Barbara Hopkinson Kelly: Lawyer with Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

Barbara Hopkinson Kelly


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Experience & Credentials

Practice Areas

  • Asbestos
  • Employment & Labor
  • Energy
  • Toxic Tort
  • Environmental
  • General Liability & Casualty
  • Insurance & Reinsurance Coverage
Contact InfoTelephone: 973.735.5765
Fax: 973.624.0808
University Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, B.S., 1980
Law SchoolEmory University School of Law, J.D., 1984
Admitted1985, New Jersey and U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey; U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit; New Jersey Supreme Court; U.S. Supreme Court

Memberships & Affiliations

American Bar Association
New Jersey State Bar Association
The Association of Trial Lawyers of America - New Jersey
Risk Management Society (RIMS)
Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)


Barbara Hopkinson Kelly focuses her legal practice on environmental and toxic tort litigation and insurance coverage, including issues involving employment law. She also has more than 25 years of significant litigation experience in the professional malpractice and business tort fields. Barbara has served as liaison counsel to numerous Fortune 500 clients, defending many of them in class action lawsuits with financial exposures in excess of $100 million.
Known for successfully arguing even the most difficult motions, Barbara is also a master negotiator. Her problem-solving skills have earned a loyal following among her clients and peers alike. Barbara brings to the table an innate ability to coordinate ideas and strategies with her clients, forging productive, long-term relationships. An avid equestrian and skier, Barbara applies that same energy and tenacity to her legal practice.

Areas of Focus

Environmental / Toxic Tort
Barbara has litigated numerous environmental cases involving various claims, including natural resource damage claims throughout the United States. She maintains a national CERCLA practice and routinely appears before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, Barbara advises clients in brownfield cleanups and redevelopment of contaminated properties. This part of her legal practice also includes securing environmental insurance products to protect the firm's clients against cleanup cost overruns and pollution legal liability.
Insurance-Reinsurance Coverage
Barbara has extensive experience in insurance coverage, including representation of multinational insurance companies. She has handled coverage issues in complex general liability claims and defended clients in related litigation. Barbara focuses on saving insurers legal and indemnity expenses. She has worked with underwriters in developing insurance policies in a myriad of areas and is a member of Professional Liability Underwriters Society (PLUS). Her comprehensive experience in insurance coverage allows her to handle complex cases in various industries. She has also published material in the arena of alternative claims resolution.
Professional Liability
Barbara has significant litigation experience in the professional malpractice and business tort fields. She has defended real estate agents, attorneys, accountants, securities brokers and other professionals against negligence and related claims under federal and state laws.
Barbara has defended municipalities and their police departments in civil rights actions. She has successfully defended actions falling under section 1983 and tried a complex section 1983 claim involving allegations of police misconduct. She has also mediated class actions, including a significant 5,000 class member strip search action against a municipality. Additionally, she has represented municipalities in cases alleging wrongful termination. She has defended numerous municipalities in New Jersey and Connecticut regarding environmental and toxic tort matters related to Superfund sites, as well as municipal owners /operators of sites having national exposure.
Real Estate
Barbara has worked with underwriters in developing insurance policies in a myriad of areas. With respect to real estate litigation, she has handled breach of contract, fraud and related claims in both the residential and commercial real estate contexts.


The Wait Is Over: Liable Parties Can Now Seek Early Contribution Claims Without New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Approval

Concurrent Jurisdiction Shared by Courts and NJ DEP

August 26, 2014

Statute of Repose: A New Weapon in Environmental Defense Counsel's Arsenal

Statute of Repose a Weapon in Environmental Defense

June 12, 2014

The Supreme Court recently held that the Federal Superfund law does not preempt state statutes of repose, representing a victory for companies and landowners with legacy environmental liabilities in states with a statute of repose applicable to tort claims.

Additional Publications

Alternative Dispute Resolution, Practicing Law Institute
Pollution Coverage-Institute for Continuing Legal Education
Co-author of Trends and Emerging Coverage Issues, Practicing Law Institute


Additional Events

Practicing Law Institute on Insurance Coverage Trends and Emerging Issues, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Institute for Continuing Legal Education on Environmental Issues


Internship with the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Criminal Division

Reported CasesRepresentative Matters; Represented Fortune 500 company in major class action suit. Liaison counsel in large environmental clean-up action in National Priorities List matter. Represented Fortune 500 company in environmental litigation. Represented major insurance companies in complex coverage litigation.

Documents by this lawyer on

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The Rights of an Employee to Object to Working in an Unsafe Situation
Kevin C. Donovan,Barbara Hopkinson Kelly, May 7, 2015
You are a stressed manager facing a critical deadline. Just at this moment an employee - call him Joe - appears before you and says that he is uncomfortable working alongside Sue, a co-worker who has recently informed Joe that she has not been vaccinated against measles. Joe tells you that he has...

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules No Time Bar for Spill Act Contribution Claims
Barbara Hopkinson Kelly,Suna Lee,Erik M. Ortega, March 5, 2015
In a unanimous decision on January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, in Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil Co., overturned two lower-court decisions and held that the six-year statute of limitations for damage to real property does not apply to Spill Act private contribution claims. The...

New Jersey Seeks to Ban the Use of “Microbeads” in Consumer Care
Genese K. Dopson,Barbara Hopkinson Kelly,Erik M. Ortega, November 10, 2014
The New Jersey State Legislature has unanimously approved legislation to address the growing environmental concerns over personal care products containing microbeads, small non-biodegradable plastic particles used as abrasives in personal care products such as toothpaste. If enacted, New Jersey...

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Office Information

Barbara Hopkinson Kelly

200 Campus Drive
Florham ParkNJ 07932-0668


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