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John Q. Kelly

Nationally-Recognized Personal Injury Lawyer


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Subsequent to his landmark verdict as lead attorney for the Estate of Nicole Brown Simpson in its wrongful death action against O.J. Simpson, John Q. Kelly continues to successfully handle matters that receive national and international coverage, and has a reputation as a meticulous, no-nonsense litigator, schooled in the nuances of physical, forensic and circumstantial evidence, battle-tested in the courtroom on countless occasions, and seasoned by 30 years of deftly interacting with the media.

John Q. Kelly appears as both a featured guest and/or legal commentator frequently on all major network and cable news shows and been profiled/referenced in a multitude of documentaries and publications, including:

  • Time Magazine
  • Photo of John Q. Kelly | People Weekly | Tears & Triumph Photo of John Q. Kelly | John Kelly Attorney For The Estate Of Nicole Brown Simpson
  • Newsweek Magazine
  • People Magazine
  • Worth Magazine
  • Greenwich Magazine
  • New York Magazine
  • New York Times
  • New York Post
  • New York Daily News.
  • NBC’s The Today Show
  • ABC’s Good Morning America
  • Photo of John Q. Kelly | Greenwich | The Power Issue Photo of John Q. Kelly | New Developments | Holloway Family Atty Calls For Re-Arrest Of Joran Van Der Sloot
  • CBS’s The Early Show
  • Larry King Live
  • Phil Show
  • Nightline
  • Dateline
  • Primetime Live
  • Fox News
  • CNN Headline News
48 | Forty Eight Hours
Fox & Friends
abc 2020
NBC News
abc News
CBS News


Kelly is described as a good storyteller, soft-spoken and low key, with no signs of the enormous ego so common in high-profile lawyers – the reputation of a nice guy outside, and a killer inside, the courtroom.

Starting out as a trial assistant in the Queens District Attorney’s Office, Kelly prosecuted mostly homicides and major narcotics cases. Later, as a criminal defense attorney, he successfully represented at trial a number of high-profile clients charged with major crimes. Kelly then turned his attention to personal injury and wrongful death litigation, often with criminal aspects, which has been his focus for the past 30 years.

Kelly grew up in Chicago, the eighth of nine children, of a school teacher mother, and lawyer father.  After graduating from Georgetown University, he traveled through Europe and the Middle East for approximately two years before returning to earn his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.

Practice Areas

  • Personal Injury/ Wrongful Death Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation


  • Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts
    • J.D. – 1980
    • Law Journal: Suffolk Law Journal, Co-Editor-In-Chief
  • Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia
    • B.A. – 1975
    • Major: Political Science

Bar Admission

  • New York, 1981
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1986
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2022

He handles matters in Connecticut, Illinois, Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, Puerto Rico, Aruba, & Italy

Current Employment Position

  • Partner


  • Spanish
  • English
  • Portuguese


  • 100%

Attorney John Q. Kelly As Seen In The Media

Photo of John Q. Kelly


High Profile Cases

Estate Of Nicole Brown Simpson V. O.J. Simpson

The lead attorney for the Estate of Nicole Brown Simpson, et al. v. O.J. Simpson in the wrongful death action resulting from the homicides of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. After what was described as a near-flawless performance, the jury returned a verdict finding O.J. Simpson responsible for her death and awarding punitive damages to the Estate of Nicole Brown Simpson.

Natalee Holloway’s Mother, Beth Holloway

Attorney for Beth Holloway relating to the disappearance of her daughter, Natalee Holloway, while on spring break on the island of Aruba. It was Mr. Kelly’s planning, and personal interactions with suspect Joran van der Sloot that directly led to van der Sloot being indicted in the U.S. on federal extortion and wire fraud counts, charges he will face in an Alabama Federal Court.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Mishap

Attorney for Kathleen Caronna, who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when the Cat in the Hat balloon struck and broke a lamp post, which then struck Ms. Caronna on the head. Greatly increased safety precautions for the people participating and viewers were implemented as a result of this matter.

Estate Of Kathleen Savio V. Ex-Cop Drew Peterson

Attorney for the Estate of Kathleen Savio, third wife of former Bollingbrook police officer Drew Peterson. A coroner’s inquest originally ruled Ms. Savio had accidentally drowned in her bathtub, but a subsequent inquest ruled the death a homicide, paving the way for a wrongful death claim by the Estate against Drew Peterson.

Estate Of Anne Scripps Douglas

Scripps publishing heiress bludgeoned to death by her husband, who then took his own life by leaping from Tappan Zee Bridge. Kelly represented Anne’s estate in the subsequent custody battle over Anne’s infant child in Surrogate Court.

Wrong Way Taconic Parkway Crash Victims

Attorney for the Estates of Mike Bastardi Sr. and Guy Bastardi, killed in a head-on automobile accident by a woman going the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in her van with several children inside.

