Cedar Rapids Attorney Nominated to Federal Appeals Court

By James Lynch, Reporter

A group of about 300 joggers and walkers head south of 29th Street NE on the Cedar River Trail at the start of the "take back the trail" event Wednesday, June 29, 2005. The event marked the one-year anniversary of when Assistant U.S. Public Defender Jane Kelly of Cedar Rapids was brutally attacked near the same site on the trail. Kelly led the group.

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By Ellen Kurt

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Jane Kelly of the U.S. Public Defender's Office in Cedar Rapids has been nominated by President Obama to the United States Court of Appeals.

Kelly, an assistant federal public defender in the Northern District of Iowa since 1994, has been the supervising attorney in the Cedar Rapids office since 1999.

Obama said Kelly has proven herself to be not only a "first-rate" legal mind, but a faithful public servant.

Kelly was born and raised in Greencastle, Indiana. She received her B.A. summa cum laude in 1987 from Duke University and her J.D. cum laude in 1991 from Harvard Law School. After graduating from law school, Kelly clerked for the Honorable Donald J. Porter of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota. Subsequently, she also clerked for the Honorable David R. Hansen on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Prior to becoming an Assistant Federal Public Defender, Kelly worked briefly as a visiting instructor at the University of Illinois College of Law.

Since joining the Federal Public Defender’s Office, Kelly has argued numerous federal appellate cases, tried 14 cases to verdict in federal court, and argued countless motions.

In 2004, she received the John Adams Award from the Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, which is given annually to an Iowa attorney who has dedicated his or her career to defending the indigent.

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