Do not hire J. Michael Kelly or any attorneys from his firm. They will not finish the work they promise on your case and they will try to overbill you 300 percent or more over what they promise for work they don't even do. Then they will try to harass you into paying them.
I hired J. Michael Kelly in December, 2006 for a simple matter which had already been handled by other attorneys and they simply had to finish. During our consultation, J. Michael Kelly and his sidekick Jack Bennett promised my case was very simple and that I would receive a good portion of my retainer back. They asked for a $7,500.00 retainer which I paid. J. Michael Kelly was agreed to be my attorney according to our meeting, however, he had Attorney Crystal Boultinghouse do the work for him on my case instead. He used paralegals that worked from home because that was much cheaper according to Mr. Kelly and Mr. Bennett.
In January, 2007 they got an order of protection which was a continuation of restraining orders I already had. They asked me to come into their office to meet with a child psychologist and I had to pay her $3,000.00. I got the order of protection which was not really difficult considering the defendant and his history.
I sent them an email thanking them for helping with my daughter. At that time they'd sent me a bill showing only $250 of my $7,500.00 retainer had been used. They immediately sent out a new bill for over $20,000.00. After that, in March 2007 they requested my case be reassigned from Magistrate Reva Goetz. This was frivilous and unnecessary. This was the only work done on my case. From that point I showed up for court on the following dates and I traveled several hours on those days to do so, only to find out that J. Michael Kelly and his firm had my court dates continued. They didn't want the case to be finished because they wanted to be able to keep billing me.
They harassed me incessantly to the point of huge emotional stress. Mr. Bennett called me on mother's day demanding money. He asked me to get loans from people, sell property, etc. I went through the worst experience of my life dealing with this firm and these people.
By June, 2007 my case became a huge media matter and the firm wanted to work on my case "free of charge." This was a complete lie. I didn't know what to do so I let them help me on the case. Crystal Boultinghouse gave me terrible advice as the first media interview I did was on FOX news and I was completely open and honest about my dealings with the defendant as by that point he was a suspect in a missing person case. She advised me not to tell the details I'd already given to the media in the interviews after my first one done by phone. This made me look very bad. In addition, J. Michael Kelly decided to hire a publicist on my behalf. The firm put out a memo to the media making it seems as if I'd hired a publicist. This also made me look terrible. Crystal Boultinghouse got into a verbal disagreement with the publicist in front of me and I walked out. I'd never wanted a publicist. All I wanted was to keep my daughter protected and to help in the case because I spoke out knowing what the defendant was capable of. Despite J. Michael Kelly promising not to bill and insisting that their name be mentioned in every interview about the case, I was treated horrifically. Their fraudulent bills got higher and higher to the point of now being over $36,000.00 after the $7,500.00 retainer they already received.
They still harass me via phone and email despite me telling them from the beginning 2 years ago that their bill is ridiculous, I don't agree, and they promised to pay me money back from the retainer. In addition, they made youtube videos about my case to use for their marketing, advertising, publicity discussing my case which is currently on their home page. They refuse to remove them and claim my case brings their office no business. They act as if they don't even know who I am although my case is the biggest media matter they've had this decade. I do not endorse them whatsoever. They have a matter with the state bar already for similar practices and now they have been reported again.
Do not hire this law firm. They are terrible. They look you in your eyes and lie straight to your face. All they want is money, entertainment connections, and media for their firm. This year in March I went to their office as I needed to pick up my file. They offered to settle as they looked me in the eyes and said they would "wipe my bill to zero so I would be their ally not their enemy."
This was another lie. After which, they have continued to harass me and attempt to get me to pay them on a monthly payment plan.
Do not hire J. Michael Kelly nor any of his attorneys. They will make your life miserable, not help with your case, and try to take money they didn't earn with bill padding and lies.
Contact me for more on my case, state bar, BBB, etc.
Thank you and good luck.
beverly hills, California