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AUSTIN, Texas — The Carlson Law Firm’s North Austin partner, L. Todd Kelly, will be presenting to the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association on Jan. 10 at 12 p.m. about the contents of his recently released autobiography, which examines the emotional difficulties of dealing with losing a trial while the entire nation is watching your every move.
Kelly released his autobiographical book, “The Power Within,” earlier this fall, in which he examines the emotional aspect of losing one of his most prominent cases, the Jamie Leigh Jones military contractor case, and the toll the case took on his life.
The Jones case made national headlines, launching Kelly into a prominent role on behalf of victims of sexual violence and the effect of forced arbitration of concealing the wrong on a national stage.
Jones was a former military contractor who claimed she was forcibly raped by coworkers while overseas in 2005. Kelly, who served as her attorney, invested years and millions of dollars of borrowed money, made numerous public appearances on his client’s behalf and, in the interest of abolishing forced arbitration clauses, ultimately lost the case at trial.
“As my protector, it shattered him as it shattered me,” Jones said. “However, even after losing the trial, his blood, sweat, and tears gave me closure by helping me make the world a better place for future generations of women. Little did he know, he was and will always be my hero.”
While he may have lost the case, his work on the Jones case helped inspire the 2009 Arbitration Fairness Act. This ACT gave victims of sexual assault by military contractors the right to a trial by a jury of their peers—a legal right Kelly continues to advocate for today.
“God took what Jamie and I had started, and worked through other hands to complete the work in a way we could not have imagined or completed on our own.” The Power Within, P. 234
Still, after the loss, Kelly faced significant financial debt and felt he had ruined his name, family and reputation.
“The Power Within” opens with an intense and heartbreaking scene in Kelly’s bedroom closet following days of wallowing in self-pity—which he describes in tremendous detail. Throughout the book, Kelly takes readers on a journey of how he ended up in that closet and how finding the inspirational power to reclaim his life’s purpose helped him move forward with life.
Todd Kelly Today
The contrast between the man in the book and the Kelly many know today seems worlds apart. Today, Todd Kelly is comfortable with himself and is well-respected among his peers as being one of the most thorough and skilled litigators in the nation.
Standing at 6’0 with shoulder-length, flowing hair, Kelly is brimming with confidence—an intimidating combination at first glance. However, he is soft-spoken, freely gives hugs and has an infectious smile that dances behind his blue eyes. These are the tell-tale signs of a man clearly grateful to be here. He is tender in his approach to handling his clients, but fierce regarding opposing counsel.
Clients speak fondly of Kelly for more than the significant monetary compensation he so often achieves on their behalf; they also appreciate his compassion and ability to empathize with their pain.
“Those of us in the fight for justice against large, well-funded corporations know all too well that the ‘playing field’ of litigation is tilted against the injured who seek justice,” Kelly said. “My heroes are those who stand in the breach and charge up that hill, knowing the odds, and fighting despite them. My greater heroes are those who, after being ‘put in their place,’ rise again to help another on another tilted field. These are the warriors for justice that I call Trial Lawyers.”
Todd credits God, his wife, Robbye, and The Carlson Law Firm’s managing partner, Craig Carlson, for giving him a second chance in life, in love and in his profession.
“Like the mythical phoenix that adorns my right arm, I have been reborn,” Kelly said. “That rebirth was the result, first and foremost, of trusting a loving and forgiving God, second, my wife Robbye, who has stood by my side for the worst chapters depicted in my book and third, my partner and friend, Craig, who offered me an opportunity professionally to regain my confidence and the leadership to understand that God was always in control.”
His hope is that his openness about his struggles and the power that helped him overcome them can inspire others in the depths of their own dark situation.
Kelly’s live discussion will be presented to the Jan. 10 Capital Area Trial Lawyer’s meeting at the First United Methodist Church at 1201 Lavaca Street in Austin, Tx. Kelly will be available for interviews both before and after this presentation beginning at 11:00 a.m. and resuming after the presentation until the last questions are answered.
About Todd Kelly
Todd Kelly is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He was inducted into the Texas Lawyer Hall of Fame in 2013. Todd is licensed in Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. He works out of The Carlson Law Firm’s North Austin location, where he helps victims of sexual assault, trucking crashes, and other types of personal injuries.
About The Carlson Law Firm
The Carlson Law Firm is a national injury firm with compassionate attorneys spanning from coast to coast. We’ve been representing injury victims since 1976 and are dedicated to ensuring your legal rights are protected.