Skip to Content


Kelly Kono applies her natural competitive drive to every case she handles to obtain the best possible results for her clients. She has comprehensive experience handling all phases of the litigation process from pre-litigation investigation through dispositive motions and trial. Kelly manages every case with an eye toward trial in order to ensure the most favorable outcomes throughout every step of litigation.

As a young attorney, Kelly has gained extensive trial experience. She has successfully second-chaired several trials to verdict for high-profile medical and professional clients while taking on key roles throughout the process.

Kelly concentrates her practice in the defense of health care professionals, institutions and long-term care facilities in various types of litigation including personal injury and wrongful death. She has substantial experience defending these matters from pre-litigation claims all the way to post-trial motions. Kelly also has significant experience representing many types of employers, including healthcare employers, in employment practice matters before state, local, and federal investigatory bodies and courts.

Kelly also devotes her practice to the defense of products, premises and construction liability matters. She excels at handling these claims both in and out of the courtroom in an effective and efficient fashion.

Kelly earned her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law. She attended law school as a Celia M. Howard Fellow. While in law school, she participated in the Chicago Bar Association’s Moot Court Competition and served on the Executive Board of the University of Illinois Journal of Law, Technology & Policy as Administrative Editor. She also served as a judicial extern to Cook County Circuit Judge Debra B. Walker.

She earned her bachelor’s degree, with the College of Arts & Sciences Honors, with a double major in Political Science and English from Washington University in St. Louis. During her time there, she was a four-year member of the varsity swim team, earning 20 NCAA All-American citations, including two runner-up finishes at the NCAA finals. She was also a four-year member of the Academic All-Conference Team and was named to the 2008 Academic All-American Team by ESPN the Magazine.

In her spare time, Kelly volunteers as a member of the Washington University Alumni and Parent Admission Program. She also enjoys skiing, scuba diving, and CrossFit.


  • The University of Illinois College of Law, J.D. 2013, magna cum laude
  • Washington University in St. Louis, B.A. 2009

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Related Practices

Professional Experience

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC)
  • Women’s Bar Association of Illinois


Pretzel Attorneys and Staff Participate in Race Judicata

  Pretzel & Stouffer attorneys and staff, David Bennett, Donald Eckler, Jonathan Federman, Quinn Donnelly, Aimee Alvarez, Alex Beehler, Caitlin Donohue, Scott Howie, Kelly Kono, Mary Norris, Paula Villela, and Calvin Townsend, ran in Race Judicata last night. The 5K race benefits Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.    

September 2019 | Community


Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment for Premises Owner

Stephen Veltman and Kelly Kono recently obtained summary judgment in a matter involving a slip and fall accident on a wet substance in the lobby of an office building during inclement winter weather that the plaintiff claimed resulted in a substantial ankle injury which required two surgeries. Steve and Kelly argued that the plaintiff could ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Dismissal for Youth Baseball Team

David Bennett and Kelly Kono, recently obtained a final dismissal of a case for two clients, a youth baseball tournament organizer and a youth baseball team, under the contact sports exception. In Illinois, participants have no duty to avoid negligent conduct while competing in a contact sport such as baseball. During a 14U travel baseball ...

July 2019