Galleria Parking Garage Homicide Victim

Attorney for the Estate of Concetta Russo-Carriero who was murdered at lunchtime on a weekday while walking to her car parked in a parking garage adjacent to the Galleria Mall. The parking garage was owned and operated to the City of White Plains. The jury returned a verdict against the City of White Plains, finding that the City failed to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.

Antelope Canyon Flash Flood Disaster Victims

Attorney for the Estates of several victims of the Antelope Canyon flash flood disaster. A group of French teenage girls drowned while on a guided Trek America tour through a slot canyon in Arizona when a flash flood roared through it on a bright, sunny day.

Estate Of Zachary Hartwell

Attorney for Zachary Hartwell, who was in the front passenger seat of a car driven by an intoxicated Ryan Dunn, star of the Jackass movie series. Mr. Dunn drove his Porsche off the road, when it then took flight, hit a tree flush, and was incinerated and demolished. Both Mr. Hartwell and Mr. Dunn died in the accident.

Estate Of Rachelle Curry

Attorney for Rachelle Curry, a Morgan Stanley analyst, who drowned under suspicious circumstances when her fiancé drove his car, with Rachelle in the front passenger seat, off the Sprain Brook Parkway, and into the Sprain Brook Reservoir. Rachelle’s fiancé was able to get safely to shore, while Rachelle drowned, with her seat belt still on, in the front passenger seat.

Estate Of Wu

Attorney for young child who accidentally plunged out a 6th floor hallway window when visiting his grandparents. The child was chasing a ball down the hallway when he fell through open window at the end of the hallway with no safeguards in place.

State Of Kentucky V. Martin

Phillips family retained Mr. Kelly to investigate a cold case triple homicide in Pembrooke, Kentucky, that occurred four years earlier. Mr. Kelly’s work directly contributed in the arrest and conviction of Mr. Martin, an ex-American Airline pilot. Mr. Martin received a life sentence for the three homicide convictions after a sensationalized trial covered by Court TV, then featured on Dateline.

Estate Of Barbara Kenna

Attorney for Barbara Kenna who was shot to death by her landlord, Louis Hubrecht, after enduring 30 years of hostility over her $567 per month rent-controlled apartment. The landlord claimed self-defense, which was rejected by the jury in the criminal trial. The estate of Ms. Kenna subsequently settled its wrongful death claim against the landlord.

Raffaele Sollecito (Amanda Knox’s Co-Defendant)

American attorney for Raffaele Sollecito, who along with Amanda Knox, was charged with the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. Mr. Kelly was present in court in Florence, Italy when Mr. Sollecito appeared at the appeals trial to give his statement to the court and in Rome, Italy when all charges were dismissed against Mr. Sollecito.

Yankee Great Joe Pepitone

Attorney for Joe Pepitone, former New York Yankees great, charged with possessing a large amount of cocaine, a loaded weapon, currency, and drug transaction records. Facing a mandatory life sentence. Mr. Pepitone was acquitted by a jury of all felony counts.

Client Testimonials

Mr. Kelly Achieved Significant Victories At Every Phase Of The Litigation…

My family has worked with John Q. Kelly over the years. The excellence and prestige with which Mr. Kelly litigated our case was exceptionally impressive. Mr. Kelly handled our case from inception through trial, a time span of more than ten years, showing the levels of dedication one can only hope to find in their attorney. After years of discovery, appeals, and a two-week long trial, the case ultimately was resolved through a jury verdict in favor of myself and my family. Mr. Kelly achieved significant victories at every phase of the litigation, against aggressive defense counsel, resulting in a judgment against a municipality. I would not hesitate to turn to Mr. Kelly with any matters I have in the future and wholeheartedly recommend him to anyone who is need of legal counsel.

If I Could Give John Q. Kelly, Esq. More Than 5 Stars In My Review, I Absolutely Would.

In January 2013, my husband was killed, and daughter critically injured when a drunk driver hit them head-on. John Q. Kelly represented my family. It was a very difficult time for us, but Mr. Kelly was without a doubt, extremely professional and caring at the same time. He took the time to sit with us, clearly explain what we should expect and what we needed to do throughout the whole process. If I called or emailed, I received a response very quickly day or night. The outcome for myself and my family was the best we could possibly hope for. Without a doubt, it was due to Mr. Kelly’s experience and professionalism. In life, no one expects to need a wrongful death or personal injury lawyer, but it happens. There is no question in my mind that Mr. Kelly should be the one to call if one is needed. If I could give John Q. Kelly, Esq. more than 5 stars in my review, I absolutely would.

Extremely Pleased With Not Only The Quick Way My Case Was Handled, But The Professionalism And Kindness Of My Attorney, John Q. Kelly

Extremely pleased with not only the quick way my case was handled, but the professionalism and kindness of my attorney, John Q. Kelly. He was very smart, worked quickly and efficiently and was very concerned about my well-being after my bad car accident. I highly recommend him and his firm.

