Kelly Strange Crawford is Co-Chair of Riker Danzig and the head of the Firm’s Products Liability and Mass Tort Practice Group.
She concentrates her practice in complex litigation involving mass torts, products liability defense, and complex commercial matters, including state and federal class actions, multi-district litigation and state court coordinated proceedings.
Her clients include large and small pharmaceutical and industrial companies, as well as individuals. Kelly has extensive experience representing clients that manufacture and market pharmaceutical products and medical devices, as well as nutraceutical products, and has served as defense liaison counsel and trial counsel, including in New Jersey’s Multi-County Litigation court system. She also defends clients in litigation involving claims of workplace and environmental exposures to substances such as vinyl chloride monomer, benzene, and asbestos and asbestos-containing products, including litigation involving premise owners and claims involving novel liability theories.
Kelly serves as trial counsel, and she and her team handle all facets of case development, motion practice, and trial preparation, as well as trial. She and her team frequently work with global and national counsel to accomplish client goals through disciplined execution of defined roles and a relentless commitment to long-term partnerships. Kelly also has experience with small business disputes, dissenting shareholder valuation litigation, environmental cost recovery actions, and non-product liability personal injury cases (both for plaintiffs and defendants), including motor vehicle accidents.
In addition to her litigation practice, Kelly has handled pro bono matters ranging from municipal court representation in New Jersey to representation of a death row client in post-conviction relief proceedings in Alabama. She has served as head of the Firm’s pro bono committee and assists associates handling pro bono litigation matters. Kelly is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and a former Trustee for the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey. She has served a 10-year term as a Member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Model Civil Jury Charges. Among other associations, she is a member of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute Legal Advisory Board, the Trial Attorneys of America, and the International Association of Defense Counsel. Kelly is a speaker on panels relating to mass tort and products liability litigation.
In 2021, Kelly was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and to the welfare of their communities.
Since 2017, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business Client’s Guides, has recognized Kelly in the Products Liability Litigation field. In the Client Guide, sources commented that Kelly “asks good questions, quickly gets to the heart of the matter and is able to think on her feet.” Chambers sources say, “She is very dedicated and has strong instincts. She is driven to succeed for her clients.” “She’s a real fighter.” Clients call her “very knowledgeable,” and she is praised for her “fine attention to detail,” “ability to coordinate and strategize on a large scale,” and “strong trial capabilities, pointing to her long-standing courtroom experience.”
The New Jersey Law Journal named Kelly a “Diverse Attorney of the Year” in 2015 and a “New Jersey Trailblazer” for 2020. The Law Journal distinguishes select lawyers in New Jersey who make “significant marks” on the practice of law in their sectors.
In 2018, Kelly was honored by the Executive Women of New Jersey at its Salute to the Policy Makers Gala. The annual awards event honors women who have made significant contributions in the private or public sectors in New Jersey. Also in 2018, she was named one of New Jersey’s “Power 100” by NJBIZ. The annual list identifies the key people impacting business in New Jersey in a positive way.
Kelly was named 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” for Product Liability Litigation in the Newark region by Best Lawyers in America®, a peer review of U.S. lawyers. This honor is given annually to a single Product Liability Law attorney in each region. Best Lawyers has also listed Kelly in the field of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions and Product Liability Litigation since 2013. See Awards and Honors Methodology.
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Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation
Products Liability and Workplace/ Environmental Exposure Personal Injury Litigation
Mass-Tort / Multi-County Litigation
United States District Court, District of New Jersey
United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
United States District Court, Northern District of New York
United States District Court, Southern District of New York
United States District Court, Western District of New York
United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1993
Duke University, A.B., 1989
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Advocate, Order of Veritas
Member, Trial Law Institute
Member, Diversity Law Institute
Member, Trial Attorneys of America
Member, International Association of Defense Counsel