The Honorable Kelly L. Neel

Humboldt County Superior Court, Department 4


The Hon. Kelly L. Neel is a judge for the Superior Court of Humboldt County in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2018, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Timothy P. Cissna.

Neel earned a B.A. from the University of Missouri, Rolla. She then continued her studies at the University of Missouri, School of Law, where she completed a J.D.

She began her legal career as an attorney with the Missouri Department of Revenue in 1999. The following year, she joined the Office of the Public Defender for the State of Missouri, where she served as an assistant public defender for three years.

Then, in 2003, Neel relocated to Idaho. She accepted a position as an associate at Wiebe and Fouser, where she worked briefly before joining the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of Canyon County in 2004. She served there as a deputy prosecuting attorney, but she quickly returned to the private sector in order to work as an associate at Hamilton, Michaelson and Hilty.

Neel moved to California in 2006. She started as a deputy district attorney in the Office of the District Attorney of Del Norte County. The following year, she transferred to the Office of the District Attorney of Humboldt County. She would spend the remainder of her legal career in Humboldt County, briefly leaving the Office of the District Attorney to serve a stint as deputy county counsel in the Office of County Counsel in 2008. After returning to the Office of the District Attorney in 2009, Neel rose through the ranks, becoming an assistant district attorney in 2011. Then, in 2015, she moved to the Office of the Public Defender, where she served as a deputy public defender until her appointment to the bench.

Neel is registered as a Democrat.

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