Sean R. Kelly


Florham Park

T 973-645-4801

Sean Kelly is a member of the Firm’s Employment and Labor Law practice group. 

Sean Kelly focuses his practice on counseling employers and defending employment cases, higher education and school law.  Sean regularly litigates matters arising in the workplace, including defending his employer clients against allegations of discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment, and breaches of contract, among other claims, at the trial and appellate levels, both in state and federal court, and has successfully tried many employment cases to verdict. Sean works closely with both public and private companies as well as universities, schools, and state and local government entities. He is often called upon by his clients to handle complex, sensitive and highly confidential matters that are often subject to significant public interest.

Sean is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney, has been repeatedly included in Thompson Reuters' "Super Lawyers," holds the highest rating awarded by the Martindale-Hubbell Lawyers Directory, and has been named a Master of two separate American Inns of Court.

"AV" Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™

Certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Civil Trial Attorney, awarded to fewer than 2% of New Jersey lawyers

Listed in:

  • Best Lawyers® - Commercial Litigation - Employment Law - 2023-2024
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers® - 2005, 2007-2024
  • New York Area Top Rated Lawyers by ALM, 2012 
Sean R. Kelly
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...


Selection methodology for awards and honors can be found here.

No aspect of these advertisements have been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

K.L. v. Rutgers, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 17141

Keles v. Bender, et al., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 7373, affirming 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28270; 2017 WL 4948066, 2017 WL 3299037, 2017 WL3302690 (D.N.J.)

Sabinsa Corp. v. Herbakraft, Inc., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 219396 and 72331; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99036, 123190, and 221481

Waterfront Comm'm of N.Y. Harbor v. Governor of N.J., 961 F.3d 234 (3d Cir. 2020), cert. denied, 142 S.Ct. 561 (2021)

Alawan v. Rutgers, 2020 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2004 (App. Div.)

Seergy v. Richter, 2021 N.J. Super. unpub. LEXIS 2004 (App. Div).

Sabinsa Corp. v. Olive Lifesciences Pvt. Ltd., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93365; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221107; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185881

Biomarn Pharm. v. Par Pharm., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 235328

Chin v. Rutgers, 697 Fed. Appx. 751 (3d Cir. 2017)

Collins v. Stevens Institute of Technology, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176651, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116531, 2016 WL 4579973 and 2016 WL 4544342 (D.N.J.)

Sabinsa Corp. v. Aegle Bios, Inc., 2016 WL 6595915 (D.N.J.)

Jazz Pharms. Inc. v. Amneal Pharms. LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61373

Sabinsa Corp. v. Nutribiolink LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185882

Carnevale v. Borough of Roseland Police Dept., 2015 WL 8683075 (N.J. App. Div.)

Kadakia v. Rutgers, 633 Fed. Appx. 83 (3d. Cir. 2015)

Shire LLC v. CorePharma, LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96713, 2015 WL 4508108

Purdue Pharm. Prods., L.P. v. Actavis Elizabeth, LLC, 2105 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1910318, 191032; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49857, 2014 WL 1394178

McMahon v. Salmond, 573 Fed. Appx. 128 (3d Cir. 2014)

AstraZeneca AB v. Anchen Pharmaceuticals Inc., 2014 WL 2611488 (D.N.J.)

AstraZeneca AB v. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41625 and 73111; 2013 WL 1847639 (D.N.J.)

McMahon v. Rutgers, 2013 WL 5937416 (D.N.J.)

Edelson V., L.P. v. Encore Networks, Inc., 2013 WL 1952309 (D.N.J.)

Cornacchiulo v. Alternative Investment Solutions, Inc., 2013 WL 238189 Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, Docket No. A-4871-10T2 (1/23/13), certif. denied, 214 N.J. 115

Mandal v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 430 N.J. Super. 287 (App. Div. 2013), petition for certif. denied Sept. 20, 2013

Edelson V., L.P. v. Encore Networks, Inc., 2012 WL 4889614,  2012 WL 4891695 and 2013 WL 1952309 (D.N.J.) 

Hogg Robinson USA LLC v. Pierce, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55030, 2011 WL 2015572

McMahon v. Univ. of Med. & Dentistry of N.J., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124109, 2011 WL 5082246

Atlantic Health Services, Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. of Pittsburgh, Pa., 2010 WL 3155194 and 2011 WL 1375611 (D.N.J.), affirmed, 463 Fed. Appx. 162 (3d Cir. 2012)

Sabinsa Corp. v. Creative Compounds, LLC, 609 F.3d 175 (3d Cir. 2010); same case 2011 WL3236096 and 2012 WL 194160 (D.N.J.)

