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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 – MLK Day 2020

 

 

On Monday, we will pause nationwide to honor one of America’s most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I suppose that one advantage of being older is that I have a deep appreciation for the significance of this holiday that dates back to August 1963, when I watched the televised broadcast of Dr. King delivering his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. He rightly predicted that 1963 was not an end, but a beginning, and I have borne witness to the immense progress our country has made since that day toward the realization of Dr. King’s dream. Martin Luther King is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the impact that a single voice can have on the future. His legacy deserves celebration—America is better for it.

Still, the fight is far from over. Equal rights in America continues to be a work in progress, and we must not be tempted to settle for the status quo. To use the words of Dr. King, we cannot and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Only then will freedom truly ring.

Sincerely,

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

 

 

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month, with January 11 being designated Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and so I want to dedicate this KellyGram to the victims and survivors of this abhorrent crime and to the South Carolina Task Force who is working tirelessly to eliminate this real and present threat in our state. Being located between the country’s largest city for human trafficking, Atlanta, and Charlotte—which falls within the top ten—South Carolina ranks 16th in terms of reported cases by state. Horry and Richland Counties, both of which I call “home,” rank among the top five counties in South Carolina with respect to reported cases.

South Carolina’s Human Trafficking Task Force is fighting to shut down the illicit industry in our state, and is partnering with local industries and businesses to help raise awareness and reporting of suspected cases. The Task Force has made great strides in fighting the problem and preventing further instances of human trafficking since its inception in 2012, and last year South Carolina was recognized as the most improved state in the country for combatting the epidemic. The Task Force’s 2019 report, which was released today, showed a 360% increase in reported cases in the state, signifying that the Task Force’s efforts to raise awareness are leading to increased recognition and reporting. However, it also shows that trafficking remains prevalent in our state.

Human Trafficking is a crime that hides in plain sight, making it especially important for the public to be aware of warning signs that a person may be a victim. Please take some time out this weekend to review those signs here and write down the number for the Human Trafficking National Hotline: 1-888-373-7888. I also encourage you to join the fight against Human Trafficking by getting involved with Lighthouse for Life or another trusted organization dedicated to putting a stop to this criminal enterprise and helping to support survivors as they restore their lives.  Finally, this is an incredibly important issue, and I ask you to consider helping raise awareness by sharing this information on social media and with friends and family.

Sincerely,

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – 2020 Vision

 

 

No one has ever accused me of being a rocket scientist, but as I enter 2020 and review my priorities in decades past, I believe that time has brought me wisdom with respect to resolutions. Like most of us, I’ve taken some time to consider my vision of what 2020 should yield: the things that I want to do and those I do not, what new skills I’d like to learn, how I will stay healthy and in shape, etc. But unlike previous years, the recurring theme that is playing through my head is that whether 2020 will be a successful year is not so much about my measurable accomplishments—it is about the person I choose to be. I must define the person that Mike Kelly should be—the person I want to be—and make strides toward becoming that man. In 2020, success will flow from my relationship with my friends and family and the assistance and kindness that I offer my fellow man.

For perhaps the first time, I feel like I am entering the new year with a clear—or shall I say, 20/20—vision of what true accomplishment looks like! In large part, I thank my long-time friend and fellow attorney, Steve Hamm, for this realization. He and I have been through it all—the delight of watching our children grow into successful adults, the ups and downs of our respective careers, and the personal joys and sorrows that sculpt each of us. On Monday, Steve called to invite me to dinner, having made it his New Year’s resolution to spend more time with friends. His gesture was touching and reminded me to think about what’s truly important, as opposed to how many boxes I check or accolades I receive. Steve Hamm—you’ve inspired me, my friend, and I cannot thank you enough!

With 2020 now in full swing, I hope that each of you is off to a great start and looking forward to what lies ahead this year and in the coming decade. Whatever your resolution may be, stay true to it—you are worth the effort it will take to make your 2020 vision your reality! Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Deputy Michael Latu

 

 

In my 42 years of helping folks around the state with personal injury, workers’ compensation, and disability matters, I have been blessed with meeting thousands of extraordinary South Carolinians. One such man was Deputy Michael Latu of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, who we regrettably lost last week in the line of duty. Michael was a Samoan-American who grew up in Chicago, but he migrated down to the Pee Dee, where he became a deputy in Marion County and one of the finest South Carolinians I’ve had the privilege of representing. I came to know Michael after he was referred to Mike Kelly Law Group by a fellow deputy—and my friend—Jonathan Herring. But although my relationship with Michael started out as an attorney-client one, he was a fun-loving and agreeable man, and we became fast friends.

Michael lived and breathed law enforcement, and he LOVED his job. Deputy Latu was particularly interested in the tactical aspects of being an officer, and he volunteered for virtually any job Sheriff Wallace needed done. He lost his life in a single-car accident while on the way to back up a fellow officer involved in a foot-chase, and I can find some peace in knowing that Michael died doing what he loved best. Still, he will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and Marion County.

