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KellyGram – Another Reason I Love Columbia

 

At the young age of 18, I came to Columbia to attend the University of South Carolina, and I’ve lived, worked and raised my family here for the last 46 years. Columbia is such a wonderful place to live, and I can honestly say that I am thankful and proud to be able to call it my home. Sunday evening, there were two diametrically opposed demonstrations –the Black Lives Matter march and a rally in support of the Confederate flag – all on the same day. The attendees in both instances rallied peacefully and without serious incident. I was very proud of law enforcement for their skillful handling of both of these rallies and special thanks to the leadership of the highway patrol, Sheriff Lott, and Columbia Police Chief, Skip Holbrook. You hear a lot about Greenville, Charleston, Atlanta and Charlotte but as for me, I’ll take Columbia any day of the week!

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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Weekly KellyGram

 

In lieu of the KellyGram this week, the MKLG team will be keeping the families of these senseless tragedies in our thoughts and prayers.

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KellyGram – Our New Relationship with Lawrence J. Needle, P.A.

 

We at the Mike Kelly Law Group strive to be the best we can be in our individual areas of expertise. While I have my hands mainly in Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, and disability and insurance law, we have others who are strictly administrative lawyers and some that represent clients before boards and commissions. For example, we have Rick Wallace who specializes in alcohol licensure issues. Several years ago, we added Michael Paul Swearingen to the group as our attorney for Real Estate and Probate related matters. In an effort to further strengthen our service to our present and future clients, we have formed a business relationship with my longtime friend, Larry Needle, owner of Lawrence J Needle, PA. Larry focuses on immigration, naturalization, and citizenship issues. He represents individuals, corporations, university, and heath care facilities in all areas of immigration law. He reached out to me recently because, in addition to his two offices in Charleston and Columbia, he is receiving inquiries on the Grand Strand from internationals who are seeking to live and work in the Myrtle Beach area. He will be working several days a month out of our Myrtle Beach office, and we hope we can support each other’s businesses better by entering into this formal relationship.

Welcome aboard Larry! We look forward to working with you on behalf of the people of South Carolina.

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 – Dustin Johnson

 

Guts, perseverance, and glory: Dustin Johnson. I am a longtime fan of Dustin Johnson. He grew up in Irmo, distinguished himself at Dutch Fork High School, was an All-American golfer at Costal Carolina University and talent-wise is an athlete with few equals. He has come very close in several major tournaments and was beginning to get the reputation that he could not win the big one. This weekend proved that nothing could be further from the truth. He won the United States Open in convincing fashion against enormous odds. He was playing the toughest course in the country and, out of the 180 people who started the tournament, only five broke par for the weekend. On the back nine on Sunday, he demonstrated tremendous courage and determination.

I could go further, but my vocabulary doesn’t possess enough adjectives to describe Dustin Johnson’s incredible accomplishment. Despite tremendous adversity, not the least of which came from USGA officials who acted like amateurs (and they heard about it from Golf’s Elite on Twitter, etc.). I believe this victory will open the door to many more majors claimed by Dustin Johnson.

Hail to Dustin Johnson, one of my heroes!

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – My Dad, Garland F. Kelly

 

In light of the upcoming Father’s Day weekend, I dedicate this week’s KellyGram to my father, Garland F. Kelly. My dad was born at his home in Pleasant Shade, VA in 1924. He was the youngest of ten children, and his father died of pneumonia when he was three years old. Dad went to school until the 8th grade but had to drop out because his brothers were all at war serving in the United States Army, and my grandmother needed help in keeping a roof over their head.

My dad initially went to work in a grocery store nine miles down the road in my hometown of Emporia, VA. He worked there for five years, then began a career that spanned almost 40 years working for the town’s Jewish merchant in his department store. There were no chains back in that day, and almost every southern town had a Jewish merchant. This Jewish merchant, like all the rest spread through the Southeast, was a very hardworking, industrious and brilliant man who at one point owned almost half of the town. He took dad under his wing, and dad had a wonderful relationship with the Bloom family for all those years. After his relocation to Columbia in 1984, my dad worked another 20 years in a men’s clothing business, where I worked as well through high school and college.

My dad was short on formal education but nonetheless was incredibly wise. He taught me many things but drilled in my head three very important rules to live by. First and foremost he taught me, “Mike, we Kelly’s are working men!” Secondly, “Mike, we Kelly’s are Ford men!” Thirdly, “there is no future in an ugly woman!” (LOL!) I took these rules to heart and they have served me well.

My dad passed away in 2008 and is buried St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church alongside my mother and late wife, Anne Garrison Kelly, and I miss them all every day. Thank you, Garland F. Kelly, for being the most wonderful dad! I love you!

Have a great weekend and Happy Father’s Day!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – A Salute to My Eldest Son, Patrick Michael Kelly!

 

This week I want to celebrate the blessing of my first born son, Patrick Michael Kelly! He made his life debut 33 years ago this past Wednesday on June 8, 1983! He has brought me years of continuous joy and happiness. I am very proud of all his accomplishments and especially his passion for theatre.

