Kelly Pate Headshot

Kelly Fitzgerald Pate

  • (334) 269-3130
Download Resume
  • The University of Alabama
    B.A., 2001, Communications and Information Sciences, cum laude
  • Cumberland School of Law
    J.D., 2004, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions
  • Alabama, 2004
About Kelly
  • What types of clients do you represent?

    I work with private sector businesses as well as state and tribal governmental entities. I have worked with clients across a variety of industries, including automobile, education, healthcare, public utility, manufacturing, and trucking. With respect to employment matters, I represent employers of all sizes.

  • What type of matters do you work on most often?
  • What do you find most exciting about your work?
  • Which courts or agencies do you most often appear before on behalf of your clients?

Select Matters

  • Successful appeal affirming motion to dismiss tort and breach of contract claims against Tribe and individuals. Rape v. Poarch Band of Creek Indians et al., No. 1111250, 2017 WL 4325017 (Ala. Sept. 29, 2017)
  • Successful motions for summary judgment on seven of nine racially hostile work environment claims. Washington v. Utility Trailer Mfg. Co., No. 1:13-CV-610-WKW, 2017 WL 924469 (M.D. Ala. Mar. 8, 2017) 
  • Successful motion to dismiss claims of discrimination and retaliation based on constructive discharge, age discrimination, state and federal whistleblower retaliation, and state claims of breach of implied contract and the tort of outrage. (Birl-Johnson v. Regions Bank, No. 14-cv-1059, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120982 (M.D. Ala. Sept. 11, 2015))
  • Successful appeal affirming sovereign immunity defense as to state and federal law challenges. (Alabama v. PCI Gaming Auth., 801 F.3d 1278 (11th Cir. 2015)). Successful motion to dismiss in public university student expulsion case. (Cagle v. Rubley, No. 14-cv-04, 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 148887 (M.D. Ala. Oct. 20, 2014).
  • Successful defense in case alleging age and race discrimination. (Davis v. International Paper Co., 997 F. Supp. 2d 1225 (M.D. Ala. 2014)).
  • Successful motion to dismiss in employment layoff case. (McCray v. Auburn Univ. Montgomery, No. 11-cv-714, 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 32388 (M.D. Ala., Mar. 12, 2012)).
  • Successful defense in tenure denial case. (Martin v. Auburn Univ. Montgomery, 908 F. Supp. 2d 1259 (M.D. Ala. 2012)).
  • Successful defense in public university case alleging student's dismissal violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments. (Heenan v. Rhodes, 757 F. Supp. 2d 1229 (M.D. Ala. 2011)).
  • Successful defense of statute challenged as unconstitutional. (Northington v. Ala. Dep't of Conservation & Natural Res., 33 So. 3d 560 (Ala. 2010)).
  • Successful defense on basis of immunity against efforts to seek declaratory and injunctive relief. (Freemanville Water Sys. v. Poarch Band of Creek Indians, 563 F.3d 1205 (11th Cir. 2009)).



      Speaking Engagements


        • The University of Alabama, B.A., 2001, Communications and Information Sciences, cum laude
        • Cumberland School of Law, J.D., 2004, magna cum laude
        • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama
        • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
        • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama
        • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
        Bar Admissions
        • Alabama, 2004
        Professional Affiliations
        • MD AL Federal Bar Center, Board of Directors, 2014 - present
        • Federal Bar Association, 2006-present; Appellate Law and Practice Committee, Chair, 2014 - present; Vice-Chair, 2013 – 2014; Appellate Court Task Force, 2017-2018
        • Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum, Class 8, 2012; Lawyer University Chair, 2016-2018; Diversity of the profession, Subcommittee Chair, 2016-2018
        • Middle District of Alabama Pro Se Assistance Program, Director, 2014 - present
        • Montgomery Chapter, Federal Bar Association, Executive Board, 2007 - present; Past President, 2012 - 2013, Past Secretary/Treasurer, 2010 - 2012
        • Montgomery County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, Executive Board, 2006 - 2010
        • Hugh Maddox American Inn of Court, 2006 - present
        • Alabama State Bar Association, 2004 - present, various committee and group affiliations including: Leadership Forum Section, Litigation Section, Future of the Profession in Alabama Task Force; Law Day Committee, Chair; Lawyer University Committee, Chair, Diversity of the Profession, subcommittee Chair
        • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, 2006 - 2015
        • American Bar Association, 2004 - 2014
        • Defense Research Institute, 2006 - 2014


        Awards & Accolades
        • The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2015 - present
        • The Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, 2018
        • Benchmark Litigation Under 40 Hot List, 2016 & 2018
        • AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell, 2015 - present
        • Mid-South Super Lawyer, Rising Star, 2013 - present
        Community Involvement
        • Auburn University at Montgomery, Community Business Education Partners Project, Outreach, academic year 2014 - 2015
        • Family Sunshine Center, Board of Directors, 2015 - present
        • Britton YMCA, Board of Directors, 2007 - present
        • Hope Inspired Ministries, periodic mentor
        • Society of Human Resource Management-Montgomery, President, 2010
        • Junior League of Montgomery, 2007 - present; Board of Directors, Governance, 2015 - 2016
        • Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, Total Resources Campaign, volunteer, 2009 - present
        • Curia Honoris Honor Society for alumni of Cumberland School of Law, 2005 - present