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Michael Kelly reflects on 40 years practicing law

Recently, Lawdragon Press interviewed Michael Kelly, our firm’s managing partner. Kelly, who has been practicing personal injury law in his hometown of San Francisco for 40 years, discussed his law school experience, how his practice has changed over the years, and, of course, the San Francisco Giants.

Kelly graduated the University of California Hastings College of Law in 1976, and began practicing that same year. He chose the law over careers in medicine and as a minister, because it seemed the best way to serve others and make the world a better place — and because the sight of blood makes him faint.

Kelly has seen a lot of changes in the legal field in his 40 years. The most dramatic has been improvements in auto safety. At the beginning of his career in the 1970s, car crash cases made up the vast majority of his work. Over time, product liability lawsuits against the automakers forced them to make safety a priority.

Now, Kelly says, the firm is spending more and more time on product liability cases involving a range of defective products. Most of the items harming consumers can be found in any home, such as appliances, baby furniture and drugs. Meanwhile, he has seen the effects of the California Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) since its passage in 1975. Kelly says that has blocked “at least 80 percent” of malpractice victims from bringing their cases to court.

When not working for his clients, Kelly enjoys going to San Francisco Giants games, having been a season ticket holder for more than 35 years, and spending time with his grandchildren.

You can read more of the interview here.