Chris Kelly is the Partner-In-Charge of the firm’s Charlotte office. He focuses his practice on complex litigation which includes commercial transportation law, business and commercial litigation, serious personal injury litigation, product liability disputes, insurance law, professional negligence, construction defect, and appellate representation. Chris is licensed in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Chris is also GWB’s Commercial Transportation Team Leader and currently chairs the firm’s Associate Committee.
Chris’ experience includes the handling of commercial disputes, catastrophic personal injury cases, complex construction matters, product liability claims and significant Carmack Amendment or cargo loss claims. Additionally, Chris has significant experience in professional negligence, insurance issues and litigation and real estate litigation. He has tried over 22 significant cases to verdict in both state and federal court ranging from contract disputes to wrongful death, from condemnation disputes to FELA personal injury claims, from property damage due to chemical exposure to traumatic brain injury claims.
As the Commercial Transportation Team Leader, and a transportation lawyer, Chris is involved in handling matters which include:
- Transportation Contract Disputes;
- Significant Cargo and Property Damage Claims;
- Catastrophic Injury and Death Cases;
- FELA and Crossing Accident Cases;
- Real Estate Disputes involving right of way and condemnation;
- Software Licensing Disputes and Discovery Management;
- Freight Charge Disputes and Collections;
- Warehousing Disputes; and
- Review, Revision and Negotiation of Transportation Agreements.
As part of his role as the Commercial Transportation Team Leader, Chris regularly coordinates motor carrier and railroad accident investigations and emergency response to accident scenes. Chris is experienced in working with regulatory authorities investigating such matters to protect the interests of his client while insuring important cooperation and collaboration occurs with the investigating agency.
Chris is also a designated national counsel for the locomotive video evidence preservation programs for two national Class I railroads, Chris works with counsel in 22 different states to coordinate discovery and handle software licensing and data issues as well as assist in resolving related discovery disputes. As a result, he works with and learns from some of the best lawyers throughout the northeast and southeast.
Chris’ wide range of experience insures that his clients receive the benefit of sound counsel. Whether involving decisions made in the boardroom or judgment calls made in the courtroom, Chris’ over 20 years of involvement in complex legal matters provides him with the knowledge needed to effectively and economically represent his clients throughout the Carolinas.
Articles, Presentations & Publications
Associations & Memberships
- Mecklenburg County Bar Association
- Service Committee Member, 2012-2015
- North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
- Vice Chair General Liability Practice Group, 2017-2018
- National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
- Transportation Lawyers’ Association
- Executive Committee At Large Member, 2012-2014
- Transportation Law Institute, Los Angeles, CA, Program Chair, 2013
- TLA Annual Conference and Meeting, Santa Fe, NM, Program Chair, 2017
- Secretary/Treasurer 2018-2019
- Trucking Industry Defense Association
- Conference of Freight Counsel
- South Carolina Bar
- South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association
- Defense Research Institute
- American Bar Association
Honors and Awards
- Peer Review Rated “AV” – Preeminent for Highest Level of Professional Excellence by Martindale-Hubbell, 2018
- Peer Review Rated “AV” – Distinguished for High Professional Achievement by Martindale-Hubbell, 2018
- Peer Review Rated “AV” – Preeminent for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability by Martindale-Hubbell
- Transportation Lawyers Association’s Distinguished Service Award, 2017
- Best Lawyers in America, Railroad Law, 2016, 2017, 2018
- E. McGruder Faris Memorial Award for Character, Leadership and Scholarship
- Editorial Staff, Wake Forest Law Review
- Greenville First Bank’s Best & Brightest Under 35
- The Charlotte Mecklenburg Hospital Authority d/b/a Carolinas Healthcare System; Carolinas Physicians Network, Inc.; Managed Health Resources, Inc., v. OptumHealth Care Solutions, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138419, 2017 WL 3726072 (W.D.N.C. 2017)
- CRST Dedicated Servs. v. Ingersoll-Rand Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87474, *1 (W.D.N.C. July 6, 2016).
- Pracht v. Saga Freight Logistics, LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138230, *4 (W.D.N.C. Oct. 9, 2015).
- Antiquity, LLC v. Electricities of N.C., Inc. and Pike Electric, LLC, 2015 N.C. App. LEXIS 980, 780 S.E.2d 891 (N.C. App. 2015).
- Gregory Poole Equip. Co. v. ATS Logistics Servs., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60626, *2, 2014 WL 1760999 (E.D.N.C. April 30, 2014).
- Sanders et al v. Norfolk Southern Corporation, 2010 WL 297813 (D.S.C. 2010).
- Lewis v. Norfolk Southern, 2010 WL 2851131 (D.S.C. 2010).
- Avondale Mills v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company, C.A. No. 1:05-cv-2817-MBS (DSC 2005)
- Menne v. Keowee Key Property Owners’ Ass’n, Inc., 368 S.C. 557, 629 S.E.2d 690 (Ct. App. 2006)
- South Carolina, 1997
- North Carolina, 1997
- United States District Courts
- District of South Carolina, 1998
- Western District of North Carolina, 2000
- Middle District of North Carolina, 2000
- Eastern District of North Carolina, 2000
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2007
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2019
- J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, 1997
- B.A., University of Notre Dame, 1994
Testimonial - Person
I will prepare and someday my chance will come.
• Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools (MACS) Annual Education Fund
• Council Member, 2015 to Present
• Grant Committee Chair, 2016-2017
• Council Vice Chair, 2017 to Present
• Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools (MACS) Fine Arts Center at CCHS Campaign Committee Member
• Member, Feasibility Study Committee.
• Member, Pre-Campaign Committee
• Leadership Charlotte, Class 34, Graduate/Alumnus
• Notre Dame Club of Charlotte, Member
• Kiwanis Club, Greenville, SC, Past President
• Leadership Greenville, SC, Class 30, Graduate/Alumnus
Articles, Presentations & Publications
“A Practical Guide to Avoiding the Pitfalls of a Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition,” The Transportation Lawyer, Vol. 20, No 5, pp. 23-27, April 2019.
Attacking the Notice, Preparing for and Defending the Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys 41st Annual Meeting & Spring Program, June 14-17, 2018, Hilton Head Island, SC.
What do you do when, despite all your best preparation, you’re thrown a curveball at trial?, 2018 TLA Annual Conference and Meeting, May 2-5, 2018, Orlando, FL.