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Please use the links to the right to check out firm news and more information relating to these specific areas of law. Happy reading and please contact us if you have any questions that we can help answer.


KellyGram – Vote!

 

 

We have a big Election Day coming up on November 3rd, and as my long-time readers know, politics is an off-limits topic for the KellyGram. My intent today is not to tell you how to vote, but to say that no matter which candidates you support, please do get out and vote! Voting is perhaps THE most important right – as well as responsibility – that comes with being a U.S. citizen. That’s especially true this year, as the American people’s level of interest in the outcome of the election (particularly on a federal level) is at an all-time high!

With COVID-19 still very much among us, South Carolina’s election officials have made voting much more convenient this year by creating the option to cast an absentee vote in-person. There are numerous locations across the state where you can go to vote early and avoid the long lines and crowds on November 3rd. Personally, I do not plan to wait until Election Day in the midst of this pandemic to hit the polls, so I’ll be visiting one of these sites in the next few days. I encourage you to consider doing the same – check out SCVotes.gov to find the early voting location closest to you!

Stay safe, and VOTE!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Joseph Scibelli

 

 

This week, I am delighted to introduce Joe Scibelli as Mike Kelly Law Group’s newest attorney! Though Joe has been a member of the MKLG family since August, he has spent the past two months working closely with our legal team learning the ins and outs of the firm’s practice areas and operations while awaiting his Bar Exam results. As of last Friday, the wait is over—we’re proud to announce that Joe passed the Bar and is now a licensed South Carolina attorney!

As a new lawyer, Joe brings a lot to the table in terms of interest, enthusiasm, and talent, and he shares Mike Kelly Law Group’s values and commitment to helping others. He will be practicing out of our Myrtle Beach office, working primarily with our clients in the Pee Dee region and along the coast. We are excited to have Joe join our team of attorneys—now seven in total—as we continue to carry out Mike Kelly Law Group’s mission of providing exemplary client service to folks across this great state. Here’s to Joe Scibelli!

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 – My Eye-Opening Week

 

 

Last week was a very unusual experience for me—it was the first time I’ve been hospitalized in over 25 years. To make a long story short, for two weeks prior to my admission, I was having breathing problems upon exertion, like when I’d walk a few blocks or work out at the gym with my trainer. After much cajoling by my staff at Mike Kelly Law Group, last Wednesday I finally went to see my internist, Dr. Bradley Word. He performed an EKG and, much to my dismay, promptly ordered me into the hospital!

I was diagnosed with an atrial flutter—so off to Prisma Health Heart Hospital I went. It was certainly not the news I wanted to hear from my doctor, but it was a blessing that I sought medical attention when I did. Thanks to the excellent care from my nurses, Michelle, Carlos, Jennifer, and Michael, and Drs. Altman, Senn, and Isbell of Prisma Health Cardiology, I am as good as new after a successful cardiac ablation in the Cath lab. The atrial flutter is no longer an issue in Mike Kelly’s life, and I am extremely thankful for the exemplary medical care I received last week. Those two days in the hospital by myself really put my life in perspective and caused me to refocus my dedication to my family, my work, and my Maker!

Thanks to all of my caregivers, and thanks to God above, for fixing me up and allowing me to reboot and refocus the rest of my life! I am blessed!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Get Covered!

 

 

I try to keep the weekly KellyGram a balance between legal information and whatever happens to be on Mike Kelly’s mind at the time, LOL! I’m honored to say that my client base is numbered in the thousands, and it has been driven home to me in the last several weeks that, if there is one simple legal tip that folks need to hear from me, it is this:

Check your auto insurance policies and make sure you have sufficient uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage!

Car accidents can have catastrophic consequences—from life-altering injuries to the loss of a loved one. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of helping countless clients obtain a fair recovery after suffering these types of injuries. Unfortunately, though, I have also had to deliver heart-breaking news to too many accident victims: that their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses far exceed the amount of insurance carried by the driver who hit them. When they’ve declined to purchase underinsured motorist coverage, these individuals can find themselves facing a heavy financial burden on top of their physical and emotional injuries.

Please check your policies to make sure you have adequate uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance; it is the best way to protect yourself from ending up in this situation. The coverage is inexpensive and needs to be on every one of your automobiles. I hope it will never become necessary to use it, but if it does, you’ll be glad you had this protection in place. A tip from your lawyer, Mike Kelly!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Living & Learning in the Watershed

 

 

When I joined the Gills Creek Watershed Association several years ago, I was already championing many causes, but I was not particularly an environmentalist. I was persuaded to join the board by two friends of mine from St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, who were also board members, because of my previous fundraising experience. In the years since, I have learned SO much about environmental management and preservation through Gills Creek Watershed’s restore, educate, and advocate initiatives!

Roughly 185,000 Richland County residents live in the watershed, which travels from the Spring Valley/Wildewood area all the way down to the Congaree River, and the Gills Creek Watershed Association offers tons of resources to the public to learn more about this aspect of our local environment. Although we have had to alter the way we conduct business due to COVID-19, the Gills Creek Watershed Association is nonetheless on a roll in terms of restoring, educating, and advocating during the pandemic thanks to the organization’s leadership—including Board Chair Trish Jerman former Chair Madilyn Fletcher—along with its outstanding staff members, Carmony Adler (Executive Director) and Mary Virginia Tynan (Membership/Outreach Coordinator). We have some cool opportunities to get virtually involved coming up in the month of October, such as an online race and a free wildlife webinar—I encourage you to check them out and learn a bit about your own backyard!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Transitions

 

 

Today I want to salute a pillar in the Midlands community, Transitions, located at the corner of Main and Elmwood in downtown Columbia. Mike Kelly Law Group has been a proud supporter of Transitions for several years, and we cannot be more pleased with the work that the organization is doing to serve the homeless in our community. Not only does Transitions provide meals, transitional housing, employment services, and educational opportunities to those in need, but it also partners with over 55 area agencies—including LRADAC, MIRCI, Columbia Area Mental Health Center, and Cooperative Health—to ensure its clients have access to healthcare and other ancillary services.

