Member Directory
Member Directory

Michael Kelly

Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
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Michael Kelly
Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
San Francisco,

Mike Kelly is in his fourth decade as one of the nation's top personal injury attorneys. Throughout that time he has protected consumers from corporate greed, medical mistakes, dangerous household products, unsafe drugs and devices, roadway accidents and a host of other wrongdoers. He has tried, arbitrated or settled more than 200 cases where the recovery by his client exceeded $1,000,000.

Kelly is consistently listed among the top tier of lawyers in the country in cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, paralysis and medical malpractice. A member of the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, he is currently spearheading the litigation against the giant utility PG&E for the damage done to local residents by the recent Northern California wildfires. He was selected by Super Lawyers as a "Top Ten" honoree for 2017-2018 and by "Best Lawyers" as the 2017 Lawyer of The Year in the area of mass torts.

When resolution by mediation or settlement fails, Kelly is ready to take his client's cases before juries. Within the last year he obtained a $4,000,000 jury verdict against the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District for the death of a pedestrian struck by one of its buses, negotiated a major confidential settlement against Kaiser Health plan for a high tech worker and obtained a $5.6 million dollar jury verdict against a Super Shuttle driver for the death of a retired restauranteur in a Highway 101 multi-vehicle crash. A year earlier he concluded four major cases including a $12.75 million recovery against a domestic auto maker, (auto roll over), a $10.5 million settlement for the wrongful death of a single mother and a $7.5 million birth injury malpractice recovery against a national HMO. His $8,341,000 verdict in the first DePuy ASR / Johnson and Johnson metal-on-metal artificial hip trial set the standard for verdicts in the nationwide hip implant litigation and helped produce a $2.5 billion national settlement. His $8,350,000 verdict on behalf of a construction worker who lost an arm in a fall in the same year showed his skill in work-site injury cases. His $23,200,000 jury verdict in a birth injury medical malpractice case in Minnesota ranks among that states largest verdicts for obstetrical injury.

Beyond stellar results for his clients, Kelly is proud of his many contributions to the legal community. He is a sought-after speaker and teacher having presented more than two hundred invited educational lectures, tutorials, presentations, seminars and advocacy demonstrations across the United States, Asia, South America, the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe. He is a regular speaker for 360 Advocacy, and chairs its annual Trucking Litigation program. He teaches regularly for NITA, The Rutter Group, ABOTA, the Consumer Attorneys of California, AAJ and SFTLA. He served for ten years as the Director of Teacher Training programs for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and remains as a member of its Board of Governors. He has long been active in protecting the rights of the underrepresented, and working for pedestrian and bicyclist safety, lobbying for compensation fairness for medical malpractice victims and protecting the rights of the LGBT community.

In 2014, he was selected as the "Trial Lawyer of the Year" by the California Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. In 2012 he was honored by the Consumer Attorneys of California with the Robert E. Cartwright award, for his work teaching Trial Advocacy. In 2011 he was honored by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy with the Robert Oliphant Award, recognizing his pro bono contributions to advocacy teaching. He has been selected as the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association's "Trial Lawyer of the Year," an award for which he has been nominated in three different decades.

He holds an "AV" rating (highest rating) from Martindale-Hubbell. He has been elected to the most selective legal honorary societies including the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers (for whom he served as President in 2012-2013), the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, The Summit Counsel and The Irish 100. He has served on the National Board of ABOTA and the Foundation of ABOTA.

He graduated summa cum laude from St. Mary's College of California in 1973. He obtained his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1976. He was an Assistant Professor of Law at Hastings from 1981 - 2001.

Areas of Practice

Arbitration and Mediation of Catastrophic Injury
Product Liability
Medical Malpractice
Premises Liability
Automobile Negligence
Wrongful Death
Obstetrical Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Claims

Bar Admissions

California, 1976


University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
J.D. - 1976
St. Mary's College of California, California
B.A. summa cum laude - 1973
Honors: De La Salle Medal (Academic Excellence)
Honors: Milliken Award (Student Affairs)

