The Honorable Mary E. Kelly

Los Angeles County Superior Court, Department 411


The Hon. Mary E. Kelly is a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the court by former Governor Jerry Brown on November 29, 2018.

Judge Kelly graduated with her B.S. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1976 where she was a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. She went on to earn her J.D. with honors from the DePaul University College of Law in 1979.

Upon graduation from law school, Kelly began her career as a law clerk for the Hon. David Linn with the Illinois Appellate Court in Chicago. She also clerked for the Hon. Arthur L. Alarcon with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1981-1983 and again in 1993-1994. In 1983, after her first clerkship with Judge Alarcon, Kelly became an Associate with the law firm of Abzug and Kelly.

During her time with the law firm she also taught Health Care Administration as an instructor for the California State University in Long Beach, California. In 1985 Judge Kelly started her own law practice focusing on the areas of criminal, civil as well as administrative law. Once she left the Ninth Circuit in 1994, after her second clerkship with Judge Alarcon, she joined the Federal Public Defender's Office in Los Angeles, California as an Assistant Federal Public Defender and Supervising Trial Attorney in 1995.

In 2004 Kelly became an Administrative Law I Judge for the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board in Los Angeles, California, and then Administrative Law Judge II in 2007. She remained there until her appointment to the Superior Court in 2018.

Judge Kelly is not only an avid writer and published author, but she has also been recognized for her volunteer work and has received several awards for both. She has been an active participant with the Bar Association as well as a prolific public speaker on a wide variety of topics involving not only legal issues but also nursing and the healthcare industry.

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