Kelly assists national, regional and local entities with complex problems with the State of Rhode.  He has extensive experience representing health maintenance organizations, health insurers, property and casualty insurers and financial institutions with licensing and regulatory issues before the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Department of Business Regulation.  He also has extensive experience with environmental permitting and enforcement before the Department of Environmental Management and the Coastal Resources Management Council.

Kelly has been a registered Rhode Island lobbyist for over 30 years for numerous Fortune 100 companies and other businesses, trade associations and non-profit organizations.  Experience includes public advocacy at the Rhode Island General Assembly on a wide range of legislative issues, including personal and corporate income tax legislation, health care regulation, tort reform, insurance regulation and general business issues.  He has extensive experience and expertise in leadership and committee advocacy on complex subjects as well as drafting legislation and amendments.   

Kelly has extensive litigation experience with over three dozen jury trials in state and federal courts, including wide range of commercial disputes, the defense of professional liability claims and insurance coverage disputes.  His appellate experience includes over two dozen arguments before the Rhode Island Supreme Court, many involving issues of first impression.

Kelly has also handled a significant volume of work in the public sector, including representation of the Rhode Island Board of Accountancy, the State of Rhode Island in commercial litigation and the Rhode Island Board of Bar Examiners in appellate litigation and related proceedings.  He has represented numerous municipalities, Mayors and City Councils in a wide range of legal proceedings, including separation of powers disputes, labor and pension matters and constitutional challenges.

Representative Matters

  • Prevailed in the Supreme Court of Rhode Island on behalf of the Providence City Council in a separation of powers dispute with the Mayor over the Council’s right to ratify the City’s collective bargaining agreements.  Providence City Council v. Cianci, 650 A.2d 499 (R.I. 1994).
  • Represented GTE REinsurance Company, Ltd. in regulatory and civil proceedings implementing the first commutation plan under Rhode Island’s unique Voluntary Restructuring of Solvent Insurers Act, R.I.G.L. 1956, Title 27, Chapter 14.5.  See In re: GTE Reinsurance Co. Ltd., C.A. No. PB 10-3777 (R.I. Super. April 25, 2011), available at 2011 WL 1618317 and from the Court website.
  • Served as the principal legislative advocate on behalf of the business community before the Rhode Island General Assembly leading to the enactment of a comprehensive restructuring of the Rhode Island personal income tax code in 2009. 
  • Drafted and secured enactment of legislation to secure tax incremental financing by municipalities following enactment of a statewide cap on property tax growth.
  • Successfully defended the constitutionality of the charter of the first health maintenance organization in Rhode Island.  Soares v. RIGHA, 581 A.2d 1030 (R.I. 1990). 
  • Represented a college newspaper on behalf of the ACLU in securing access to police brutality complaints in the first case under the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act.  The Rake v. Gorodetsky, 452 A.2d 1144 (R.I. 1982).
  • Represented an obstetrician before the Supreme Court of Rhode Island in a case of first impression which established a cause of action for “wrongful pregnancy” and fixed the measure of damages.  Emerson v. Magendantz, 689 A.2d 409 (R.I. 1997). 
  • Successfully defended the constitutionality of an adult entertainment licensing ordinance of the Town of Johnston before the Rhode Island Supreme Court.  El Marocco Club, Inc. v. Richardson, 746 A.2d 1228 (R.I. 2000). 
  • Prevailed before the Rhode Island Supreme Court on behalf of the Rhode Island Board of Bar Examiners in a legal challenge by graduates of an unaccredited law school who had been denied a waiver by the Board.  In re Lewis, 575 A.2d 682 (R.I. 1990).  
  • Successfully permitted the Sakonnet Point Club in Little Compton, Rhode Island.  The unique location of the facility at the tip of Sakonnet Point necessitated a dozen permits, many requiring multiple variances, from seven different federal, state and local agencies, boards and councils.