Welcome to the website of William J. Kelly, Attorney At Law.
I have been practicing law in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1997, handling both civil and criminal matters. My 22 years in law enforcement makes me especially well qualified to understand the frustration of my clients when they find themselves embroiled in the legal system.
My goal is to provide you with competent, professional legal assistance when you need it. My approach is to insure that I provide my personal attention to every client. I recognize that there are times when a client's needs are greater than one man can provide; in those times I rely on the network of legal professionals with whom I have developed working relationships over the years.
Please take a few moments to let me tell you about some of the work I have done for my clients over the years.
Johnston v. Coughlin is a 2003 real estate matter which I filed in San Mateo County. I was truly pleased with the outcome achieved in this case.
This case was about a contractual agreement between my client and a long time business colleague. The fact that their agreement was not in writing posed a serious problem because the general rule of law is that when the contract concerns a real estate transaction the contract must be in writing in order to be enforceable between the contracting parties. The business colleague breached the agreement when he sold some of their property and took well over a hundred thousand dollars for himself and did not pay my client his share. Diligent research allowed me to rely on a little known 50-year-old California Supreme Court case which led to recovering $150K for my client in spite of the supposedly unenforceable oral agreement.
I represented an African American man accused of felony spousal battery versus his estranged, aggressive, alcoholic wife. Careful research and direct negotiations with the prosecutor led to the eventual dismissal without having to take the case to trial.
Donald B. v. Fitzpatrick
I represented a man who had been involved in a fatal automobile accident. The fatally injured other driver had caused the accident by failing to stop at an arterial stop sign in a rural area. My client suffered tens of thousands of dollars in property damage and business losses as the result. He was, however, adamant that he did not want to sue anyone because the dead driver's family had already suffered a devastating loss. The dead driver's insurance company did not want to pay for anything except the damage to his vehicle. He had business losses and suffered serious mental anguish since the other driver died in his arms while he was trying to administer first aid. It took a year, and I had to go over the adjuster's head to the Vice President of the insurance company, but my client recovered the exact amount he and I had agreed the case was "worth" on the day he hired me. I relied on an arbitration award in a case I had worked on years before while in law school. The facts in the arbitrated case were almost identical and I was able to convince the insurance company to settle.
I represented a couple in Southern California. My clients had purchased a franchise and leased a store front in a small mall for a long term as the place to operate that business. Their business and several other franchises sold by the same corporation quickly failed miserably leaving my client with a contract to lease an unneeded store for a long time. The landlord demanded $124K. I told the landlord that my client owed nothing. I settled within a few weeks and my client paid only $19K not the $124K demanded by the landlord.
Patti H. v. Land Rover of North America
My client purchased a new car, paying over $90K. The troubles began almost immediately and the car was never properly repaired. Two years later the manufacturer wanted my client to assume another $30K plus in debt in order to get a new car. I eventually recovered over $90K for my client although she'd had the car two years and driven it 50,000 miles.
Mary T. v Ma B.
Not every case has a happy ending; sometimes just ending it is the best course. My client here sold a piece of residential real estate, originally for over asking price, but the appraisal did not support the loan so it was necessary to renegotiate the deal. The buyer was willing to pay over the appraised value and agreed to do so but at the last minute backed out insisting on a sale at the appraised value. This was a case my client could have won but to do so meant holding a half million dollar piece of real estate during a declining market, continuing to make the payments and continuing to bear both the risk that someone might wander on to the property and be injured; and, the burden of holding the property (payments, taxes, insurance, utilities, etc.) while the litigation moved methodically through the court. I advised my client that making the sale without getting the agreed upon extra money made the best business sense in spite of the law being on her side. Tough pill to swallow but my job is to make the best deal for my client, who would have spent over three times as much as she stood to gain and ran the risk that a judge or jury did not see it our way.