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KellyGram – Gee, the Traffic is Terrific!

 

 


We are in the prime of holiday festivities, and my calendar is filled with events to celebrate the season with friends, family, and colleagues across South Carolina. With my immediate family divided between Columbia and the Florence/Myrtle Beach area, I’ve been doing more traveling than usual—my poor car has driven over 6,000 miles in the last six weeks!! On the whole, when my destination promises time spent with my loved ones, I don’t mind hitting the road. However, as a personal injury lawyer, I am all too aware that, when it comes to driving, the most wonderful time of the year can also be the most dangerous time of the year due to an increase of drivers engaging in these behaviors:

  • Fatigued Driving: In addition to our usual responsibilities, the holidays bring more social engagements and household chores that keep us on the go and, often, unrested. But fatigued driving is dangerous—someone who is operating their car without having had sufficient sleep is three times more likely to be involved in a crash.
  • Impaired Driving: For some, the holiday spirit can inspire overindulgence on holiday spirits. On average, during the last two weeks of December, 40% of traffic fatalities stem from crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. So, especially during this time, stay mindful of your surroundings and know that you may very well be sharing the road with an impaired driver.
  • Distracted Driving: Whether it’s due to texting warm holiday wishes to friends, checking social media, or gazing at Christmas lights, statistics show that, during the winter holiday, distracted driving increases by one-third. So put away your smartphone and be on the lookout for inattentive travelers!

As I usually spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s in Myrtle Beach, working from the Mike Kelly Law Group office on the Grand Strand, I am witness to these driving don’ts on a grand scale. Myrtle Beach is no longer just a summertime resort—more and more people are bringing their families to the area for Christmas every year. The swell of tourism means that the road is filled with drivers who are not familiar with the roadways, who are looking at maps on their smartphones, and who may have had a few too many as sometimes happens in Myrtle Beach. So, although my cautionary advice may seem exaggerated to some, I understand firsthand the dangers of these driving behaviors and assure you that it is not.

With that said, no matter how far away you roam this holiday season, if you plan to be on the road, please exercise caution and stay attentive! Let’s make this holiday a safe and happy one!

Warmly,

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – BIG NEWS! New Year, New Home!

 

 


Without a doubt, 2018 has been a whirlwind of new blessings and exciting changes, particularly with regard to my personal life. Ready for more, I am pleased to announce that 2019 is teeing up to be another transformative year for me, this time, professionally. Mike Kelly Law Group is on the move—moving up, moving forward, and moving our Columbia location!

Beginning January 2, 2019, MKLG will be sporting a new address—1523 Huger Street, Suite A—conveniently located across the street from our current office.

Because the law and the legal industry are ever-evolving, so is the Mike Kelly Law Group. Every day, we strive to be more knowledgeable, more resourceful, and more effective than the day before. Naturally, as the firm has grown and changed, so has its needs. Our new office is optimally configured to support MKLG’s current operations, allowing us to offer even better and more efficient legal services.

For nearly two decades, the office at 500 Taylor Street has served me well, and some of my fondest and proudest memories reside there. But what I love most about the space is the group of brilliant, charismatic, and passionate men and women I share it with—my MKLG family—and they’re all coming with me! My team and I are thrilled to launch this next chapter together, and the move is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more, exciting changes in store for 2019, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, and always, we’re here for the people of South Carolina!

Sincerely yours,

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Home Sweet Home

 

 

Ask anyone who knows me, and they will agree—I am a card-carrying, foam-finger-wearing cheerleader for the Midlands community, especially when it comes to the city of Columbia. Although I am not originally from Columbia, I have lived in the city for 47 years. My children (and granddaughter!) were born and raised here and, to me, it is home!!! Though it has its shortcomings just as any other town does, I could go on all day about the innumerable, wonderful things that I absolutely love about Columbia, SC. Fortunately for you, I can’t type fast enough to list them all (LOL!), so I’ll limit my rave to just the highlights.

For starters, I love local people and neighborhoods. Columbia is indeed a city of neighborhoods. A little-known fact is that Columbia is made up of approximately 90 neighborhoods. Perhaps it is for this reason that, despite Columbia’s large population, many of its residents—myself included—feel as though this city is more like a tight-knit community. It warms my heart to know that, just about anywhere I go these days, I will run into a neighbor or friend. The fellowship and communion among the people of our city is extremely special and makes me proud to call Columbia my home.

