Michael V. Kelley
September 3, 1951 – January 2, 2006
Before forming Kelley & Ferraro, Michael V. Kelley had a personal injury practice which included class action suits, as well as aviation disasters, and tobacco and asbestos litigation. Over the years, Michael V. Kelley had taken personal injury and wrongful death cases to verdict, while settling others.
The son of a Cleveland firefighter, Kelley graduated with a BA from Case Western Reserve University in 1974. He studied law at night at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law while working by day as an administrator for the Ohio State Auditor. Michael V.Kelley received his law degree in 1981.
Kelley was licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio in 1982 and in the District of Columbia in 1991. The Kelley & Ferraro founding partner was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Fifth and Sixth U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, and various U.S. District Courts.
“Becoming a lawyer was the fulfillment of a childhood dream,” said Kelley. “In law, you can do good in your community for so many deserving and needy people.”
Outside of his legal practice Michael V. Kelley had been civically active. In 1983, Kelley was appointed to the Board of the Cleveland Public Library and served as its President from 1988 to 1990. During his presidency, Kelley provided the leadership to restore the Library’s Main Building and to build the Louis Stokes Annex.
Kelley and his wife, Lynn Arko Kelley, a former judge of the Cleveland Heights Municipal Court, donated $2.5 million to the Faith in the Future capital campaign of Gilmour Academy. In recognition of their support, Gilmour named its middle school after the Kelleys.
In addition, Kelley established the Michael V. Kelley Distinguished Speakers Series at his high school alma mater, St. Ignatius. The series has brought to Cleveland — among others — George Will, Lech Welesa, and Ralph Nader.