Michele C. Kennedy
THE MILLION DOLLAR ADVOCATES FORUM®
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Working in the legal profession has always been part of my family experience.
My great great-grandfather was an immigrant from Ireland in the mid-1800s
and read law books while cleaning a law office. He became the first of
a long line of family attorneys. My father and grandfather were District
Attorneys, and my other grandfather practiced business law. My brother
is a real estate attorney.
I've been a Plaintiff attorney for injured parties for over 30 years.
I consider myself to be a community attorney. My clients are primarily
those who have suffered major injuries – most often spinal injuries
or other serious injuries requiring surgery – or families who have
suffered the death of a family member due to the negligence of others.
Whether by jury, arbitration, mediation, or settlement requiring confidentiality,
my success is measured by the awards I have earned for my clients. I have
never had a defense verdict against me.
I first received my Bachelor of Arts, in Political Science, from the University
of California, Berkeley in 1975. Interested in a career as an international
lawyer, I earned a Master of Arts in International Policy Studies in 1981
at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, focusing on South
America. That same year I earned my JD degree from Hastings College of
the Law. While I was a law student at Hastings, I was selected to be a
member of the International & Comparative Law Journal, interned at
the Court of Appeal for Judge Poche, worked at Public Advocates (an impact
litigation law firm), and also worked at Farella, Braun & Martell
(a defense insurance firm). It was those experiences during law school
that inspired me to become a trial attorney.
I believe every client is entitled to excellent legal representation. My
practice is divided into two types of cases – cases that are never
filed with the courts and cases that are filed with the courts. The former
are cases that are resolved with the insurance companies, often for the
policy limit, and never need to be filed with the courts because my clients
received fair compensation. The latter are the cases in which my clients
do not receive a fair offer from the insurance companies and the only
way I can obtain a fair recovery for them is to file a lawsuit and proceed
to trial. Often insurance companies make a fair offer when faced with
a jury trial and the evidence we proved after filing the lawsuit.
I have successfully represented clients injured in auto, big rig trucking
and trailer, city bus, tourist bus, school van, agricultural vehicle,
motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents. I have also successfully
represented children, teenagers and adults in dog bite and wild animal
cases as well as slip, trip, and fall cases, on private and commercial
property, in city parks, at hotels, in shopping centers, in parking lots,
and even at the beach.
My clients usually are referrals from former clients, other attorneys,
former jurors, doctors and other medical providers, and even defense counsel
and insurance company employees. Because I have practiced for such a long
time, I have represented some clients multiple times. In one instance,
I represented four different family members in four different types of
accidents which occurred over 25 years - the grandfather, the parents,
a daughter, and a son in law. All were injured by someone else's negligence
– in car accidents, in a fall at a commercial site, and a pedestrian
hit by a car.
In my spare time, I have traveled all over the world studying Ethnobotany
– medicinal plants and the cultures and conditions for which they
are used. I have been fortunate to study with some of the most famous
and learned teachers, doctors, shamans, botanists, pharmacists, and indigenous
healers. When not traveling, I enjoy living on the Peninsula with my husband and dogs.
- Personal Injury
- Wrongful Death
- California, 1982
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1982
- Hastings College of the Law, J.D. 1981
- International and Comparative Law Journal, 1979-1980
Monterey Institute of International Studies,
M. A., International Policy Studies, 1981
University of California, Berkeley,
B.A. Political Science, 1975
Associations & Memberships:
- State Bar of California, 1982
- Monterey County Bar Association, 1982