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  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated
    5.0 out of 5
  • Michael Kelly "has a unique and effective style in the courtroom which resonates very, very well with judges and juries," comments one source. - Chambers USA

    Sources call him "outstanding" and "a strong litigator." - Chambers USA

http://mccarter.mobi/qrcode/MichaelKelly.png

Education

  • J.D., Dickinson School of Law, 1983
  • B.A., Columbia University, 1979

Bar Admissions

  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Delaware
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

Memberships & Affiliations

Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers

Judicial Nominating Commission, State of Delaware, 2009 to present

Community Advisory Board of the Wilmington News Journal

Rodney Inns of Court

Pro Bono Inns of Court

Board of Trustees, Tower Hill School

Founding Member, Defense Counsel of Delaware

Secretary and General Counsel, News Journal W. Frank Scholarship Trust

General Counsel, Sojourner’s Place Homeless Shelter

Board of Directors, Police Athletic League

Delaware State Bar Association, Treasurer, 1992 - 1994

Chairman, New Castle County Zoning Board of Adjustment, 1989 – 1995

Board of Directors, Delaware Council on Crime and Justice

Delaware Volunteer Legal Services

Executive Committee and Past President, St. Thomas More Society

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

Member, Wilmington Rotary Club

Michael P. Kelly

Chairman of the Firm
  • T: 302.984.6301
    F: 302.984.2493

Michael Kelly is one of the top trial lawyers in the country. He has litigated hundreds of high-profile cases nationally in both state and federal courts, including commercial and other civil disputes, shareholder suits, toxic torts, product liability, environmental, antitrust, Hatch Waxman and other intellectual property cases. He has brought more than hundreds of these cases to trial and argued countless appeals, including over 20 cases before the Delaware Supreme Court. Mr. Kelly is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

His most recent victory in the Delaware Chancery Court made new law. In Cigna v. Audax, Mr. Kelly brought suit on behalf of Cigna, a preferred Audax stockholder whose shares were extinguished by a merger that closed in February 2014, and secured a declaration permitting it to tender its shares and receive merger consideration without adopting conditions imposed by the buyer. Siding with Cigna, the Court held that these conditions were invalid and that substantial components of the Merger Agreement violated Delaware General Corporation Law. This decision has significant potential ramifications for future mergers under Delaware law.

Also in 2014, in the First Circuit, Mr. Kelly served as co-counsel in defense of AstraZeneca's Hatch-Waxman Act settlements with generic drug manufacturers from multiple MDL antitrust class actions. The classes, consisting of end users, distributors and retailers, claimed that AZ's settlements with generic manufacturers over its patented drug Nexium harmed competition by artificially delaying generic entry. It is the first “pay-for-delay” case to reach trial since the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in FTC v. Actavis. Pretrial practice and tactics limited the scope of the claims and created what proved to be an insurmountable hurdle on the issue of causation. After six weeks of trial, a Massachusetts jury found that there was no causation between the settlements and no proof that a generic could have entered the market earlier than the date permitted under the settlements. Mr. Kelly was instrumental in devising the strategy of the case and led settlement discussions.

A recent landmark case was the Seroquel® litigation, one of the largest pharmaceutical mass tort suits ever. Mr. Kelly served on AstraZeneca’s National Senior Management Team for the case and was lead trial counsel in Delaware. Mr. Kelly obtained summary judgment in the first Seroquel case filed in Delaware (Hopkins v. AstraZeneca) and a sweeping statute of limitations decision (Burrell et al v. AstraZeneca). These decisive victories paved the way to over 28,000 settlements in similar cases, at a fraction of the cost of the settlements of comparable tort cases. Mr. Kelly served as lead negotiator in the settlement negotiations. Mr. Kelly also serves on the national trial team for the In Re Risperdal Products Litigation for Johnson and Johnson. In October—December 2015, Mr. Kelly was lead trial attorney in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas case, Stange v Johnson and Johnson et al, which resulted in the lowest monetary award to date. 

In 2016 Mr. Kelly also defeated a class action in the “Teamsters Local 307 et al v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals et al” consumer and successfully argued the affirmance of that dismissal before the Delaware Supreme Court. 

Mr. Kelly was also lead defense trial counsel in the In re Metoprolol antitrust litigation, which involved alleged damages in excess of $3 billion. In a 2005 Lanham Act trial, Mr. Kelly won not only a favorable judgment in excess of $100 million, but $12 million in attorney's fees, one of the largest fee awards in Delaware history. Mr. Kelly represents numerous Fortune 100 companies and for many years was the attorney for former boxing heavyweight champion “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier.

He has been a leader in the Delaware legal community for decades and currently serves on the State of Delaware Judicial Nominating Commission. Early in his career, he was General Counsel of the Resins Group at Hercules Incorporated, after serving as the company’s chief environmental litigator. Mr. Kelly started out as a trial attorney at the Wilmington firm of Prickett Jones during which time he served as Treasurer of the Delaware State Bar Association and cofounded the Defense Counsel of Delaware. A popular speaker for both his trial experience and extensive knowledge of Delaware law, Mr. Kelly lectures on litigation and trial strategy, and has appeared as a legal commentator on live national television and radio. He has testified as an expert at trial and offered legal commentary in Newsweek, Barrons and The Wall Street Journal. He frequently contributes articles to legal publications and is on the faculty of the University of Virginia Law School Trial Advocacy Institute. Mr. Kelly also serves on the boards of numerous charitable organizations.

In addition to his role as a trial attorney and commitment to his clients, Mr. Kelly is Chairman of the Firm and serves on McCarter’s Executive Committee and Compensation Committee.