Deputy Latu made more of an impact on this earth in his 34 brief years than most people will make in a full lifetime. He worked passionately and pursued the greater good through his position with the Sheriff’s Office. He was reliable, jovial, and—though he’d never boast about it—Michael had a genius-level IQ. He was named both Patrolman of the Year and Deputy of the Year in 2018 for his dedication and service to Marion County. He is a man we can all aspire to be more like.

As we enter a new year and a new decade, I hope that we can all take with us a lesson from the life of Michael Latu. May we begin this new chapter with the passion and dedication he had, with his love of helping others, and with his humble and heartfelt demeanor. And may we remember that the moments we have on earth are few and precious, such that we spend more time focusing on the things in life that matter most with gratitude in our hearts.

Thank you for your service, Deputy Latu. You will be missed, but your legacy lives on.

Sincerely,

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Merry Christmas to All!

 

 

Year after year, the world becomes more complex and complicated with technology, social media, and real-time news alerts; it’s exhausting to keep up, even for a “youthful” senior citizen such as myself. But for millennia, one thing has remained a constant: Christmas is a unique time of celebration and tradition. It’s a joyous season, observed globally by folks of different religious backgrounds, with family, friends, and festivities.

Christmas means many things to many people, but as a fourth-generation Episcopalian, for me, the Advent is a high time of worship. For nearly 40 years, I have been blessed to be a member of St. Martins-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Forest Acres, and although I am admittedly biased, I think St. Martins and Reverend Mitch Smith do a particularly excellent job of emphasizing Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a time for renewed dedication to our faith. My favorite night of the year is that of December 24th, when St. Martins holds its 10:30 service. This year, I’ve been honored with reading the first lesson to the congregation, and I cannot convey how much it will mean to me to be part of such a beautiful service.

Whether it is religion, fellowship, gift-giving, or any number of the wonderful things about this season, from the bottom of my heart, I hope you find time to relax and embrace what Christmas means to you in the days to come!

Merry Christmas to All!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Home for the Holidays

 

 

There’s no place like home for the holidays, and many of us will soon be making our way back to our respective hometowns to celebrate with friends and family. But for our loved ones residing in nursing homes, the holiday season isn’t always merry and bright, and it can even induce feelings of loneliness. So while it’s important to stay connected with our loved ones in long-term care facilities year-round, it’s especially true this time of year. If you’re wondering how to incorporate your elders into your holiday plans, here are a few ways you can help make the nursing home feel much more like “home” this Christmas:

  • Bring your loved one a traditional, homemade meal.
  • Watch a holiday movie together.
  • Help your loved ones prepare and send holiday cards, and collect cards addressed to them from friends and family members to remind your loved one that others are thinking of them.
  • Bring photo albums, home videos, and other happy reminders of cherished memories.
  • Show up with a deck of cards or your loved one’s favorite board game and offer to play with them.

It’s important to check with the facility to make sure your planned festivities are permitted, but even if you run into obstacles, the best way to help your senior friend or family member feel included and loved this holiday is to simply spend quality time with them. Make a point to actively listen when your loved one wants to talk, and engage them in honest and meaningful conversation. Let them know that they have been—and still are—an important part of your life and your holiday traditions.

The holidays also provide an opportunity to observe the nursing home facility and caregivers to ensure that your beloved resident is receiving appropriate attention and care. Sadly, instances of nursing home neglect and abuse are far too common, and it’s important to look out for the warning signs. Pay attention to how the staff interacts with the residents, and don’t dismiss any reservations or discomfort your loved might have with certain staff members. Talk to management about matters you find worrisome—like bruises, welts, scrapes, bedsores, or noticeable behavioral changes—and don’t settle for evasive responses. If your concerns persist, report the suspected abuse to local authorities, and call Mike Kelly Law Group or counsel with any questions you have about the legal rights and remedies available to your loved one.

Sincerely,

 

Mike Kelly

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Respect & Basketball

 

 

Although I have only had the privilege of meeting him on a few brief occasions, I can definitively say that University of South Carolina’s men’s basketball coach, Frank Martin, is a man worthy of respect. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to travel with the team on a road trip to their coach’s alma mater, Florida International University, and it was truly an eye-opening experience. Frank Martin has perhaps the most unique and inspiring background of any NCAA Division I basketball coach. Though he was born in Miami, Frank’s parents—both of whom immigrated to the States from Cuba after Castro came into power—spoke virtually no English.  Frank learned English as a second language only after he started school, but that was only one of many obstacles he faced as a boy. At the early age of 12, he began working at Dairy Queen and had a multitude of odd jobs over the years. He ultimately decided to pursue a full-time career as a basketball coach in 1992, after being shot at during his shift as a nightclub bouncer. He was studying physical education at FIU and coaching a JV team at the time, and he went on to accept a high school varsity coaching job after graduating in 1993.

