Jennifer B. Kaplan

Jennifer brings extensive experience in employment litigation to Kelly, Hockel & Klein.


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law.  Juris Doctor, 2007.  Executive Editor, Hastings International and Comparative Law Review.
  • University of California, San Diego.  Bachelor of Arts, Communications, 2001.
  • University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  Communications studies, 2000.


Admitted to practice before all state courts in California, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


Jennifer has broad litigation experience, having handled both single plaintiff and class action lawsuits arising under a wide range of law.  Her practice primarily focuses on representing management in employment litigation, including defending against claims of discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination, disability discrimination litigation, and general business litigation.

In 2011, Jennifer successfully defended Penske against a wrongful termination case in the Eastern District of California, winning summary judgment before Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill.  Judge O’Neill held that Plaintiff was not disabled under California law; that Plaintiff failed to satisfy his burden to trigger the interactive process and reasonable accommodation duties; that the evidence could not support a finding that the stated reason for terminating the Plaintiff was really a pretext for discrimination; and that there was no basis for an award of punitive damages.  Read the case HERE.

Prior to joining Kelly, Hockel and Klein, Jennifer worked in Washington, D.C. as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, where she was hired through the Attorney General’s Honors Program.  While at the Department of Justice, Jennifer defended the United States against challenges to the Government’s compliance with employment and disability rights laws, and constitutional and administrative challenges to federal statutes and programs.

Jennifer’s successes at the Department of Justice include defeating class certification and obtaining summary judgment on key claims in a case challenging the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Executive Office of United States Attorneys’ practices pertaining to third party information requests; obtaining dismissal of a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor challenging the constitutionality of the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act; and obtaining dismissal of  a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development challenging the legality of the Native American Housing and Self Determination Act’s grant investment provisions.  Ms. Kaplan also represented the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Recreation Area in an ongoing class action lawsuit under the federal disability discrimination laws.  Reported decisions on which Ms. Kaplan served as lead counsel include Feinman v. FBI, 269 F.R.D. 44 (D.D.C. 2010); Feinman v. FBI, 713 F. Supp. 2d 70 (D.D.C. 2010); Feinman v. FBI, 680 F. Supp. 2d 169 (2010).

Judicial Clerkship and Externship

Jennifer served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable William Q. Hayes of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California from September 2007-August 2009.  Jennifer also served as a Judicial Extern to the Honorable Carlos T. Bea of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from August 2006-December 2006.

Hobbies and Activities

Triathlon, teaching Pilates, skiing, hiking, and travelling.

Despite the air temperature being 38 degrees, and the water temperature being 55 degrees, Jennifer aved the Marin County Triathlon and placed 3rd in her age group, and 10th overall among women.  Congratulations Jen!