J. Michael Kelley, Esq….as Irish as You’re Going to Get!

J. Michael KelleyWhy do I have trouble finding someone to say nice things about you and of course with a question like that here came the answer, Because I beat them. Welcome to the offices of J. Michael Kelly, former United States Marine Corps aviator and the Marine Corps mug on his desk was all I had to see and hear, Mike won me over. He is still excited about practicing divorce law and he is funny and engaging. Not a youngster anymore, and like best of us has a “presence”…you wont miss him!

J. Michael Kelly has been a lawyer in California for more than 40 years, and 42 years in Florida. Upon entering his suite in Santa Monica you get a sense that this place is different, that is if you have any sense. Mike is outspoken and knows what he wants and when he wants it.. Not slowing down very much you will find him in court on any given day with an assistant and sometimes a junior associate. And when not, check the desert — he makes sure that he gets some “me” time with family and friends. Mike and I laughed about a couple of places that we both love in the desert. Stepping into Mikes personal office you are greeted by a huge white shark on the wall and on his screen saver (I love sharks!). Lots of military actions photos and one of Mr. Kelly in his Marine uniform, in this picture he is slim and very striking….in his younger days he looked like a movie star. How about this? Mike was a marshal at the age of 18 years old in Ithaca, New York, this is a place that he still returns to, spending time at the home he grew up in. Part of Mr. Kellys success is his ability to interact with his staff and clients. He seems to be always around and again is this micro-management? Not at all, he is like the oil in a well-oiled machine.

Mr. Kellys offices are set up with a great deal of efficiency , lots of paralegals and lawyers, support staff and all the most modern office equipment. This firm prides it self in getting the work out and being able to respond quickly…that is if he feels like it. Not responding to something quickly is I am sure a part of his strategy. Mike is a gentleman, however I would think twice in getting his Irish Up. Ahh the Emerald Isle…

Another area we both agreed on was Judge Ken Black, one of the finest judges that ever sat. I would have to agree, then again everyone knows my opinion of Judge Black. I sat and talked over dinner with Mike and two of his staff and throughout the entire conversation not once did he speak poorly of any other lawyers! He had something nice to say about everyone, seldom do I sit with someone without a snarky comment delivered….not once. Kinda nice!

Mr. Kelly continues to teach at USC and has a staff of more than 37 lawyers and support. J. Michael Kelly occupies two floors at 429 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 120, Santa Monica, California 90401 310-393-0236.

40 years and the beat goes on, thanks for an incredible interview and even better experience…

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