Patrick was bitten by the acting bug in Middle School at Heathwood Hall and has pursued his passion ever since. He has acted, directed, served as stage manager, appeared in several movies, and now he will be returning back to Columbia from New York with his wife of two years, Martha Hearn, who has a passion for theatre as well. Martha and Patrick received their undergraduate degrees in Theatre from the University of South Carolina and both went on to get their Master’s degrees in New York. Martha will be involved in the theatre here, and both will be teaching the art of theatre to others.

Columbia is a great central location to obtain theatrical roles all over the Southeast, which has become a hotbed for producing movies and TV shows. Patrick will be starring in the upcoming Playwrights’ Festival at Trustus Theatre in the play Anatomy of a Hug. It will be on the Thigpen mainstage from August 19 – August 27, 2016. Please be sure to catch Patrick on his return to Columbia.

I am so proud of you son, and you too, Martha! Welcome Home!!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – The Joys of Exercise

 

For twenty-five years, I exercised on a regular basis and jogged up to twenty-five miles each week. As often happens, I got out of the groove and was starting to feel the effects of “Father Time”. When I looked at my son Patrick’s wedding pictures, I saw that I needed a makeover!  Almost two years ago, I made the decision to get back to taking care of myself. I am going to be an old man, but I refuse to be an unhealthy old man!

I went to my longtime friend, Chris Hardwicke, who is a brilliant and very fit 60+-year-old. He spent several hours with me, educating me about a proper diet for someone my age. Since that time, I have lost 40 pounds and have been able to maintain my weight. He also encouraged me to enroll in his comprehensive exercise program, known as Frontier Movement. You can get more information and read Chris’ phenomenal story by visiting www.frontiermovement.com.

Currently, we are focusing on my balance, core strength, and flexibility. Prior to my lifestyle change, I was unable to bend down and read a putt on the golf course but now I am pleased to report I am able to golf like a twenty-five-year-old.

I strongly recommend that all my friends engage in weight management and maintenance and age appropriate exercise. Thank you to Chris Hardwicke and his staff for changing my life!

Have a great and active weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – What Memorial Day Means to Me

 

“America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.”
-Paul Tsongas

For some, Memorial Day is simply an extra day off from work or a long weekend at the beach. Some get so enthralled in the festivities, they forget to acknowledge the meaning behind this special day. Previously known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in 1968 and was created to be a day when the United States of America joined together to decorate the graves of those who were killed in battle. Although I never served in the military, I have great respect for those who sacrificed everything so that I may live in freedom.

As Memorial Day nears, my hope is that we will make a concerted effort to remember and appreciate those who have given up their time, health and, in many cases, their lives not only on the last Monday in May, but every day!

To those reading this KellyGram who have served or continue to serve, THANK YOU! Thank you for having the courage and bravery to wake up each morning and serve our country!

To those reading this, who have a family member in the military, THANK YOU! Thank you for sacrificing time with your loved ones so that they may protect our freedom! And to those of you with loved ones who sacrificed their lives defending our liberty, you will stay in our hearts and prayers as this day comes and goes.

God Bless America!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Why I Love My Job (Part 5)

 

I have written before that I am blessed to love the job that I have had for the past 39 years – that is being a personal injury, worker’s compensation, disability, and insurance litigator. The Social Security Disability program is backlogged badly (second only to the Veteran’s Disability program, which has an even greater backlog). Recently, the Social Security Disability administration has made a bold effort to reduce the congestion. This means that two attorneys in my Columbia office, Lisa Cotten and myself, have lots of hearings in 2016.

For example, I had three Social Security Disability hearings this week, at least two of which were successful. Contrary to popular belief, there are many more deserving people that do not receive Social Security Disability than there are people who do receive these benefits that should not. We carefully screen our Social Security Disability clients to make sure that we only represent those individuals that have a deserving claim and that are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity. For example, one of the hearings today concerned a client who had an excellent work record until she became stricken with cervical disc disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Suddenly, after working hard all of her life, she could barely perform the basic activities of daily living. She lost her job and faced severe financial hardship. My client very much deserved to receive the government support that she had paid through decades of hard work, and it is extremely satisfying to be able to help deserving women like this.

Thank you to everyone who has referred clients to me over the years. I am very humbled when a former client, friend or neighbor refers someone to me, and I take the trust they have placed in me extremely seriously. I am also proud to have one of the best legal teams that I have ever been affiliated with, working each and every day for the Mike Kelly Law Group and its clients. Thank you for allowing me to serve!

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Nothing to Do?

 

Please do not ever say to yours truly “there is nothing to do in Columbia!” There is something fun, interesting and entertaining to do every single day in the Columbia Metropolitan area. This week we have numerous opportunities to enjoy, educate and enrich our lives. Those of us who sit at home and complain have no reason to do so. One example of some fun to check out is the Forest Acres Festival this weekend. The City of Forest Acres does an excellent job of Community activities. Some other events going on this week are the Palmetto Mastersingers Spring Concert (05/13), I Love the 90’s Tour (05/13), Art and Draughts at the Columbia Museum of Art (05/13), Relay for Life – Lexington County (05/13), the Pirates of Penzance Jr. children’s comedy (05/14), and SO MUCH MORE! Check out these links (http://www.free-times.com/ and http://www.thestate.com/entertainment/local-events/) to find more activities that are going “down” in a “City Apart”!

Go Have Some Fun and Enjoy Yourself!

 

Mike Kelly

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