State v. E.W., 413 N.J. Super. 70 (App. Div. 2010)

In re:  Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55611, 17754, 17755 and 65029; 2010 WL 779786 (3d Cir. 3/9/10)

DelRio-Mocci v. Connolly Properties, Inc., 2009 WL 971394 (D.N.J. 4/1/09), motion for reconsideration denied, 2009 WL 2989537 (D.N.J. 9/16/09)

Giudice v. Employees’ Profit-Sharing Plan of the Bank of New York Co., Inc., 2009 WL 2634898 (D.N.J. 8/25/09)

Yarcheski v. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 2008 WL 5133687 (App. Div. 12/9/08)

Galli v. New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, 490 F.3d 265 (3d Cir. 2007)

Berrol v. A.I.G., 2007 WL 3349763 (D.N.J. 11/7/07)

Roman v. ABM Janitorial Northeast, Inc., 2007 WL 1612936 (D.N.J. 6/1/07)

Lippe v. Bairnco Corp., 99 Fed. Appx. 274 (2d Cir. 2004)

Komet Inc. v. Republic of Finland, 89 A.F.T.R.2d (RIA) 1827; 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2922 (D.N.J. 2002)

Lum v. Bank of America, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25178 (D.N.J. 2001), aff’d, 361 F.3d 217 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 918 (2004)

Dawson v. Ciba-Geigy Corp., 145 F. Supp. 2d 565 (D.N.J. 2001)

Everest Reinsurance Co. v. Newark Division of Tax Abatement & Special Taxes, 18 N.J. Tax 50 (1998)

Lafarge Corp. v. Travelers Indemnity Co., 927 F. Supp. 1534 (M.D. Fla. 1996)

Georgine v. Amchem Products, Inc., 878 F. Supp. 716 (E.D. Pa. 1994); 160 F.R.D. 478 (1995)

Forest Insurance v. American Motorists Ins. Co., 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3334 (S.D.N.Y. 1994)

Owens-Illinois, Inc. v. United Ins. Co., 264 N.J. Super. 460 (App. Div. 1993), rev'd in part and affirmed in part, 138 N.J. 437 (1994)

Carlough v. Amchem Products, Inc., 5 F.3d 707 (1993), 27 Fed. R. Serv. 3d 895 (3d Cir. 1993); 10 F.3d 189 (3d Cir. 1993); 158 F.R.D. 314 (E.D. Pa. 1993)

In re Thomson McKinnon Securities, Inc., 143 B.R. 612 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1992)

Clark v. Bank of New York, 801 F. Supp. 1182 (S.D.N.Y. 1992)

Blake v. Bank of New York, 1991 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3936 (S.D.N.Y. 1991)

Refac International Ltd. v. Matsushita Electric Corp. of America, 1990 WL 269885 (D.N.J. 11/14/90)

Lincoln Federal Savings & Loan Association v. Thomson McKinnon Securities, Inc., 1989 WL 158769 (D.N.J. 12/19/89)

State v. Cantor, 221 N.J. Super. 219 (App. Div. 1987)

In re Chandler, 66 B.R. 334 (N.D. Ga. 1986)

Pawelec v. Digitcom, Inc., 192 N.J. Super. 474 (App. Div. 1984)

Dimitrakopoulus v. Flowers by Demetrios, Inc., 1983 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15633 (S.D.N.Y. 1983)

Garden State Community Hospital v. Watson, 191 N.J. Super. 225 (App. Div. 1982), certif. denied, 94 N.J. 518 (1983)

Bittner v. Borne Chemical Co., Inc., 691 F.2d 134 (3d Cir. 1982)

National Association of College and University Attorneys

Advisory Board, Campus Legal Advisor

Gateway Chapter, Society of Human Resource Managers

Former Master, Sidney Reitman Employment Law Inn of Court

Former Master, Hudson County Bar Association Inn of Court

Former Chair, New Jersey Supreme Court Fee Arbitration Committee for Essex County

Essex and Hudson County Bar Associations

New Jersey State Bar Association

American Bar Association

Association of the Federal Bar for the District of New Jersey

  • Obtained favorable jury verdict on all counts following a lengthy trial representing the State of New Jersey, Office of the Attorney General, against charges of race discrimination in promotions.

  • Successfully defended a hedge fund at the NJ Supreme Court against a former employee's bid to revive his disability bias case.

  • Defended city and mayor against "whistleblower" wrongful termination claim by former private secretary.

  • Counseled and drafted papers for securities firm for termination of department head.

