I am a trial lawyer who has taken a wide variety of cases to trial. Whether it’s a feud between business partners or a dispute over real estate, I have the ability to take the facts of the case and tell my client’s story to a judge or jury in a compelling, persuasive way.
I have significant trial experience in many different venues—something that is increasingly a rarity among litigators. I am dedicating my skills to the Firm’s Trust and Estate Litigation practice to support the growing needs of our clients and prospective clients.
I wake up every morning at 4:15 a.m. to start my day. I love what I can accomplish before the sun rises, whether it is at the gym, at home meditating – or getting a head start at the office.
Civil, Commercial and Business Litigation
Represented a real estate broker against a $700,000 claim for breach of contract and fraud related to the sale of a medical office building in Southern California. Obtained a complete defense verdict for her client after a week-long jury trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Successfully defended the owner of a car dealership in a jury trial involving a $200,000 breach of contract claim in San Joaquin County Superior Court. Trial court verdict was affirmed on appeal.
Title Insurance and Escrow Litigation
Represented a title company that was sued for over $1 million in a multi-party action venued in San Mateo County Superior Court’s complex litigation division. Obtained a judgment of non-suit at the close of Plaintiff’s case.
Represented a title insurance company that was sued in Federal Court by a bank on a claim exceeding $1 million arising from an alleged bad faith breach of the insurance contract. Along with shareholder Michael Kuzmich, defeated the claim through a motion for summary judgment that upheld the title insurance company’s right to rely on a No Voluntary Payment clause in the policy as a basis to deny title insurance coverage to the bank.
Represented title insurance companies seeking to establish priority lien positions on behalf of their insured institutional lenders as against lenders holding trust deeds secured by home equity lines of credit and other obligations. Have settled many of these cases, often resulting in a full release and reconveyance of the adverse trust deed.
Real Estate Litigation
Represented a national trust company in an action to secure possession of commercial real property against a previous owner that did not vacate the property after foreclosure. Obtained a judgment against the entity in possession after trial in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Represented an individual in an easement dispute involving multiple adjacent land owners in Sacramento County. Succeeded in affirming the individual’s rights in the easement after a two-week bench trial in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Kelley has extensive State and Federal trial experience, often serving as lead trial counsel. She is experienced in business, real estate and trusts and estates litigation. For many years, Kelley assisted title insurance companies in resolving a plethora of covered claims. She litigated cases involving easements, secured real property liens, foreclosures, real estate fraud, insurance bad faith, escrow liability and agency. Kelley knows her way around a courtroom, which has made her a sought-after litigator for cases that go well beyond the niche of title and escrow law.
I am never afraid to take a case to trial. That said, my goal is always to try to resolve litigation disputes before trial becomes inevitable.