Needless to say, homelessness takes a heavy toll on the mind and body, so much so that a person experiencing chronic homelessness is likely to have comparable or worse health conditions than someone who is decades older but with a permanent home. Unfortunately, securing permanent housing has proven to be a particularly difficult challenge for homeless individuals in 2020 due to a decline in employment opportunities and available affordable housing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the pandemic has also caused Transitions to see a decline in critical resources, including financial support and volunteers. Nonetheless, Transitions has continued to faithfully serve its clients and forge new partnerships during this unprecedented time.

I salute Transitions for its unwavering commitment to the homeless men and women of the Midlands—keep up the good work!

 

Sincerely,

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – A Hometown Hero: Dustin Johnson

 

 

I started playing golf when I was in middle school, and while I have never been particularly good at it, I have certainly enjoyed many, many rounds on the links with my friends over the years. Although I haven’t played lately, I’m still an avid golf watcher, and my favorite golfer in the last ten years has clearly been Dustin Johnson!

Dustin grew up in Irmo, went to Dutch Fork High School, and was an All-American at Coastal Carolina University. He has already won 23 PGA Tour events, with the latest being his greatest win thus far: the FedEx Cup Tour Championship, which concluded on Monday at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta. On Sunday and Monday, I watched every shot Dustin made and put in at least 8 hours watching him win the biggest payday in PGA tour history–$15 million!

Dustin grew up as a member of our stellar South Carolina Junior Golf Association, which has sent many South Carolina natives to the PGA and LPGA Tours. In my opinion, however, Dustin is the best golfer ever to come out of the state of South Carolina! When he is “dialed in,” as my friend Harry Bell commented to me yesterday, he is virtually unbeatable, and he is young enough that the best is yet to come! Dustin will take a short break, then next week he’ll be playing in the US Open Championship, which he won in 2016. After that, the Masters is set to be played in November, and he’s likely to be the favorite in both of these major tournaments!

Finally, it should be noted that Dustin does not just take his money and go home. He supports many charitable projects, namely the Dustin Johnson Foundation, which provides opportunities for youths to learn, play, and contend on the golf course.

Go DJ! Hit ’em straight!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Labor Day 2020

 

 

It is hard to believe that it is already September, but sure enough, Labor Day weekend is upon us! Labor Day traditionally signifies the end of the summer season and the start of fall activities like football games, baseball playoffs, and the delightful fall festivals for which many of South Carolina’s small towns are known. This year, of course, the holiday—and the forthcoming fall festivities it promises—will be very different from what we’re used to as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and practice social distancing.

However, even though this Labor Day weekend may not be the celebration we’re accustomed to, I would urge everyone to use the holiday as an opportunity to relax, take some time for yourself, and unwind. Due to travel restrictions and thwarted vacation plans, many people have not taken a break from work during this extraordinarily stressful year. Taking time off helps keep stress at bay and is essential to our wellbeing—now, more than ever, we need to take a pause! So this weekend, I plan to kick back, unplug, and count my blessings, and I encourage you all to do the same!

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – The Pandemic & The Practice of Law

 

 

In my four decades of practicing law here in South Carolina, I have seen LOTS of changes take place within the legal profession. That being said, the impact that COVID-19 made on the practice of law in just a short amount of time is absolutely unprecedented. Within a matter of days, phone and video conferences replaced in-person client meetings, Zoom depositions became the new normal, and court appearances transitioned from the courtroom to Webex. Jury trials, which are the very heart of our justice system, had to be postponed indefinitely.

Although we still have a long way to go, for the time being, COVID transmission rates seem to be declining, and my life as a lawyer is slowly becoming a bit more normal. I am finally getting to meet with clients again, and over the past two weeks, I’ve had two in-person court hearings—all, of course, while practicing social distancing and wearing a mask! South Carolina has even begun to resume jury trials in some areas, with the state’s first jury trial since April taking place in Laurens County earlier this month.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of legal work is still being conducted by telephone, email, or virtual meetings, and I suspect that, even when a vaccine becomes available, the way we go about our daily activities—in the legal profession and otherwise—will be forever changed by COVID-19. I pray that we can put my theory to the test sooner rather than later, but until then, may we continue to adapt, stay safe, and carry on!

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – A Streetcar Named Desire: Act II

 

 

The year 2020 has been an unbelievable one for all of us with the arrival of COVID-19, and it has taken a particularly heavy toll on the performing arts community. The exciting season that Columbia’s beloved Trustus Theatre—where my son is a company member—had lined up in celebration of the venue’s 35th anniversary was forced to an abrupt halt by the pandemic, so I’m delighted to share that this week, the Free Times Best of Columbia 2020 listings brought some good news for the ladies and gents at Trustus! The Trustus Theatre was voted Best Local Theatre Company, and its production of A Street Car Named Desire won Best Local Theatre Production!

This adaptation of Streetcar was the first in-the-round play in Trustus’s 35-year history, and the theatre’s last full production before the pandemic hit. The project was ambitious but beautifully performed, and I’m extremely proud to say that my son was its director! A Streetcar Named Desire is a timeless classic from Tennessee Williams, and Patrick Kelly brought new life to it in 2020! The cast and crew worked tirelessly on this play, and the result was a positively stunning performance that is certainly deserving of the recognition as Columbia’s Best Theatre Production of 2020!

Here’s to Trustus, to my son Patrick, and to Columbia’s thespian community!

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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