He was recognized as a Chambers USA “Leaders in Their Field” lawyer for 2014-2017. Chambers is published by Chambers and Partners. Martindale-Hubbell is published by Internet Brands, Inc. A description of their selection process can be found in the respective links above. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

News

09/15/17
09/07/17
08/23/17
08/22/17
08/04/17
06/09/17
03/17/17
02/06/17
12/08/16
12/01/16
10/11/16
10/10/16
10/10/16
10/10/16
09/23/16
08/10/16
07/07/16
06/03/16
05/27/16
05/25/16
04/30/16
04/20/16
04/18/16
04/08/16
03/31/16
03/04/16
03/02/16
03/02/16
01/07/16
12/18/15
11/17/15
09/09/15
07/15/15
07/08/15
07/04/15
06/19/15
06/17/15
06/11/15
06/11/15
05/28/15
05/13/15
05/11/15
03/18/15
03/02/15
02/12/15
02/04/15
02/04/15
12/11/14
12/06/14
12/05/14
09/22/14
08/26/14
07/22/14
07/22/14
07/22/14
06/13/14
06/01/14
03/26/14
02/24/14
10/03/13
06/19/13
03/26/13
03/04/13
02/26/13
12/24/12
Mike Kelly quoted in The News Journal, Wilmington, DE, American government, get serious about gun laws
12/21/12
12/21/12
Mike Kelly quoted in the American Lawyer article titled "Despite Bold Predictions, Seroquel Plaintiffs Settle Bulk of Cases for Roughly $11,000 Per Claimant"
12/20/12
12/06/12
10/25/12
10/22/12
10/18/12
10/05/12
09/27/12
11/15/10
Mike Kelly quoted by Delaware News Journal in a profile of Vice President Joe Biden's sister, Valerie Biden Owens
09/24/10
Mike Kelly mentioned in American Lawyer regarding the dismissal of three Seroquel cases for AstraZeneca where the judge ruled that their claims were barred by Delaware's statute of limitations. The decision will impact well over half of the docket.
08/16/10
08/09/10
07/22/10
Mike Kelly quoted in the American Lawyer article titled "In Seroquel Stunner, AstraZeneca Reportedly Settles 200 Cases for $2 Million."
06/02/10
08/05/09
06/26/09
Mike Kelly quoted in the Pharmaceutical Law & Industry Report regarding how a Delaware trial court excluded a diabetic woman's expert causation witness and granted summary judgment for Seroquel manufacturer AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP
06/15/09
Mike Kelly quoted in a Forbes online article regarding the favorable judgment for our client AstraZeneca in Seroquel lawsuit
04/14/08
04/07/08
Michael Kelly quoted in DealReporter concerning the law suits over financing of the Clear Channel deal
03/27/08
Michael Kelly quoted on Bloomberg about the Delaware law suit over Clear Channel acquisition financing
03/26/08
Michael Kelly's quoted on the possibility of legal challenges to the Bear Stearns takeover appear in the International Herald Tribune and on Reuters
03/24/08
Michael Kelly was quoted on the Vioxx agreement as a possible model for future mass tort settlements in Health.Law360.com
03/17/08
Michael Kelly was quoted about possible legal challenges to the sale of Bear Stearns
02/19/08
Michael Kelly quoted in National Law Journal and New Jersey Law Journal about business litigation in the Delaware courts
11/09/07
07/25/07
07/16/07
04/26/07
07/12/05
05/16/05
02/18/05
11/22/04
Michael Kelly was quoted in Newsweek in connection with the Ovitz/Disney Trial
10/25/04
Michael Kelly was interviewed by Bloomberg TV as a legal expert regarding the Disney v. Ovitz trial
12/01/03
Mike Kelly was interviewed on Bloomberg Radio, re Daimler Chrysler
11/23/03
Mike Kelly was quoted in The News Journal, re Eric May v. Wilmington Trust
11/20/03
Mike Kelly was quoted in The News Journal, re Eric May v. Michael Hershey
11/06/03
Mike Kelly quoted in Bloomberg News regarding Daimler Chrysler

Speaking

05/13/17
02/15/17
01/30/12
Conference of Chief Justices, Delaware
01/08/12
Michael Kelly featured speaker with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and other judges
University of Virginia Law School Annual National Trial Advocacy College, Charlottesville, Va.
09/25/07
Taking and Defending Effective Depositions in Delaware
Wilmington - Sponsored by Lorman Education Services
10/10/05
Michael P. Kelly and Co-Speaker, Honorable Mary Pat Thynge - Judge, Wilmington, DE
Delaware - NBI, Inc.
06/22/05
11/05/04
05/25/04
02/04/04
05/16/03
01/23/03
09/18/02
02/22/02
01/22/02
11/14/01
04/27/01
04/24/01
Trying the Automobile Injury Case in Delaware
NBI
06/01/00
Tips for Successful Arbitration and Mediation
Delaware Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention
12/01/99
Testifying Expert Witness in Legal Malpractice Litigation
Delaware Superior Court
10/01/99
How to Litigate Your First Civil Trial in Delaware
NBI
12/01/98
Trying the Automobile Injury Case in Delaware
NBI
06/01/96
The Orthopedist and the Lawyer
Delaware Trial Lawyers Association Convention

Publications

09/14/17
09/06/17
08/14/17
07/21/17
07/07/17
06/06/17
06/05/17
06/02/17
05/31/17
05/03/17
04/27/17
02/17/17
02/08/17
01/20/17
12/31/16
12/29/16
12/10/14
09/03/14
11/08/13
08/01/13
04/20/11
Court upholds woman's 'de facto' parental rights
The News Journal
02/07/11
01/02/11
Control guns for the 'common good'
Delawareonline
06/01/09
05/10/09
06/21/06
Taking And Defending Effective Depositions
Lorman Education Services
08/01/05
Humor in the Courtroom