• Available in Los Angeles, Central Coast, Orange County
  • Mediation Only


Kelly A. Knight has in-depth experience in matters involving employment law, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage-and-hour, class actions, and Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) claims; all types of personal injury; professional malpractice; and business/contractual matters. He started his litigation career in a high-profile law firm representing both plaintiffs and defendants in complex business and employment matters. Kelly also gained valuable insights as a claims professional for a national carrier.

While in private practice, he successfully resolved a high-profile, complex dispute after he was sought out by community leaders to mediate based on his proven people skills and legal acumen. This kindled his passion for mediation, and he went on to join the L.A. Superior Court PI CRASH program and U.S. District court mediation panel and began privately mediating matters, gaining invaluable experience and continuing to fuel his growing enthusiasm for resolving disputes as a neutral. With an expanding record for success and growing reputation, Kelly decided to make the transition to full-time mediator.

Heralded for his quick study habits and calm demeanor, Kelly has a knack for mastering cutting-edge legal issues and utilizing a multitude of strategies and approaches to help bring closure for all parties. One attorney commented, “I’ve never seen a mediator as well-prepared as Kelly. He conducted a pre-mediation call and knew the facts (and the law) like the back of his hand. He arrived at the mediation with a multi-page outline, which included his own research, and that included both sides’ strengths, weaknesses and pressure points. Kelly effectively used those pressure points on both sides all day long and was aggressive and tenacious.”


Hobbies & Interests

Kelly is a fan of NBA basketball, jazz music, and strategy board gaming.



I wanted to thank him for staying late, for helping get a highly contentious case settled, and for being a stand-up guy. His approach to mediating was refreshing, engaging and enlightening.
- Attorney on an Employment Sexual Harassment Dispute

Kelly is a combination of aggressiveness, tenacity, and knowledge (very knowledgeable in employment law).
- Attorney on an employment wrongful-termination and wage-and-hour matter

Just wanted to reiterate what a great job you did today. I really appreciate all your efforts, and I’m sure [opposing counsel] does, too. Thank you for saving our clients from themselves.
- Attorney on a multi-plaintiff wage-and-hour matter

You went way, way above and beyond. We can't thank you enough.
- Attorney on a catastrophic personal-injury case

Thanks for all your support in getting it done for us. Most of all, thank you for listening to the law and taking the time to test the accuracy of what I was claiming. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when a full day mediation goes by with little discussion on the actual case law.
- Attorney on an Employment Wrongful Termination & Discrimination Dispute

Mr. Knight was very patient and methodical with regard to the complicated legal and factual issues. He was also very respectful to the client.
- Attorney on an Employment Wrongful Termination & Discrimination Dispute

He was tenacious. He knew the risks and explained them well. He had a great attitude.
- Attorney on an Employment Sexual Harassment Dispute

You handled the tough personalities and disparate interests expertly, and achieved a result that no party liked, but both would accept. A perfectly handled mediation.
- Attorney on an Employment Wrongful Termination and Discrimination Dispute

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Links and Articles

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Full-time Mediator at Judicate West (2018-Present)
  • MSC Settlement Officer, L.A. County Superior Court CRASH Settlement Program (2017-Present)
  • Panel Mediator, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (2018-Present)
  • Sole Practitioner, Law Offices of Kelly A. Knight, practicing employment, personal injury, medical malpractice, business litigation, class action, and more (2009-2014; 2016-2018)
  • Shareholder/Partner, The deRubertis Law Firm, APC, practicing complex employment, personal injury, class action, and more (2014-2016)
  • Litigation Associate, Miller Barondess, LLP, practicing complex business litigation (2006-2009)
  • Claims Professional, Liberty Mutual (2002-2003)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., University of Southern California (2006)
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley (1998-2002)
  • Pepperdine’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Mediating the Litigated Case (2018)
  • Member, Southern California Mediation Association
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section (Current)
  • Member, Korean American Bar Association of Southern California (2004-Current), Board of Governors (2006-2014)
  • Member, Japanese American Bar Association

Legal Experience

  • All types of employment matters including class action and PAGA, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower, disability accommodations, and more
  • Personal Injury including auto, premises liability, and more
  • Business/Contractual
  • Professional Negligence
  • Real Property

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases


A.D.A Act

  • Pregnancy-discrimination, failure-to-accommodate, and retaliation case alleging failure to accommodate medical visits after miscarriage and major alleged after-acquire-evidence issue.


