene in a number of cases to prevent allegedly unregistered out-of-state companies from purchasing structured settlements. These actions by AG Frosh are...

The State AG Report Weekly Update November 5, 2015 [The State AG Report Blog]

November 05, 2015

Breaking News Kentucky and Mississippi Election Results In Kentucky’s election for Attorney General, Democrat Andy Beshear defeated Republican Whitney Westerfield by approximately 2,000 votes - a margin of 50.1% to 49.9%.  In the election for Governor, incumbent Democratic Attorney General Jack...

The State AG Report Weekly Update September 24, 2015 [The State AG Report Blog]

September 24, 2015

Consumer Protection California Attorney General Settles with Cable Company for Alleged Privacy Violations California AG Kamala Harris and the California Public Utilities Commission reached a settlement with Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC (“Comcast”) over allegations the company...

The State AG Report Weekly Update August 13, 2015 [The State AG Report Blog]

August 13, 2015

Breaking News NAAG Forms New Committee Focused on Agriculture South Dakota AG Marty Jackley, President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), announced the formation of a new NAAG committee to address legal challenges facing farmers, ranchers, and the agriculture industry. The...

The State AG Report Weekly Update June 18, 2015 [The State AG Report Blog]

June 18, 2015

Breaking News FCC Proposes $100 Million Forfeiture Against AT&T for Allegedly Misleading Customers About Data Plans In a 3-2 party-line vote, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability to AT&T Mobility, LLC, asserting that the company violated the...

The State AG Report Weekly Update May 21, 2015 [The State AG Report Blog]

May 21, 2015

Breaking News FTC, All Fifty States, and DC Sue Four Cancer Charities for Deceptive Practices The Federal Trade Commission and Attorneys General and other law enforcement personnel from all fifty states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against Cancer Fund of America, Inc., Cancer...

2017 Guide to State Attorneys General [Map]

May 05, 2015

The guide includes information on attorney generals in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth, and Territories of the United States, including a photos, year first elected or appointed, political party affiliation, leadership positions and brief background summaries.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

2016 Sports Law for Rookies and Veterans

April 15, 2016 - New York, NY


  • University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1984
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, B.A., 1980

Awards & Honors

Chambers USA 2015-2017

  • District of Columbia
  • North Carolina
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court -- Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court -- Western District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court -- District of Columbia