In addition to the flourishing and ever-growing sense of community in Columbia, the city has exploded in terms of its vibrancy and overall quality of living. One of my extra-favorite subjects is the local food scene, which is growing exponentially every day. The newly-opened BayLeaf restaurant is now serving up modern Indian cuisine in the Vista, and Halls Chophouse and Hendrix will be making their Main Street debuts within the next two months. But this growth would not be possible but for our city’s excellent leadership, from the Mayor and City Council, to the administrative heads, to the Yellow Shirts on Main Street. These men and women have worked hard to grow our city into what it is today, and I appreciate and commend their efforts!

Long live Columbia, my home!

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Counting Blessings

 

 

Thanksgiving is upon us, and I recently read a devotional that really stimulated my appreciation for this holiday. The reading made me keenly aware of the significant amount of time that we, as human beings, spend wishing, hoping, or praying for things to go our way as compared to the time we spend expressing thanks for all of life’s gifts. I am no exception to the rule, and far too often find myself so caught up in the day-to-day that I forget to count my many blessings.

Still, as I grow older and (hopefully) wiser, I find myself living more in the present each day and drawing joy from what’s around me. When I take a step back to reflect on my life on this earth thus far, I am, quite simply, humbled and amazed by the countless, wonderful experiences, opportunities, and people I’ve encountered. As a KellyGram reader, you have shared in some of my latest blessings with me this year—my first grandchild and my beautiful bride, to name a few. This Thanksgiving, I intend to take some time to sit down and write down all for which I am most thankful, and would encourage you to do the same. Even better still, I have made a promise to myself that, from this day forward, when I find myself ruminating over that which could be better, I will turn my attention to the innumerable ways in which my life is already so, so good.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Why We Do What We Do

 

 

As we approach one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving, I have taken time to sit down with my team at MKLG and discuss why we do what we do as legal professionals. The bottom line is that—across the board—we all want to dedicate our careers and talents to helping people. I have said 10,000 times that no one walks through the doors of Mike Kelly Law Group and asks for our services because they are all well and good. Whether they are sick, injured, disabled, put out by their insurance company, or otherwise harmed, the folks we consult with every day have one thing in common: they don’t want to hire an attorney. These individuals come to our firm because their lives have been disrupted and cannot be restored without our help. My teammates and I don’t take this responsibility lightly—we roll up our sleeves and fight hard to get our clients real results.

We at the Mike Kelly Law Group are grateful to be in a position to positively impact the lives of others and, especially at this time of thanksgiving, we want to thank the many people that refer themselves and their friends, family, and neighbors to the firm. A referral is the highest form of compliment, and we honor your confidence in us with a commitment to excellence.

We’re the Mike Kelly Law Group, and we’re here for the people of South Carolina.

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Grassroots Politics

 

 

In anticipation of Tuesday’s midterm elections, we have all received an extra dose of politics over the past few weeks. Having graduated with a degree in political science, I am both fascinated and appalled by today’s political landscape. But focusing on a local election in Fairfield County over the past month or so reignited my civic pride and enthusiasm for democracy. For the past decade, Mike Kelly Law Group has maintained an office in Winnsboro, and we do not believe in generating profits in Fairfield without being part of the fabric of the community. One of the ways I stay involved is by following local politics and supporting candidates who are established community leaders and genuinely dedicated to public service. So naturally, when my great friend Clarence Gilbert announced that he was running for Fairfield County Council, I was thrilled!

Clarence Gilbert is a lifelong Fairfield County resident and a family man if ever there was one. He made his living in the corporate world before launching his own small business about 15 years ago. Among his other numerous contributions to his community, Clarence is a deacon at his church, St. Mark Baptist, and Vice Chair of the Fairfield Memorial Board of Trustees, and he served on the Fairfield Behavioral Health Service Board for six years. And now, commencing January 1, 2019, he will be the newly elected Fairfield County Council representative from District 7! I had the privilege of moderating a candidate forum in Winnsboro several weeks ago, and I’m excited to see Clarence’s common-sense approach implemented as he works to address the pressing issues in his county. Working with Clarence on his campaign—and celebrating his victory on election night at Mike Kelly Law Group’s East Washington Street office in Winnsboro—has reinvigorated my confidence in the power of public service and our political process. Congratulations, Clarence!

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – A Solemn Promise: America’s Missing in Action

 

 

Early this week, my friend Ron Hagell of the Col. Jack Van Loan Chapter 303 of the Vietnam Veterans of America shared with me an upcoming event, sponsored by his local Chapter, that is not to be missed. On November 12th at 6:00 pm, the Nickelodeon Theatre in downtown Columbia will be hosting a free screening of the film A Solemn Promise: America’s Missing in Action in observation of Veterans Day. Following North Korea’s recent release of the remains of 55 American service members previously listed as Missing in Action, this film is sure to deliver a timely and poignant message about what the promise of “we will leave no one behind” truly means to our troops, their families, and our nation.

