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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 – 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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KellyGram – Visiting Kirkland Correctional Institution

 

 

This week, for perhaps the first time in twenty years, I had occasion to visit a Department of Corrections facility. Accompanied by Kimberly Smith, the firm’s workers’ compensation paralegal, I visited a potential client in Kirkland Correctional Institution who suffered an on-the-job injury while participating in a work-release program upstate. After the meeting, Kimberly and I agreed that the visit was a thought-provoking experience for both of us—not to mention a little scary!

As we walked out of the facility and back into our freedom, we both were overwhelmed with broad spectrum of thoughts and emotions. The young man we visited explained that he had been at Kirkland since 2013 and is due to remain there for twenty more months—when he is released, he will only be thirty years old. At that point, he will have been incarcerated for nearly a quarter of his life. Our conversation served as a reminder that a prisoner is not stripped of his humanity when he is stripped of his freedom, and I left humbled and filled with empathy for him and the other inmates. What an unbelievable mental and emotional strain it must be to live in confinement and under constant surveillance for years and years.

As Kimberly and I were escorted out, my mind also wandered to the correctional officers—courageous men and women who are underpaid and understaffed. There is a high turnover rate for these positions, and I would imagine that’s due to the mental stress that comes with working in facilities like Kirkland.

Finally, I left carrying a strong suspicion that a significant percentage of the inmates at Kirkland Correctional Institution and similar facilities don’t necessarily belong there. Unfortunately, there are many violent criminals whose imprisonment is necessary as a matter of public safety. In many cases, it would better benefit the sentenced party and society as a whole allow persons convicted of non-violent crimes to carry out a sentence through alternative programs that do not require incarceration or the expenses associated with it. Here’s hoping that South Carolina’s lock ‘em up mentality will, sooner rather than later, shift to a focus on alternative sentencing. Food for thought!

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Fact vs. Fiction

 

 

Over the past couple of years, we have all heard a lot of talk about “fake news.” But for personal injury attorneys like myself, fake news has been a professional obstacle for decades. In South Carolina, and across the country, people are inundated with flashy TV commercials flaunting personal injury attorneys and their happy clients, all chanting catchphrases while huge settlement figures dance across the screen. Unfortunately, many of these TV lawyers create unrealistic expectations as to the value of personal injury cases, then under-deliver in terms of quality of representation. 

I want to be clear that there are many very good attorneys advertising on TV, but when it comes to making a decision about retaining representation after experiencing a traumatic injury, it is important to know who you are trusting to handle your case. As a best practice, don’t dial the first number that comes to mind before researching your options and asking family and friends for referrals. 

Having been in this business for 40+ years, I have managed to develop an approach to personal injury cases that yields consistent client satisfaction, and I am very proud to have assembled a great team of like-minded professionals dedicated to personalized legal service. Mike Kelly Law Group attorneys and staff are detail oriented and communicate openly and honestly about the strengths, weaknesses, and projected value of a claim. We get to know our clients and understand their injuries, personalities, and the nuances of their cases, and we tailor each theory of liability and of damages the individual.

These are the values of the Mike Kelly Law Group. Like the TV attorneys, our attorneys have obtained their fair share of six and seven-figure results for clients; unlike TV attorneys, however, we won’t equate a-one representation with the number of zeros at the end of a settlement figure or verdict. A large settlement does not necessarily mean it is a good settlement, or vice versa. Instead, a successful resolution is one that leaves our client feeling that he or she has been made whole and pleased with the care they received.

If you find yourself in need of an attorney, don’t let a commercial jingle or catchphrase decide the fate of your claim. Do yourself the favor of choosing credibility over convenience.

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 – The Recovery Continues

 

 

In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the citizens of North and South Carolina begin the process of putting their lives and property back together. While our brothers and sisters to the North got hit harder than we did, there is still a lot of property damage in our Palmetto State. Inevitably, there will be Federal and State Disaster relief, private fundraising efforts and insurance claims arising from these losses. If you were affected by Hurricane Florence, please tread very carefully when filing an insurance claim, and do not accept the insurance carrier’s word that your damages are not covered. Whether you use the Mike Kelly Law Group, or another reputable firm, I suggest you seek legal advice before accepting any insurance claim settlement. Please contact us at one of our three offices should you need help dealing with your insurance claims.

 

We are the Mike Kelly Law Group and We Are Here For The People Of South Carolina!

Have a great weekend, 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Prayers for the Carolinas

 

 

Just like most of you, I’ve been glued to the media this week tracking Hurricane Florence, and despite the various courses she is predicted to take, one thing is for certain—this is a massive and dangerous storm, and everyone in the Carolinas needs to treat it as such. Three years ago, Hurricane Matthew taught us a devastating lesson—these tumultuous storms can cause unforeseeable loss, and we must be prepared to face the worst. For those of us along the coast, it is likely too late to make preparations. Mike Kelly Law Group has an office in Myrtle Beach, and my second home is located there, and I’m braced for impact. To the inland residents, assuming it is still safe to do so, please stock up on necessary provisions and be prepared for what may come.

 

Myrtle Beach, SC on the morning of September 13, 2018 (Image from The New York Times)

Those of us at Mike Kelly Law Group are praying first and foremost for no loss of life, and secondly for the safety of our first responders and emergency personnel as they carry out their duties. Finally, we pray for those who will inevitably face the loss of or damage to their homes as Florence wreaks havoc. We may not know to what extent, but we do know that the Carolinas will be profoundly impacted by Florence, and we must face what’s to come together.

Stay safe, 

Mike Kelly

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