Frank climbed the ranks and began coaching college basketball in 2000, and he’s made history from there. While head coach at Kansas State, he was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year, and he was the 2017 recipient of the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award in 2017 after leading the Gamecocks to the Final Four. Frank has taken our men’s basketball team to new heights and has been a blessing to both USC and the men he has coached. He brings so much more to the lives of his players than wins and losses, and I guarantee just about every person who’s played for Frank Martin over the years would move mountains for him. Although he’s known to be vociferous and hard on his players, his tough love builds discipline and character—and a great basketball team. So far, the Gamecocks are having a winning season; they secured a big victory against UMass this week and we’re hoping for another against Houston on Sunday!

Go Gamecocks, and Go Frank Martin!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – ‘Tis the Season…For Friendly Rivalry!

 

 

Ladies and gents, it’s that time again—the 2019 Carolina-Clemson rivalry game is upon us! This Saturday, after spending Thanksgiving with friends and family for fellowship and too much turkey, we will don our garnet and orange respectively and head to Williams Brice Stadium to cheer on our rivaling teams. Although it looks to be an uphill battle for my Gamecocks, you really never know what will happen when a team turns up the heat for a good old fashioned rivalry game.

The Carolina-Clemson rivalry—just like that between Ohio State and Michigan, Alabama and Auburn, Georgia and Georgia Tech, Florida and Florida State, etc.—captures the attention of the whole state, even the non-football fans, and is always an exciting day in South Carolina! The Tigers are absolutely loaded this year and a favorite to win the National Championship title once again, but on Saturday I will be living by South Carolina’s motto: “While I Breathe, I Hope.” So with that, I’ll be rooting on the Gamecocks and keeping my fingers crossed for 12 months of bragging rights!

Have a wonderful holiday, and GO COCKS!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Giving Thanks

 

 

The past 11 months have been a whirlwind of change, and in the hustle and bustle of it all, the year has slipped right through my fingers. It feels like no time has passed at all since we rang in 2019, yet suddenly, the holiday season is in full swing with Thanksgiving less than a week away. My Mike Kelly Law Group family will tell you that I can be a bit of a Grinch around the holidays; I love my work and the fast pace of it, so when we close up shop for days on end, I feel restless instead of relaxed. But when I pause to consider all that has transpired this year, both in my personal life and my professional one, I suspect that I might benefit greatly from a short reprieve; it will allow me to catch my breath and process the events of the year, but more importantly, to reflect on and give thanks for the joyous ones.

First and foremost, I thank the Good Lord for the gift of life and for allowing me to celebrate another Thanksgiving! I give thanks for the blessings that bring purpose and light into my life: my family, friends, and loved ones; the opportunity to make a difference in this world through my law practice; my wonderful clients and co-workers; my faith and beloved church; my health—and the list goes on and on. Of course, my football team is having a rough go of it this year…but let’s not dwell on that one! Even when the Gamecocks let me down, I am fortunate to have wonderful people around me to lift me up, a lifetime of memories that warm my heart and bring a smile to my face, and new opportunities and experiences to look forward to. So with that, I think I will give myself permission to slow down this Thanksgiving in order to count my blessings and digest all that has transpired this year (and, of course, lots of turkey!).

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Our Second Home

 

 

It’s no secret that I love living in Columbia, South Carolina—I’d even say it’s one of my favorite places on earth. That said, Myrtle Beach is a close contender, and Mike Kelly Law Group (and Mike Kelly himself!) has been proud to call the Grand Strand its second home for years. This is true now more so than ever in light of exciting new projects underway in the area. In March, Myrtle Beach’s City Council adopted a Master Plan for the redevelopment and revitalization of the downtown area surrounding our Broadway Street office. And downtown isn’t the only area that’s getting a makeover; several of the Grand Strand’s beach-front resorts are expected to undergo multi-million dollar renovations in the very near future, and even Kingston Plantation—my home away from home—will be seeing some aesthetic upgrades in the coming years. Meanwhile, the city’s tourism industry is experiencing record growth rates. All in all, I’d say that Myrtle Beach is quite the hotspot!

It’s exciting to think of the prospects this new development will bring to a destination that already has so much to offer. Not only does the Grand Strand boast one of the country’s most beautiful beaches, but it is also a haven for recreation. Home to 100+ golf courses, an annual marathon averaging 6,000 participants, NASCAR-sanctioned stock car racing, a Cubs-affiliated baseball team, and a host of sports camps and competitions, Myrtle Beach is a top destination in U.S. sports tourism. Likewise, there are over 1,500 restaurants to choose from in the area, more than 600 fine arts events held there annually, and countless shops and entertainment venues. From the SkyWheel—one of the country’s tallest Ferris Wheels at 187’ high—to the nearby Brookgreen Gardens and its 2,000 acres of botanical beauty, there is truly something for everyone in Myrtle Beach. It’s really no wonder that over 18 million people visited the Grand Strand last year, and I certainly feel lucky to call it my second home!

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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