I Can’t Express How Happy We Were With John Q. Kelly

I can’t express how happy we were with John Kelly. We came to him at a very difficult time of our lives. My 8-year-old son was killed in a totally preventable accident and we came to him for help. He and the staff were always caring and compassionate and gave us support to make it through the legal process. I am forever grateful that my husband found him. I would highly recommend him, and hope never to have to use his services for a wrongful death case again. I wouldn’t be able to survive a second time….

John Q. Kelly Is Simply The Best

When my daughter disappeared in Aruba, I was encouraged to turn to attorney John Q. Kelly for help. John is brilliant- mentally the toughest, most disciplined attorney you could ever hope to meet. He is always three steps ahead of everybody else, and there is no quit in him.

John Q. Kelly, Who Has A Brilliant Track-Record…

In November 2015, our family experienced an unimaginable tragedy, the murders of two beloved family members and their next door neighbor. Four years later this triple homicide investigation had gone cold, with no suspect or persons of interest. Thereafter, we reached out to attorney John Q. Kelly, who has a brilliant track-record and a keen understanding of law, the judicial system and the media. His expertise provided us with much needed clarity and confidence to make well-informed decisions. Mr. Kelly made it abundantly clear that he was representing us for the “long haul,” which he did, resurrecting the homicide investigation, and piecing together previously overlooked evidence, which lead to the arrest of the defendant.

In June of 2021, a jury found the defendant guilty of three murders and multiple other charges. The judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Verdicts & Settlements



CT Law Tribune

New York law Journal

Verdicts & Settlements

Jury Verdict: $26.5 Million

Parent and young child lost lives when their motor vehicle was stopped in heavy traffic on interstate, and was rear-ended by a tractor trailer.

Jury Verdict: $12.5 Million

Estate of Nicole Brown Simpson awarded punitive damages against O.J. Simpson in its survival action against him for his intentional, malicious attack on her, resulting in her death.

Jury Verdict: $11.4 Million

Laborer working on elevator repair struck on head by falling debris, resulting in [severe, permanent] traumatic brain injury.

Settlement: $9.5 Million

Pedestrian on public thoroughfare struck on head by falling debris resulting in [severe, permanent] traumatic brain injury.

Settlement: $5.58 Million

Passenger in motor vehicle suffered severe traumatic brain injury in a vehicle that was struck by a tractor-trailer that ran a red light while exiting I-95 South.

Jury Verdict: $5.5 Million

Passenger in motor vehicle lost life when struck head-on by legally intoxicated driver who crossed over highway divider.

Settled During Trial: $4.5 Million

Laborer electrocuted on job while operating an articulating boom crane on residential premises, resulting in severe burns.

Settlement: $4.475 Million

Patient blead to death in hospital room when left unattended after aborted surgery for spinal fusion.

Settlement: $3.6 Million

Individual lost life as a result of commercial aviation disaster.

Settlement: $3.25 Million

Pedestrian struck by school bus while walking on unmarked crosswalk, suffering broken pelvis and traumatic brain injury.

Settlement: $3.01 Million

Worker placing materials in back of van when another vehicle struck man from behind, pinning worker between the two vehicles

Settlement: $3 Million

Pedestrian struck by commercial vehicle while crossing street mid-block, resulting in spinal cord injury.

Settlement: $2.85 Million

Passenger in private plane lost live when plane crashed on final approach.

Settlement: $2.8 Million

Contractor fell through concealed hole cut in floor of construction site, landing 10 feet below, and fracturing his spine.

Settlement: $2.6 Million

Woman assaulted and raped by parolee who was to be under 24 hour supervision by private company that contracted with Westchester County.

Settlement: $2.35 Million

Individual lost life from acute drug intoxication after ingesting combination of prescription drugs supplied by others.

Jury Verdict: $2 Million

Woman murdered during attempted car-jacking in municipal parking garage, parking garage found to be lacking in reasonable security.

Settlement: $1.8 Million

French tourists drowned in flash flood that roared through slot canyon that tour guide had led them into.

Settlement: $1.8 Million

Individual lost life in commercial aviation accident.

Settlement: $1.5 Million

Individual died in hospital as a result of negligent post-natal care.

Settlement: $1.35 Million

Child died as a result of fall out of unsecured window in residential apartment complex.

Settlement: $930,000

Homicide victim was tenant, resulting from long-running landlord tenant conflict.  Landlord convicted of murder.

Settlement: $925,000

Individual lost her life when her vehicle was stopped in traffic and was rear-ended by a distracted driver at a high rate of speed.

Settlement: $900,000

Laborer fell from elevated I-beam on construction site, with no harness or protective netting, and fractured leg.

Settlement: $890,000

Cyclist hit large pothole in roadway, was thrown over handlebars and suffered traumatic brain injury.

Settlement: $850,000

Large limb from visibly dead tree on private property broke and fell toward street, striking windshield of car, and injuring driver.

Jury Verdict: $750,000

Laborer got limb caught in unprotected metal lathe machine while working at commercial premises.