ATTORNEY – OF COUNSEL
James C. Kelly concentrates his practice on class action lawsuits and mass torts. He has been litigating class action cases in Courts throughout the United States for over 18 years.
Mr. Kelly has extensive experience litigating class actions. He has fought against some of the biggest companies and in some of the biggest cases in the United States.
- He helped litigate claims against Google, Inc. on behalf of Google’s customers (advertisers) for allegedly overcharging. After extensive motion practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, a settlement was reached in the amount of $20 million.
- He also recovered over $1 million in losses for purchasers of alleged improper tax shelters from a major banking institution, and successfully litigated product mislabeling claims in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, against Campbell Soup Company. In this case, Mr. Kelly obtained over $1 million for members of the class action lawsuit.
- In another case, he successfully convinced the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, to set aside proceeds from an insurance policy owned by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc., to be applied toward the defendants’ losses.
- He also litigated a case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of American International Group Inc. (AIG) investors that suffered losses to their employee 401(k) plans as a result of alleged breaches of duties by multiple companies involved, including AIG’s CEO. After successfully defeating the defendants’ motions to dismiss the consolidated complaint, on October 7, 2008, AIG settled the litigation for $24.2 million in favor of Mr. Kelly.
- In another example, he recovered damages for investors who purchased Tag-It Pacific, Inc. stock and suffered losses as a result of alleged fraudulent lies made by the company. The Tag-It Pacific case was a hard-fought lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where the parties went all the way through the summary judgment stage and prepared for trial. Although the plaintiffs initially lost in the district court, plaintiffs appealed the district court’s decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and obtained a complete reversal of the district court’s opinion. Shortly thereafter, the parties settled the lawsuit for $5.75 million, nearly 100% of the damages claimed by the defendants.
- James Kelly has also prosecuted a class action against Citibank in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. This class action was on behalf of Citibank customers that were damaged as a result of Citibank reporting to the IRS that customers received income from Citibank’s promotional airline miles. The previous practice in the industry was that banks would not report said promotional airline miles as income. Not only did Citibank not disclose that it would report the miles as income to the IRS, but it valued the miles approximately 150% more than what they were worth, subjecting customers to hundreds of dollars of unexpected taxes. After years of litigation, a trial before the Late Honorable Deborah A. Batts, and two appeals before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, we negotiated a nationwide settlement estimated to have a value of approximately $10 million, which was approved by Judge Batts.
- James C. Kelly also prosecuted a class action against Blue Diamond Growers, in the United States District Court for the Southern District, for misleading consumers in connection with the sale of its Almond Breeze labeled almond milk products in not disclosing that said products contain only 2% almond content. The class action alleged that Blue Diamond Growers falsely labeled its Almond Breeze products as being made from almonds, being certified by the American Heart Association as heart-healthy as a result of its almond content therein, and containing at least a cup of almonds. The class action also alleged that Almond Breeze products contained carrageenan, without failing to disclose that carrageenan was a potential cancer-causing ingredient. We have achieved significant results from this class action as Blue Diamond Growers has removed the approximate cup of almonds pictured on its Almond Breeze products, has removed the claim that the product was certified by the American Health Association, has changed the statement on its product that it is made “from” almonds to made “with” almonds, has removed all health claims on its website with respect to almonds, and has removed carrageenan from its products. Very shortly after the court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss. See Albert v. Blue Diamond Growers, 151 F. Supp. 3d 412 (S.D.N.Y. 2015). Further, the lawsuit has created significant press, including being discussed on the Dr. Oz show, which informed viewers that Almond Breeze barely contained any almonds and taught consumers how to make almond milk at home. This lawsuit was resolved along with other class actions that were brought against Blue Diamond Growers in a $9 million nationwide settlement that was approved in the Circuit Court of Washington County, Arkansas.
James C. Kelly continues to concentrate on resolving complex litigation and class action matters and is dedicated to helping achieve fairness and safety for consumers.
- Super Lawyers, 2014-2015
- New York, 2005
- United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
- United States District Court, Southern District of New York
Education and Honors:
- J.D. – Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York, 2004
- B.S. – Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, 1999