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Elizabeth Kelley

Phone :509.991.7058

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Kelley is a criminal defense lawyer with a nationwide practice focused on representing people with mental disabilities. She is the editor of Representing People with Mental Disabilities: A Practical Guide for Criminal Defense Lawyers (2018), Representing People on the Autism Spectrum: A Practical Guide for Criminal Defense Lawyers (2020), and Representing People with Dementia, a Practical Guide for Criminal Defense Lawyers (2022), all published by The American Bar Association (ABA). Elizabeth was appointed Editor of the ABA’s annual publication, The State of Criminal Justice. Elizabeth serves as a Vice Chair of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section Council and on the Editorial Board of Criminal Justice Section Magazine. She was named an ABA Fellow, and co-chaired the Criminal Justice Advisory Panel of The Arc’s National Center for Criminal Justice and Disability and the ABA’s Commission on Disability Rights. Elizabeth serves on the Advisory Board of The Neuroscience Center of Fordham University School of Law.

Elizabeth served three terms on the board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), chaired its Mental Health as well as Membership Committees, and is a Life Member. She traveled to Liberia in 2009 and 2014 as part of a delegation sponsored by the U.N. Commission on Drugs and Crime and NACDL to train that country’s criminal defense bar.

Elizabeth lectures across the U.S. as well as abroad on representing people with mental disabilities.

Elizabeth completed her 200 hour Yoga certification through Harmony Yoga in Spokane and her 500 hour certification through Semperviva Studios in Vancouver, B.C.. She has hiked La Camino del Norte and is always seeking further adventure.

Elizabeth is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Sixth and Ninth Circuits, the Northern District of Ohio, the State of Ohio, and has been admitted pro hac vice in numerous states and federal courts.

The Feature on ABA Journal

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Elizabeth Was Profiled In The ABA Journal

Before her client was sentenced for attacking a police officer during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, Elizabeth Kelley wanted the judge to know that he was not like the others who took part in the violence that day. Devlyn Thompson, she explained, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. His communication skills were poor, and his understanding of what unfolded that day in 2021 was distorted. When he learned about a rally planned for President Donald Trump, he drove from Atlanta to Washington ,D.C., thinking he’d attend a peaceful event. But he was swept up in the moment, Kelley said, became emotionally dis-regulated and
struck the officer with a baton. Click here to read more.

PODCAST INTERVIEWS

ARTICLES

  • Click here to read Elizabeth’s article , entitled “Individuals with Mental Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System” from the GPSolo Magazine, (July/August 2023).
  • Click here to download Elizabeth’s review of Alan Ellis’ book, Federal Prison Guidebook (Revision 6) from the The Federal Lawyer, Spring 2023.
  • Click here to download Elizabeth’s review of Lisa Sarnoff Goffman’s book from The Criminal Justice Section Newsletter, Fall, 2022, “At the Altar of the Appellate Gods: Arguing Before the US Supreme Court,” (Fall, 2022).
  • Click here to download the chapter in Judge Donald’s and Professor Sarah Redfield’s book, Extending Justice, that was written by Elizabeth and Nick Dubin, entitled “Implicit Bias and People with Mental Disabilities.” (July 2022).
  • Click here to download Elizabeth’s review of Linda Greenhouse’s book from The Federal Lawyer, Winter, 2022, “Justice on the Brink: The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, The Rise of Amy Coney Barrett, and Twelve Months That Transformed the Supreme Court”. (January/February 2022).
  • Click here to download Elizabeth’s review Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s and Amanda Tyler’s book in The Federal Lawyer, Winter, 2021, “Justice, Justice: Thou Shalt Pursue”. (November/December 2021).
  • Click here to read Elizabeth’s article with Eric Y. Drogin, “Criminal Justice Standards on Mental Health” from the Criminal Justice Magazine, Winter, 2021.
  • Click here to download Elizabeth’s review of Judge Jed Rakoff’s book from the ABA Criminal Justice Section Newsletter, Spring, 2020, “Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free And Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System.” (Published Feb 16, 2021).
  • Click here to download Elizabeth’s review of Reuben Jonathan Miller’s book from The Federal Lawyer, May, 2020, “Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration”. (May, 2020).
  • Click here to read Elizabeth’s article with Francesca Flood, “Noncustodial Client Suicide” from the Criminal Justice Magazine, Summer, 2019.

Testimonials