Shannon L. Kennedy

Top rated civil litigation attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Kennedy Law Firm
Shannon L. Kennedy
Kennedy Law Firm

Practice Areas: Civil litigation, Civil rights; view more

Licensed in New Mexico since: 1994

Education: The University of New Mexico School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2008, 2010 - 2012, 2014 - 2023

Kennedy Law Firm

PO Box 26776
Albuquerque, NM 87125 Visit website


Currently, Kennedy is as partner at Kennedy Law Firm, a law firm located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and devoted to fighting for civil rights nationally.  Over the last decade, repeatedly, Kennedy has been recognized by her peers as a Super Lawyer.  The New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association recognized Shannon Kennedy with the 2017 AMICUS Award for Significant Contributions to the Advancement of the Law.  Most recently, Kennedy is the 2017 awardee of the National Bar Association’s 28th Annual Wiley A. Branton Civil Rights Attorney of the Year.

In 2003, Kennedy founded The Kennedy Law Firm with her husband and partner, Joseph P. Kennedy, so she could focus her practice on suing public employees in positions of authority, like teachers and police officers, who had committed crimes of sexual exploitation on their students, mentees or detainees.  She fights for women and girls, betrayed by the badge; and, for those of all genders who are survivors of sexual violence in the workplace, at home, school and in college.

By 2012, the Kennedys found themselves in the middle of a “Second Wave” of civil rights litigation involving police misconduct beyond that of sexual violence. Spurred on by the rise in police shootings, the proliferation of cell phone videos, officer’s body cameras, and social media; the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) had enough evidence to launch an investigation into “a pattern of excessive force, including deadly force” by the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).  The DOJ launched their official investigation into APD shortly after the Kennedys won an eight-figure jury verdict against an APD officer who shot and killed an Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD who held a gun to his own head in front of a 7-11 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Over the past five years, the Kennedys have received national media attention for more high-profile police shooting cases, including for representing the family of a homeless camper, James Matthew Boyd, shot and killed by City of Albuquerque Police Officers, a killing which was captured on a police body camera and sparked large public protests in the streets of the City of Albuquerque and criminal prosecution of the two shooting officers.

We’re always asking why these violations are taking place. What trends present violence in the first place? Where is the system broken? What policy and structural changes are needed to repair it?  - Shannon L. Kennedy


Practice areas

Civil litigation: plaintiff, Civil rights

Focus areas

Police misconduct, Discrimination

  • 50% Civil litigation: plaintiff
  • 50% Civil rights

First Admitted: 1994, New Mexico

Professional Webpage:

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Speaker: 2017 AAJ annual convention: Boston, MA : panel discussion- Damages in civil rights cases
  • Speaker:2016 AAJ annual convention: Los Angeles, CA: With Joseph Kennedy) Media Communications in the High Profile Case
  • Speaker: 2016: NPAP in NYC "Representing Children & Youth in Police Misconduct Cases"
  • Published: UNM Law Review 1994: State Constitutional Law - Refusing to Turn the Other Cheek - New Mexico Rejects Federal Good
  • Faith Exception to the Exclusionary Rule: State v. Gutierrez ( )
  • Continuing Legal Education (CLE) classes, Criminal Desfense Lawyers Association
  • CLE Seminar on Police Misconduct, ACLU-NM, 2002
  • 2017 NBA Wiley A. Branton Awardee
  • On April 21, 2017, the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Foundation held its 33rd Annual Amicus Honors Gala. The NMTLF took the unusual step of selecting dual honorees, Shannon and Joseph Kennedy, who have been protecting civil rights in New Mexico for over two decades.
  • Member, International Law Moot Court Team
Representative Clients:
  • DANNY HAWKES, et al., v. CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE, et al., Case No. Cause No. D-202-CV-2016-01373 Consolidated with Cause No. D-202-CV-2016-07919
  • D.G. v.THE CITY OF LAS CRUCES, et al., Case No. 2:14-cv-00368-MCA-WPL
  • James Matthew Boyd: ANDREW JONES, et al., v. CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE, ex rel. ALBUQUERQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT, Case No. D-202-CV-2014-04372
  • Kennedth Ellis Case: ANNELLE WHARTON, et al. v. CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE, et al., Case No. D-202-CV-2010-06590
  • Hobbs Discrimination Suit: BRANDON ELLIS, et al., v. HOBBS POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Case No. 2:17-cv-01011-SMV-GBW
  • Bruce Thompson, as Guardian Ad Litem for A.O., J.P. and G.G., Minor Children v. City of Albuquerque, et al. Case No. S-1-SC-35974
  • S.M., v. BLOOMFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT et al Case No. No. 1:16-cv-00823-SCY-WPL
  • Oscar Davis v. City of Albuquerque Police Officer Tom Sholits, CIV No. 01-0027WFD/LFG
  • State v. Boblick, 2004 NMCA 78, 135 N.M. 754, 93 P.3d 775
Educational Background:
  • University of New Mexico, Latin American Studies, 1994
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • New Mexico, 1994
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 1998
  • Member, New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member, New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association
  • Member, American Association for Justice

Office location for Shannon L. Kennedy

PO Box 26776
Albuquerque, NM 87125

Phone: 505-431-2167


14 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2008, 2010 - 2012, 2014 - 2023

Articles about Shannon L. Kennedy by Super Lawyers

Choosing Battles

Additional sources of information about Shannon L. Kennedy

Attorney resources for Shannon L. Kennedy

Page Generated: 0.06343412399292 sec