 

Though I never enlisted, I have the utmost respect and gratitude for those individuals who have served and who continue to serve, defend, and protect the liberties upon which America was built. We, as a nation, need to rally behind our troops and understand the sacrifices our veterans and their families have made on our behalves. With that goal in mind, I intend to seize this opportunity to view A Solemn Promise and encourage you all to join by booking your free tickets here!

Have a blessed weekend,

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Happy Haunting!

 

 

I find Halloween to be perhaps the most unique holiday, with its rich history expanding to cultures across the globe. Halloween originated around 2,000 years ago in the area that we recognize today as Ireland, where the Celts (maybe my ancestors!) held their Samhain festival on October 31st to mark the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead blurred together on Halloween, so they wore costumes to ward off ghosts. The tradition has spread and evolved over the millennia, but on Wednesday, we will still don our costumes and a-haunting we will go!

My wife loves all things Halloween, and she has even gotten me into festivities this year. Still, as a longtime personal injury lawyer, when I think about costume parties and trick-or treating, my mind, by default, reverts to Halloween safety. The bottom line is: BE CAREFUL! If you’re walking door to door with your children, keep them close and make sure to wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight or headlamp. No ghoul and goblin is as frightening as this statistic: children in the US are more than twice as likely to be fatally struck by a vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year. Scary, right? So keep your heads up and your phones down, travel in well-lit areas, and don’t jaywalk.

And, for those of you daring enough to venture out on All Hallow’s Eve, be on high alert while on the road. Drive slowly through residential areas, be on the lookout for trick-or-treaters, and enter crosswalks, driveways, or areas with poor visibility cautiously. Most importantly, if you’re going to be celebrating Halloween with “boos” and “spirits,” don’t get behind the wheel!

Have a spook-tacular Halloween!!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – It’s Fall, Y’all!

 

 

We are finally in the fall season, and it is one of my favorite times of the year! Not only is there Gamecock football every Saturday, but fall also tends to bring with it delicious seasonal menus, exciting festivals across the Midlands and, oh? Did I mention football? LOL! Plus, in just 20 days Frank Martin’s and Dawn Staley’s b-ballers will be hitting the courts. What can I say? I love the excitement of the season!

 

And, of course, beautiful weather rolls in with the season. Folks in Columbia are finally able to endure the outdoors for more than five minutes, and there’s even an invigorating briskness in the air. I’m looking forward to spending some time in the North Carolina mountains to leaf peep and absorb and enjoy Mother Nature’s tranquility and magnificence. The Smoky Mountains are humbling and grounding, and serve to perfectly balance out the adrenaline that comes with my favorite college sports!

Happy Fall, Y’all!

Have a great weekend, 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – The Last Call

 

 

As many of you know, I have strong connections to Florence both personally and professionally. The Mike Kelly Law Group regularly represents clients from the Florence and Darlington area, and geographically speaking, it is a logical midpoint between the firm’s Columbia home office and its Myrtle Beach operation. What’s more, my wife is a Florentine and an employee of the city. Needless to say, I feel very much at home in Florence, SC. 

Recently, “Florence” has come to be associated with devastation. Mere weeks after Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on the Carolinas, we turned on the news and watched in horror as a tragic scene unfolded in a covetable Florence, SC neighborhood. On October 3, 2018, a gunman opened fire from a home on deputies of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office as they attempted to serve a warrant on a resident of the household. Florence City police officers came to the assistance of the Sheriff’s deputies in what would become a two-hour standoff. The gunman killed one responder, Sergeant Terrence Carraway, and wounded six more law enforcement officers before being taken into custody. Sgt. Carraway had recently received a pin from the Florence Police Department commemorating his 30 years of public service.

My wife, Beverly, had the honor of knowing Sgt. Carraway, though I regretfully did not. What I do know of him, though, is that he was an outstanding public servant who gave back to his community, and that he was a man of faith and a true servant leader. Sgt. Carraway profoundly impacted the lives of innumerable members of the Florence community, and thousands of those individuals gathered this week at the Florence Civic Center to pay their respects. The funeral service held there in honor and remembrance of Sgt. Terrence Carraway was beautiful and moving, and ended with a powerful yet heartbreaking delivery—the last call.

The injuries and death sustained by the men and women in blue is a sad and momentous commentary on the times in which we live. Here’s hoping that the Terrence Carraways of this world will continue to bravely and honorably to serve in the police and first responder realm, and may his memory never be forgotten.

Have a blessed weekend,

 

Mike Kelly

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