  • Post-trial mediation of business investment-fraud and breach-of-contract case, mediated before post-trial motions and appeal.
  • Business dispute over funding of investment projects and related repayment obligations, validity and enforceability of debt instruments, and lien claims.


Breach of Contract

  • Unpaid-commissions/breach-of-contract case brought by highly compensated outside sales representative.

Constructive Discharge

  • Ousted executive and co-founder of company brought share-buyback, wrongful-termination, breach-of-fiduciary-duty, and other claims against company and its co-owners.


  • Constructive-discharge case where plaintiff claimed failure to remedy discrimination and obtained new employment before leaving the defendant's employment; additional complicating factor of employer's admitted prior failure to accommodate plaintiff's disability that preceded the alleged constructive discharge and that was finite in duration given that plaintiff was released without restrictions before the alleged constructive discharge.
  • Pregnancy discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and constructive-discharge case brought by employee where employer closed business soon after receiving constructive-discharge letter

EWT and Discrimination

  • Interactive-process and accommodations case with different liability and damage allegations tied to the these claims versus the accompanying wrongful-termination claim
  • Seven-figure executive wrongful-termination case involving disability, executive-payment, and other claims.
  • Wrongful termination case for high-earning executive alleging termination of employment to avoid company paying out employee's alleged entitlement to equity share of sale proceeds in connection with large private company's anticipated sale, with additional FEHA and other claims.
  • Disability-accommodations/wrongful-termination case against government-contractor employer involving undue-burden defense of contractual staffing obligations to satisfy government contract.
  • Constructive-discharge claim premised on alleged discrimination based on language requirement brought by employee passed over for promotion.
  • Disability-accommodations case where plaintiff alleged wrongful termination and failure to accommodate resulting in termination of employment one week after returning from psychiatric hospitalization.
  • Age-discrimination and harassment case involving alleged age-related termination of 25-year employee.
  • Wrongful-termination/disability-accommodations case brought by construction worker who was allegedly not called back for new job projects after suffering workplace injury.
  • Wrongful-termination and retaliation case including claims of race discrimination, harassment, and retaliation brought by salesperson who was sole person laid off as part of a redistricting/restructuring a few months after filing HR complaint.
  • Whistleblower-retaliation case brought by employee who raised complaints of illegal activity and was included in group termination.

Negligent Hiring

  • Wage-and-hour case involving alleged improper commission sales plan where minimum wages paid were allegedly credited against commissions owed.


  • PAGA action on behalf of truck drivers involving question of federal preemption.
  • Statewide wage-and-hour action class action against public company including claims of auto-deducted meal-period time, meal-period timing issues, on-premises rest-period requirements, Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act, and more.
  • PAGA action involving claims of unpaid on-call time and drive time.

Pregnancy Discrimination

  • Pregnancy-accommodations/discrimination case involving employee told not to return on the last day before starting maternity leave.

Sexual Harassment

  • Sexual-harassment, retaliation, and wrongful-termination case involving graphic text messages and images exchanged between owner of company and employee and allegedly retaliatory layoff after employee sought to end the exchanges, with additional alleged post-termination retaliation.
  • Sexual-orientation discrimination, harassment, and retaliation case brought by company executive.
  • Case involving multiple alleged sexual assaults including rape against employer and its CEO with related FEHA sexual-harassment and constructive-discharge claims, high emotional issues, large alleged general damages including alleged diagnosed PTSD, and insurance coverage issues.
  • Sexual harassment, retaliation, and constructive-discharge case against employer and employer's managing agent with claim of fully disabling psychiatric injury as a result.
  • Multi-plaintiff harassment and constructive-discharge case after change of ownership of business
  • Quid pro quo sexual-harassment case in the entertainment industry
  • Sexual-harassment, constructive discharge, and disability-accommodations case where employee went on medical leave due to being scheduled to work on same shift as alleged and reported harasser while investigation was still pending and despite prior complaints.
  • Wrongful-termination, sexual-harassment, retaliation, and failure-to-accommodate case where former employee alleged retaliation for opposing sexual harassment and wrongful termination while on medical leave for cancer.
  • Sexual-harassment case brought by employee alleging physical harassment occurring at overseas locations during international travel.
  • Sexual-harassment case brought by hotel worker with numerous disciplinary write-ups alleging harassment by multiple coworkers.
  • Sexual-harassment case brought by hotel worker with numerous disciplinary write-ups alleging harassment by multiple coworkers