  • Defended aviation services company against "whistleblower" claim by former human resources manager.

  • Defended charter school against sex discrimination after wrongful termination claim before New Jersey Division on Civil Rights.

  • Represented private school in drafting and negotiating severance agreement for departing employee.

  • Defended state agency in action by former museum director alleging that the termination of her employment was motivated by political discrimination.

  • Defended temporary employment firm against EEOC charge of race discrimination.

  • Obtained summary judgment for bank in ERISA suit by former employee claiming breach of fiduciary duty in giving him incorrect information concerning his rights under his retirement plan.

  • Defended neurosurgeon in contract dispute regarding fee allocation among former members of hospital neurosurgery group.

  • Represented public charter school in action to compel forfeiture of employment by tenured teacher due to his pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault on a student.

  • Defended new employer of mortgage brokers against former employer’s claims of theft of confidential customer lists and “poaching” of employees.

  • Obtained summary judgment for employer, dismissing hostile work environment sexual harassment claim arising out of consensual relationship with co-worker, and obtained affirmance on appeal.

  • Defended EEOC claim against employer based on alleged ethnic discrimination.

  • Defended operator of facilities for the developmentally disabled in state court action brought by former employee alleging discriminatory firing on basis of age, sex, race, and sexual orientation.

  • Defended federal action against wholesaler arising out of former employee’s claims of violation of Family and Medical Leave Act.

  • Represented 50% shareholder of small computer consulting business in litigation and settlement of claims under Oppressed Minority Shareholder Law.

  • Successfully negotiated settlement of claims against bank by former officer alleging wrongful termination, implied contract for payment of bonus, and breach of business acquisition contract.

  • Successfully negotiated advantageous settlement on behalf of chief executive officer defending against sexual harassment claims and related criminal charges.

  • Successfully obtained dismissal of wage and hour claims against bank.

  • Negotiated advantageous settlement of suit arising out of allegations by terminated officer regarding breach of oral and implied contract, oppression of minority shareholder, and “whistleblower” claim.

  • Favorably settled claims of former sales representative involving commission compensation and breach of sales contract.

  • Successfully obtained dismissal of claims against bank in litigation in Federal Court alleging disability discrimination.

  • Settled age discrimination suit on favorable terms.

  • Successfully settled pregnancy discrimination suit on behalf of company and individual executive.

  • Defended employer against claim of breach of lifetime employment contract.

  • Served as co-counsel in successful trial defense of sexual harassment case.

  • Won jury verdict in publicized trial involving defense of claim of workplace defamation.

  • Won summary judgment for employer in publicized case arising out of claim of discriminatory administration of severance and stock option plan in connection with merger. Affirmed on appeal to N.J. Appellate Division; petition for further review denied by N.J. Supreme Court.

  • Defended employer against corporate officer’s claims of age and handicap discrimination.

  • Litigated and negotiated favorable settlement of "whistleblower" claim asserted by discharged employee against former employer.

  • Defended employer in series of related severance compensation claims asserted by terminated executives.

  • Drafted employment, severance, consulting and related agreements in connection with buyout of warehousing business, and advised officers and directors regarding negotiation of terms.

  • Advised New York employment firm regarding policies for its permanent employees and for temporary employees placed with its client companies.

  • Advised medical care industry consulting firm re: terminations and severance terms for two executives.

  • Advised hotel chain on response to “whistleblower” claim by disabled employee.

  • Advised bank on termination of employment of male employee claiming sexual harassment by female employees.

  • Negotiated resolution of post-closing disputes arising out of buyout of major shareholder and chief executive of sub-S corporation.

  • Worked with bank in responding to wage and hour audit by New Jersey Department of Labor, and in negotiating penalties.

  • Negotiated severance agreement re: departure of senior brokerage account executive in company restructuring.

  • Advised Internet company re: wage and hour dispute with departing consultant.

  • Negotiated severance agreement on behalf of employer of employee who claimed breach of contract.

  • Advised multi-state manufacturer re: issues of employee privacy and personnel records, ADA and FMLA requirements.

  • Advised non-profit corporation in connection with issues arising out of arrest of chief executive officer on criminal charge.

  • Advised employer in connection with termination of employee who claimed protected mental disability.

  • Regularly advise public charter schools on various human resources issues, including contract drafting, termination of principal and staff, breach of employment contract by teacher, etc.

  • Drafted employee handbook and policy manual addressing, inter alia, issues of sexual harassment and discrimination.

  • Negotiated severance agreement on behalf of employer of female key employee who claimed sex discrimination.

  • Represented London-based Internet music store in drafting employment agreement for chief executive officer.