Kelly is an experienced trial lawyer who has earned dozens of acquittals against a wide range of criminal charges, including homicides, assaults, sexual assaults, property crimes, domestic violence, and alcohol-related crimes. Kelly recognizes that navigating the legal system is a complicated, emotional process, and that even a mere allegation can turn her clients’ lives upside down. Having represented thousands of clients, she understands that good lawyering requires not just hard work and fierce advocacy, but a focus on guiding her clients through what is often the most challenging time in their lives.
Kelly joined the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office in 2007. In 2008, she was awarded “Bootcamp Lawyer of the Year”, an award given once a year to a young public defender. Kelly went on to try over 100 cases while negotiating thousands more as a Colorado State Public Defender. Her fierce advocacy on behalf of her clients resulted in a 96% acquittal rate over the past five years. In 2018, Kelly received the prestigious “Attorney of the Year” award from the Colorado State Public Defender’s office, an honor given to a single public defender among more than 500 practicing in Colorado.
Kelly spent the last few years as a Supervising Public Defender in the Golden Regional of the Colorado Public Defender, mentoring and supervising attorneys handling felony matters. She’s also advocated in multiple specialty courts and boards including Veteran’s Court, Recovery Court, Community Corrections Board, and Mental Health Court. She’s worked with experts and specialists in almost every legal area.
In 2021, Kelly joined Haddon Morgan and Foreman where she has expanded her practice to handle both criminal and civil matters in all state, municipal, and federal courts. She also has matters involving attorney misconduct, Title IX, and numerous other regulatory and administrative rules.
Kelly continues to volunteer her time to the legal community including acting as a presiding judge for Colorado’s Mock Trial regional competitions for the past 4 years. She is also a volunteer for many educational groups.
- University of Denver School of Law, J.D., 2007
- University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, B.A. Communications
- University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, M.A. Communications
- Criminal Defense
- Civil Litigation
HONORS & DISTINCTIONS
- Attorney of the year for Colorado State Public Defender’s office 2018
- Colorado State Public Defender’s office Boot Camper of the Year for trial advocacy 2008
- Member Colorado Bar Association
- Member Colorado Criminal defense bar association
- National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Faculty/Evaluator, Boot Camp, Colorado State Public Defender (Oct 2018)
- Teaching Assistant, University of Denver (2008) , Criminal Law
PUBLICATIONS AND LECTURES
- “Jury Selection: Choose Wisely” First Judicial Bar Association, Continuing Legal Edu (November 2021)
- “Developing Impactful Cross-Examinations”, Basic Lawyer Training, Colorado State Public Defender (Oct 2017)
- “Motions Practice”, Basic Lawyers Training, Colorado State Public Defender (2014,2017, 2018)
- “Introduction to District Court” Golden Public Defender (2016,2017)
- “When a Crime Scene is really a crime site” Douglas County Public Defender (2013)
- People v. Sotelo, 336 P3d 188 (Colo. 2014)