Wage and Hour

  • Wrongful-termination, retaliation, and accommodations case involving alleged retaliation for harassment complaint and termination for medical-marijuana use.
  • Disability accommodations and interactive-process case with large emotional damages alleged as a result of employment termination.
  • Wage-and-hour action brought by former restaurant manager alleging improper exemption misclassification.
  • Salary/exemption and independent contractor misclassification case for long-term in-home caregiver with claims under the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and other Labor Code wage-and-hour claims.
  • Whistleblower-retaliation case involving current employee who alleged that supervisor sabotaged his transfer and job-change requests in retaliation for plaintiff's safety complaints

Wage and Hour Class Action

  • Wage-and-hour class action on behalf of agricultural workers with issues involving donning/doffing and other off-the-clock work, rounding, meal/rest timing and control issues, and more.
  • Wage-and-hour class and PAGA action brought on behalf of electricians alleging meal-/rest-break claims, including alleged improper auto-deduction for meal periods, and derivative unpaid-wage and pay-stub claims.
  • Wage-and-hour and PAGA case against grocery chain alleging unlawful rounding and meal- and rest-break violations.
  • Wage-and-hour class and PAGA representative action raising exemption misclassification claims on behalf of managers.

Whistleblower Wrongful Term

  • Whistleblower-retaliation case brought by employee alleging uncovering and reports of business fraud on customers.

Wrongful Termination

  • Wage-and-hour salary exemption case brought by high wage-earner plus allegations of harassment and battery.
  • Associational-disability-discrimination case brought by employee who required leave to pick up child from school due to child's health emergency.
  • Associational disability-discrimination case involving employee needing continued leave to care for father.
  • Wrongful termination (disability/accommodations) and wage-hour administrative-exemption case brought by worker terminated after suffering serious injury outside work.
  • FEHA disability-accommodations case involving worker's comp cross-over issues, collective-bargaining/union issues, and long-term medical restrictions over a period of years.
  • Retaliation and wrongful-termination case involving alleged retaliation for safety complaint.
  • Disability accommodations case brought by employee whose employment was terminated while on extended leave.
  • Wrongful-termination/disability-discrimination case brought by employee who was fired shortly after medical leave due to alleged material omission on resume.
  • Constructive-discharge case brought by former employee alleging that employer's requirement to get a no-accommodations note from a doctor constituted improper medical exam/inquiry and disability discrimination after former employee disclosed disease.

Real Estate


  • Real property and business purchase-and-sale dispute over purchase of assisted-living facility. Mediation started with businesses lawyered up and attending mediation perfunctorily to satisfy contractual mediation clause as prerequisite to filing lawsuit; mediation ended with all parties in the same room closing the deal and discussing potential second major deal and future business together.


Premises Liability

  • Slip and fall on liquid left by customer at cashier checkout location of retail store.
  • Trip-and-fall case with large medical specials, loss of earnings, and fusion-surgery recommendation.
  • Slip-and-fall case involving concussion and knee and wrist tendon tears including surgical repair.

Downtown Los Angeles

601 S. Figueroa
Ste 4000
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213.223.1113
Fax      : 213.223.1114

Los Angeles Mediation

West Los Angeles

11601 Wilshire Blvd
Ste 2040
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: 310.442.2100
Fax      : 310.442.2125

Mediators Los Angeles

San Diego

402 W. Broadway
Ste 2400
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619.814.1966
Fax      : 619.814.1967

San Diego Mediation

Santa Ana

1851 East First Street
Ste 1600
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: 714.834.1340
Fax      : 714.834.1344

Orange County Mediation

San Francisco

100 Pine Street
Ste 1950
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.266.1242
Fax      : 415.266.1243

San Francisco Mediation


980 9th Street
Suite 2200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.394.8490
Fax      : 916.394.8495

Sacramento Mediation