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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 – Fall at Last!

 

Over the past several days, it has finally begun to feel like fall—just in time for the holidays, which are right around the corner! I love South Carolina 24/7/365, but I must say that as I’ve gotten older, I have grown to especially love our state in the fall and spring. After several recent weeks of 80-degree temperatures, I’m excited to finally breathe in that crisp fall air, set the thermostat to heat in the Mike Kelly abode, and get cozy in my long pajamas!

Even with Covid numbers still on the rise, and the tremendous impact this pandemic has had on our lifestyles, there’s still tremendous fun to be had this season in and around my hometown of Columbia. I found pleasure in strolling along the Columbia, Cayce, and West Columbia River Walks this season, and it has me looking forward to the future Gills Creek Watershed greenway that will be right outside my back door! I’ve also enjoyed going to Soda City Market and taking advantage of the many eateries around town that have outdoor dining with heaters, fire pits, and the like.

Right now, it’s more important than ever that we stay focused on finding joy and goodness in the day-to-day. So with that said, I ask you to join me in celebrating fall in South Carolina, with all of its beauty and glory!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – The South Carolina African American History Calendar

 

As 2020 begins drawing to a close, I wanted to raise awareness about an extraordinary resource available to the people of our state: the South Carolina African American History Calendar, which has been in publication for 31 years and counting! If you’re not familiar with the Calendar, it is a project spearheaded by the South Carolina Department of Education which chronicles key dates and events in South Carolina’s African American history. Each month honors an outstanding individual who has made a significant impact on our state and celebrates their achievements and legacy. The Calendar is available to the general public and distributed each year throughout schools and community centers in South Carolina to inspire our youth and introduce them to African American role models with local ties. That being said, I would say it is an equally valuable educational resource for adults!

Looking through my 2020 Calendar, I was excited to see that the featured Honoree for the upcoming month is the Taylor family. The Taylor family has operated the Taylor Brothers Construction Company since the 1930s, distinguishing themselves in the Midlands for four generations. The current generation of Taylor brothers happen to be friends of mine, and it is wonderful to see them receive this recognition. Their work is extremely impressive and well-known in the Midlands region, to include projects such as the Darla Moore School of Business and the new facility of my alma mater, University of South Carolina School of Law, located in downtown Columbia.

I would encourage you to take a few minutes to visit the Calendar’s website, where you can read about the incredible accomplishments of all of the individuals who were recognized in 2020. While you’re at it, the 2021 Calendar and Honorees were unveiled this week, so you’re welcome to take a sneak peek at what next year has in store and request a copy of the 2021 Calendar!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – One Nation

 

As I write this week’s KellyGram, there are quite a few races for positions in the House, the Senate, and most notably, the Presidency, that are undecided or facing legal challenges that could go on for some time. During this period of uncertainty, it is imperative that our nation come together and be unified despite our differences so that we can begin healing the deep wounds that have been inflicted on our country during this unprecedentedly contentious campaign. I would urge all of us to take deep breaths, engage in prayer if you are so minded, and consider what actions you can take individually to help restore our scarred nation and bridge the toxic divide between the American people. It doesn’t matter which side of the political aisle you stand on, now is the time to come together.

As everyone who reads the KellyGram knows, I am a dedicated Anglican and a lifelong member of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. Our Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, speaks out on national unity quite often, and he did so yesterday morning on NBC’s Today Show. His words resonated with me. Bishop Curry reminded viewers that our nation’s motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” translates to, “Out of many, one.” “We all came here on different ships,” he said, “but we’re all in the same boat now.” Bishop Curry is right, and it is time to steer our ship away from the current “us versus them” mindset. Let us move toward an America where we can disagree without being disagreeable and once again live as one, indivisible nation.

Be safe, and be unified!

 

Sincerely,

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Halloween 2020

 

Saturday is Halloween 2020, and it’s sure to be one to remember! With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, trick-or-treating will be very different this year to accommodate social distancing and other best-practices. For example, my neighborhood is arranging for the 15 or so kids living there to pick up goodies at a safe, central location where folks will be spread out and wearing face masks. While the kids in our community may not be getting the traditional Halloween experience this year, I think this is a great compromise that will allow them to have some much-needed fun and excitement while also prioritizing safety.

However, the pandemic is only one reason why Halloween 2020 is one that we won’t forget. Needless to say, 2020 has come with more than its fair share of “tricks,” but Mother Nature has a momentous treat in store for us on Saturday. This year, we get to experience the first global Halloween Blue Moon since 1944! This means that every time zone across the world will see a blue moon—the second full moon of the month—on October 31st. Though it’s an uncommon phenomenon, I suppose it would only make sense that Halloween and a full moon—two events often associated with superstition and the supernatural—would coincide in this unusual year! Spooky, right?

 

Have a great (and safe) Halloween!

 

Mike Kelly

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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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