Pat Kelly is the regional managing partner of the firm’s Western region. He is also the president of the State Bar of California – the largest state bar in the United States. Pat is a veteran trial lawyer who focuses his practice on advising and representing insurance carriers in coverage matters and defending individuals and companies in high-stakes professional liability and commercial cases. His practice also encompasses 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.
Pat has tried numerous cases to verdict and has briefed and argued dozens of appeals. He is an accomplished negotiator who seeks an economical and satisfactory resolution to disputes whenever possible. When a matter does proceed to trial, he draws upon his strong organizational and oral advocacy skills to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients. Pat is a fellow of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Among his many leadership roles, Pat was elected by his peers to serve as president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He also was appointed by the Governor of California to serve as one of 11 members of the Commission on Judicial Performance, which disciplines California state judges and has the power to remove them from the bench. In his legal practice and his leadership positions, Pat brings a sincere commitment to improving the organization and delivering with hard work. He has achieved success as a litigator and a manager by respecting the position of his colleagues, clients and adversaries and treating their needs with importance and competence.
Pat has presented more than 125 lectures and written more than 80 articles for both industry and legal groups. Topics he has addressed include trial tactics, evidence, professional liability, alternative dispute resolution, directors and officers, class actions, liability and coverage issues, bad faith, design, professional liability, attorney error and omissions, employment liability, punitive damages and insurance coverage.
Pat was a member of a six-person delegation sent to Japan by the U.S. Trade Representative in 1991 to renegotiate the terms under which U.S. lawyers practice in Japan, and earlier this year was the California State Bar representative to a delegation to Vietnam.
Areas of Focus
Pat advises and represents as many as 30 insurance companies, at various times, in their insurance coverage matters, ranging from straightforward real estate errors and omissions (E&O) cases to D&O cases involving hundreds of millions in claims. His varied practice in this area also encompasses lawyers E&O cases and all types of employment and commercial claims. Pat is recognized as a leading attorney in the D&O insurance coverage arena, with extensive experience in cases involving class action, derivative, employment and antitrust claims.
Pat is an original co-author of the California Insurance Litigation Guide, the most cited treatise on insurance coverage in California, and is a past president of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society.
Pat’s practice places a strong emphasis on professional liability issues. He has litigated numerous professional liability cases defending insurers, lawyers, accountants, directors and officers, employers, design professionals, product manufacturers, premises owners and operators, and agents and brokers. For example, Pat recently defended an insurance broker against claims it failed to disclose significant real property defects involving more than $1 million in damages, directors and officers in breach of fiduciary cases, and lawyers in E&O trials.
Pat is past president of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society and served as a founding chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Attorneys Errors and Omissions Prevention Committee.
Pat has extensive experience in commercial litigation and transactional matters, particularly in the ski resort industry. He currently provides general counsel services to one of the largest operators of ski resorts in California in connection with its contracts, securities offerings, purchase and sale transactions, and premises liability and commercial disputes. Pat is president of the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys.