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Kelly Quinn | Partner


Kelly Quinn has over 20 years of experience representing clients in appeals to the Ninth Circuit, California Courts of Appeals, and the California Supreme Court. She is recognized by the California State Bar as a certified specialist in criminal writs and appeals, meaning that Ms. Quinn is one of few attorneys in the state with comprehensive knowledge and a high level of expertise in criminal appeals.

Ms. Quinn also works with the firm’s trial attorneys on cases with unique or complicated legal issues. Her skillful motion practice has led to overturning several convictions and dismissing numerous serious felony cases. Ms. Quinn has a certificate in surveillance law and is one of the few attorneys experienced in electronic surveillance and privacy law issues, including cases involving the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“CALECPA”) and the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”).

Ms. Quinn also has extensive experience in firearms law and has successfully represented gun owners in federal and state cases involving allegations of illegal firearm possession, unlawful firearm dealing, and possessing or manufacturing explosive devices. She has previously lent her expertise to outside counsel for the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (“CRPA”).

Ms. Quinn received her juris doctorate from Pepperdine University, where she served on the Pepperdine Law Review and won the Dalsimer moot court competition, which focuses entirely on appellate practice.

Ms. Quinn speaks conversational French.

Published Works

  • Attacking the Use of Physical Evidence Seized Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”), The Champion, November 2016
  • How to Apply Proposition 47's Reclassification and Firearms Provisions, Los Angeles Lawyer, March, 2015
  • Incident to Arrest, Los Angeles Lawyer, June, 2013
  • Just Taking, Property is Frequently Frozen in Criminal Proceedings in Violation of Due Process Protections, Los Angeles Lawyer, July/August, 2011
  • International Extradition and Constitutional Rights: Time For Change, White Collar Crime Committee Newsletter, May, 2007
  • People v. Eubanks, 25 Pepp. L. Rev. 256, 1997
  • People v. Bright, 24 Pepp. L. Rev. 1106, 1997
  • People v. Romero, 24 Pepp.L.Rev. 1421
  • Carlin v. Superior Court (Upjohn Co.), 25 Pepp.L.Rev.350

Representative Cases


University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law | LL.M. in International Criminal Law

Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California | J.D. cum laude - 1998

California State University, San Bernardino, California | B.A. - 1995

Awards &

Professional Associations and Memberships

Certified Appeals Specialist, The State Bar of California, 2010

Bar Admissions
  • California, 1998 U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit


A variety of recent changes to California law offer relief to people who have suffered criminal convictions.


Senate Bill 1437 went into effect on January 1, 2019. This law sets new limits on when a person can be convicted of murder. Additionally, under this provision, some persons previously convicted of murder can file a petition to have their convictions vacated. Pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.95, a defendant can petition to vacate his/her murder conviction if (1) the charge allowed the district attorney to argue a “felony murder” or a “natural and probable consequences” theory of guilt, (2) the defendant was convicted (by either a trial or a plea) of first-degree or second-degree murder, and (3) the defendant could not be convicted of murder if he/she were prosecuted now because of the changes made by SB 1437. If you or a loved one may qualify to petition for relief from a murder conviction, please contact Kelly C. Quinn for a case evaluation.


The Fair Sentencing for Youth Act (previously Senate Bill 9) was signed into law in January of 2013, and gives juvenile offenders who were sentenced to life without parole a chance for release after serving twenty-five years in state prison. Drawing from recent Supreme Court cases Miller v. Alabama and Roper v. Simmons—which require that children and adults be treated differently at sentencing—this new law recognizes that children have a heightened capacity for change and rehabilitation.

Under the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act, juvenile offenders who were sentenced to life without parole may petition the court for a resentencing hearing after serving at least fifteen years in state prison. If the judge grants the petition, the court will conduct a resentencing hearing where the court may impose a sentence of twenty-five years to life. If you or a loved one may qualify to petition for a resentencing hearing, please contact Elizabeth Little, for a case evaluation.


Two recently enacted laws, Senate Bill 260 and Senate Bill 261, have significantly altered the parole process for individuals who are serving state prison sentences for crimes committed under the age of 23. These new laws give young offenders serving harsh sentences a meaningful opportunity for release by creating a special youth offender parole process.

Senate Bill 260 went into effect on January 1, 2014, and requires the Board of Parole Hearings to conduct youth offender parole hearings for individuals who were sentenced to state prison time for crimes they committed under the age of 18. Just one year later, SB 260 was signed into law, extending the youth offender parole process to individuals who were under the age of 23 at the time of their crime. Youth offender parole hearings provide individuals with the opportunity to demonstrate personal growth and rehabilitation, and show that they deserve a second chance.

As a result of these new laws, there are over 10,000 people currently eligible for a youth offender parole hearing in California. For more information regarding how our office may be able to help, please contact Elizabeth Little. While attending the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Ms. Little assisted in the drafting of the regulations that implement the youth offender parole process under Senate Bill 260 and Senate Bill 261.


Proposition 47 (“Prop 47”) passed on November 5, 2014, enacting sweeping changes to the Penal Code. Prop 47 provides that certain drug and theft crimes which were previously felonies or wobblers (crimes that can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors), may now be charged only as misdemeanors.

Prop 47 applies retroactively to persons who are currently serving a sentence for a conviction for one of the listed crimes. It also allows a person who has already completed their sentence to petition the trial court to reduce their felony conviction to a misdemeanor. This change in the law has resulted in immediate benefits for many defendants by allowing for early release from custody, termination of probation or parole, and the reduction of numerous qualifying felonies to misdemeanors.

A more detailed summary of this proposition is set forth in the attached article co-authored by Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP partner Kelly Quinn. The law provides for a deadline to file Prop 47 petitions; if you or a loved one think you may qualify for resentencing, please contact our office for more information regarding how we may be able to help.


In November of 2012, California voters passed Proposition 36 ("Prop 36"), which significantly altered the “three strikes” law. Prior to the passage of Prop 36, a defendant with two strikes for serious or violent felonies, could be sentenced to 25 years to life if convicted of any felony, even if the new offense was not serious or violent. This led to many defendants receiving 25 years to life for minor offenses, including petty theft. After the passage of Prop 36, most defendants will only get 25 years to life if his/her third felony conviction is also for a serious or violent crime.

This change in the law applies retroactively to persons who have already been sentenced and are serving time in custody. If you believe that you or a loved one were sentenced under the old “three strikes” law, you may qualify to petition the court for resentencing. Please contact our office for an evaluation.