Representative Cases

Rogers v. Associated Clinics, (Obstetric Malpractice - Brain Injury), $23,200,000 Jury Verdict
Goodloe v. Bell Sports, Inc., (Defective Bicycle Helmet - Brain Injury), $17,000,000 Jury Verdict
Rachel K. v. Truck Line Operator , (Bicycle v. Semi-Truck - Catastrophic Injuries), $15,000,000.00 Settlement
Teen v. Auto Component Re-Seller, ( Vehicle Stability Failure - Paralysis ), $12,500,000 Settlement
Survivors v. General Contractor, (Construction Site Injury - Wrongful Death), $10,500,000 Settlement
Family of H. v. UpRight, Inc., (Defective Industrial Product - Wrongful Death), $10,000,000 Settlement
Twins v. Fertility Center , (Fertility Clinic Negligence - Congenital Disease), $9,500,000 Settlement
Dahl V. Stone M.D., (Paraplegia - Medical Malpractice), $9,420,840 Jury Verdict
Perry v. Budget Rent-A-Car , (Automobile Accident), $8,775,000 Jury Verdict
Kammerer v. Alimak Hek, Inc. , (Construction Site Fall - Arm Amputation), $8,350,000 Jury Verdict
Kransky v. DePuy Inc., (Defective Metal on Metal Prosthetic Hip), $8,300,000 Jury Verdict
Widow v. National Package Delivery, (Truck v. Auto Collision - Wrongful Death), $7,750,000 Settlement
Infant v. HMO, (Gynecology Negligence - Birth Injury), $7,500,000 Settlement
Henry V. v. PG&E , (Electrocution - Utility Negligence), $7,000,000 Settlement
Child v. Pediatric Neurosurgeon, (Quadriplegia - Surgical Error), $6,350,000 Settlement
Family vs. S.F. Hospital , (Wrongful Death -Medical Malpractice), $5,850,000 Settlement
Johnston v. American Honda Motor Co. , (Product Liability - Wrongful Death), $5,760,000 Jury Verdict
Software Engineer v. Hospital Corp. , (Failure to Diagnose Aneurysm - Brain Damage), $5,475,000 Settlement
Diana C. v. Device Maker , (Defective Medical Device - Paralysis), $5,250,000 Settlement
Richard L. v HMO, (Failure to Diagnose Spinal Abscess), $5,250,000 Settlement
Olivier v. Petroleum Supplier , (Loss of Leg - Motorcycle Accident), $4,500,000 Settlement
Student v. Valley Unified School District , (Negligent School Supervision Paraplegia), $4,500,000 Settlement
Michael O. v. County of Kern , (Dangerous Highway - Brain Damage), $4,500,000 Settlement
Richard T. v. HMO , (Brain Damage - Failure to Diagnose Cardiomyopathy), $4,250,000 Settlement
Machinist v. Industrial Machine Design , (Product Liability - Brain Damage), $4,000,000 Settlement
Infant v. HMO , (Birth Injury - Diplegia), $3,975,000 Settlement
Jastrab v. Kelada , (Failure to Diagnose Infection - Permanent Leg Injury), $3,170,000 Jury Verdict
Ethier v. Poindexter , (Wrongful Death of Child), $3,030,000 Jury Verdict
Student v. Daimler-Chrysler , (Defective Seatbelt - Spinal Cord Injury), $3,000,000 Settlement
Michael N. v. U.S. Automaker , (Vehicle Stability Defect - Rollover Accident), $2,900,000 Settlement
Baby Y. v. Sutter Health , (Failure to Diagnose Kernicterus), $2,900,000 Settlement
Kemp v. Kaiser Permanente, (Wrongful Death of Wife & Mother), $2,730,000 Binding Arbitration Award

Honors and Awards

CAL-ABOTA, Trial Lawyer of the Year, San Francisco Chapter
Martindale-Hubbell, "AV" Rating (Highest Rating; Received Annually Each Year Since First Rated in 1982)
Recipient, CAOC Cartwright Award for Teaching Litigation Advocacy (2012)
Recipient, Award, N.I.T Robert Oliphant.A. (2011)
San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2010 (Also Nominated 1999, 2001, 2008)
Top Ten Northern California "Super Lawyers" (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Award of Merit, Bar Association of San Francisco (2007)
Listed, "The Best Lawyers In America", 1997 - 2012
The Recorder Newspaper: San Francisco's Best Personal Injury Attorney, (Voted by Peers in San Francisco Bar, 2010)
Consumer Attorneys of California, Nominated Finalist, Consumer Attorney of the Year (2008, 2010)
American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
U.C. Hastings Foundation, Board Membership, 2010 - 2013
National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Program Director: West Coast Teacher Training, 2001 - 2010
Harvard Teacher Training, 2005 - 2008
Colorado Teacher Training, 2006 - 2007
New York Teacher Training, 2009 - 2012
Judicial Council of California, Member, Jury Instruction Task Force, 2000 - 2003
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Pro Tem

Professional Associations and Memberships

American Board of Trial Advocates San Francisco Chapter, President, 2010
American Board of Trial Advocates San Francisco Chapter, National Board Member, 2002 - 2003
American Board of Trial Advocates San Francisco Chapter, National Board Member, 2004 - 2012
International Society of Barristers, Fellow, President, 2012 - 2013
International Society of Barristers, Fellow, Member, Board of Governors, 2002 - 2012
National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Member, Board of Trustees, 2002 - 2012
San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, President, 1996
San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Executive Board Member, 1990 - 1995
State Bar of California, Member, Litigation Section
Bar Association of San Francisco, Litigation Section, Member, Judiciary Committee, Executive Committee, 2001 - 2006
American Association for Justice, Member
Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Member
International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Member
Judicial Council of California, Member, Jury Instruction Task Force , 2000 - 2003
Judicial Council Advisory, Member, Committee on Civil Jury Instructions (C.A.C.I.)
San Francisco Superior Court Judicial Arbitration Arbitrator Selection Committee, Member, 1998 - 2008
Edward J. McFetridge San Francisco American Inn of Court, 1990 - 1993
San Francisco Superior Court
Association of Personal Injury Attorneys (United Kingdom)

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