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Nicholas A O'KellyNicholas A O'Kelly 
Dallas, Texas
Senior Counsel
phone 214-379-0827
fax 214-379-0840
email Email Me

Employment Law
Executive Services
Business Litigation and Appeals

Nick joined Kilgore & Kilgore in 2010, after serving the J.C. Penney Corporation for over 22 years. He is an accomplished litigation and trial lawyer with a successful national practice defending corporate clients in state, federal and arbitration forums in diverse issues including employment law, commercial contracts and intellectual property. He was a trusted advisor to senior management in compliance, risk management, trial strategy and settlement negotiations. He authored numerous seminars dealing with attorney-client privilege in the workplace, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) issues, Americans With Disabilities (ADA) compliance and employment discrimination laws.

As Senior Managing Counsel for Penney, he was responsible for all phases of litigation including discovery, pre-trial motions and trials. He prepared and presented bench/jury trials and arbitration hearings throughout the country. He presented live broadcast training seminars on employment related issues to the human resources department and retail management. He mentored junior and intermediate attorneys in litigation skills including trial skills, legal research and writing and client counseling. He managed outside counsel budgets and representation on complex litigation. He lead defense counsel cases in employment, commercial and copyright litigation in various jurisdictions.

Among his many accomplishments at Penney are the following:

  • Took over 30 jury trials to verdict resulting in a 90 percent success rate in favorable verdicts;
  • Successful in 50 summary judgment motions or motions to dismiss;
  • Argued ten cases in state and federal appellate courts;
  • Successfully defended 25 cases before the American Arbitration Association;
  • Directly litigated cases on behalf of Penney resulting in savings of over $10 million in fees, costs and potential exposure;
  • Managed outside counsel resulting in significant savings and successful results;
  • Co-authored an alternative dispute resolution program;
  • Successfully defended Penney from a multi-million dollar employment claim in a California jury trial following nationwide reduction-in-force;
  • Successfully defended a multi-million dollar claim in a commercial contract dispute in a jury trial in Collin County, TX; and
  • Authored two presentations for the legal and auditing departments entitled, Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Immunity.

Previously, he served Penney as the Senior Personnel Relations Attorney, where he was lead counsel on major employment discrimination and wrongful discharge nationwide. He also handled potential litigation claims and defended employment lawsuits and claims throughout the U.S. He advised store management on personnel matters within the store on Title VII and ADEA compliance issues and was involved in the preparation and revision of employment manuals, ADR programs, FMLA and ADA compliance and Reduction-in-Force guidelines.

Prior to that, he served as Senior Associate Attorney with Schartz & Schartz, Ribicoff & Kotin, Hartford CT, Associate Attorney with Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, New Haven CT, where he was involved in employment matters, commercial law and bankruptcy law in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. He also served as an Associate with Stoneman, Chandler & Miller, Boston MA.

Bar Admissions:
Connecticut, 1983
Massachusetts, 1981
Texas, 1990
U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1990
U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1991
U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, 1982
U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1982
U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
U.S. District Court District of Arizona
U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1982
U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, 1982
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
Boston College Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, May, 1981 J.D.

University College, Dublin, UCD, 1976
Bachelor Degree, Major: Civil Law

Glenstal Abbey School, County Limerick, Ireland, Diploma, 1972
Representative Cases:
E.E.O.C. v. J.C. Penney Co., Inc., 753 F.Supp. 192 (N.D.Miss. 1990)
Enos v. J.C. Penney Co., 769 F.Supp. 239 (W.D.Mich. 1990)
Professional Associations and Memberships:
Connecticut State Bar Association
Massachusetts State Bar Association
Texas State Bar Association
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