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Dr. Richard Kelly


Dr. Richard Kelly is a California-based medical malpractice attorney and a board-certified anesthesiologist. He trained for his qualifications in law and medicine at Harvard, Stanford, and UCSF. He actively practices law as well as all aspects of anesthesiology, particularly the anesthetic management of patients undergoing complicated heart surgeries.

Dr. Kelly began his career at Harvard University where he studied biochemistry and theology as an undergraduate. He went on to study public health on a full scholarship at UC Berkeley. From there, he was awarded multiple scholarships to study both law and medicine at Stanford University. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1997. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine, his residency in Anesthesiology, and his fellowship in cardiac anesthesiology at the University of California in San Francisco. He was in a private law and medicine practice for several years before he was recruited to the University of California in Irvine to teach law, medicine, and public health to medical students, graduate students, and anesthesiology residents.

Dr. Kelly has worked in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Lyndon Baines Johnson Congressional Fellow and as a consultant to the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. He is past Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Legal Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine, a fellow of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, a member of the World Association for Medical Law, and a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Throughout his career, both as an attorney and a medical doctor, Dr. Kelly has been able to share his knowledge, insight, and experience through dozens if not hundreds of professional activities that range from academic publications to international presentations, research, academic appointments, committee involvement, and much more. Dr. Kelly’s work is featured in numerous books, articles, and chapters of legal and medical publications.

Dr. Kelly believes strongly in the right of patients to be compensated for substandard medical care and he has devoted his professional life to thinking about many of the issues involved in medical malpractice, from the implications of physician fatigue to the ethics of medical malpractice damage caps. When he is not working hard on behalf of his clients, Dr. Kelly travels on medical missions to countries such as Paraguay to give free medical care to those who cannot afford it. Dr. Kelly continues to dedicate himself to engaging his extensive legal and medical knowledge to serve the cause of civil justice for those patients whose lives have been forever changed due to mistakes, substandard care, and medical mismanagement.

  • Harvard University
    • Bachelor of Arts (Biochemistry)
    • 1985
  • University of California Berkeley
    • Master of Public Health (full scholarship)
    • 1986
  • Standard University School of Medicine
    • Doctor of Medicine
    • 1993
  • Stanford University School of Law
    • Doctor of Jurisprudence
    • 1993
  • Cyclists Fighting Hunger, Founder of Berkeley branch
    • 1986
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Orange County, triathlon participant
    • 2013
  • Boy Scouts of America, parent volunteer
    • 2012 to 2016
  • IMAHelps, free healthcare for financially destitute of Paraguay
    • 2018

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