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Donald E. Kelly, Esq.


  • JD Syracuse University College of Law
  • BA State University of New York at Oswego


  • New York



  • Syracuse NY

Donald E. Kelly, Esq.

Managing Partner

Don Kelly - Syracuse NY

Attentive to details, aggressive in the courtroom, and always open to listening to clients, Don is an ally to anyone charged with a felony or misdemeanor crime in New York. He has over 17 years of experience practicing criminal law and is a partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC. Don has been lead counsel in several high profile homicide and narcotics cases and has successfully secured outright dismissal of cases for clients charged with Murder and Class “A” Drug Felonies as well as lower level felonies and misdemeanors. Additionally, Don has acted pro-actively and has helped clients avoid criminal charges in white collar cases such as bank fraud and welfare fraud. He has even won the dismissal of indictment charges against accused bank robbers.

Although he is well-versed in trial tactics, Don also knows that it is often more beneficial to win cases before trial. That is why he carefully examines the charges and the proof from the inception of a criminal case. Don strives to leave no stone unturned in his endeavor to provide his clients with a successful defense.

Don joined Tully Rinckey PLLC in 2012 after running his own criminal defense practice in Syracuse for a decade. There he served as a lead attorney in over 50 jury trials. He is accomplished in all facets of criminal law, including sex crimes, drug crimes, property crimes, and violent crimes. His other legal experience includes working as a child support attorney obtaining reimbursement for public assistance paid on behalf of children for the Onondaga County Department of Social Services at the Onondaga County Civic Center in Syracuse.

Don is actively involved in the community. Don officiates scholastic football games in Central New York and serves as a Senior Hearing Examiner in the Syracuse Parking Violations Bureau where he adjudicates citizen complaints against the City of Syracuse regarding parking tickets. Additionally, he is vice president of the Onondaga County Bar Association's Assigned Counsel Program Board of Directors.

Don received his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oswego and his Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law.

Case Victories

  • Secured a Supreme Court decision dismissing all charges against their client. The client was facing a range of felony charges stemming from a shooting in the City of Syracuse. The client potentially could have spent the remainder of his life in jail for a crime he did not commit. He always maintained his absolute innocence of the crime and the court agreed.
  • Client was charged with possessing drugs with the intent to sell. We convinced the court this indictment lacked sufficient legal grounds to stand, and the searches leading to it were illegal. Ultimately, the evidence tied to the indictment was suppressed and we secured dismissal of all charges.

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