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Securities Litigation

Brokers and Dealers

Registered Representatives

Investment Advisors

Financial Planners

Civil Litigation

Administrative Investigations

Administrative Hearings

Real Estate Agents/Brokers

Property Inspectors

Title Insurers

Escrow Agents

Civil Litigation

Civil Arbitration



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Mr. Kelly is a civil litigation attorney and mediator whose practice focuses on commercial litigation. He regularly handles matters involving financial institutions and professionals, including registered investment advisors (RIAs), insurance agents, financial planners (CFPs), registered representatives and securities broker-dealers. Other areas of expertise include employment law and actions arising under state and federal employment statutes, real estate litigation, commercial and residential, as well as miscellaneous professional liability cases and director and officer disputes.


  • L.L.M., N.Y.U. School of Law, 1990

  • J.D., New York Law School, 1984

  • B.A., New York State University College at New Paltz, 1980

Admissions and Memberships

  • Admitted in California, New York, and New Jersey

  • Member: Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)

Case Highlights

  • Rush v. White Corporation (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 1086:  Represented defendants and obtained summary judgment in multi-plaintiff suit concerning real estate development in Big Sky, Montana.  Successfully defeated plaintiff's appeal to the First District Court of Appeal.  The appellate court opinion can be read here.  

  • George v. Pacific West Securities:  Represented Pacific West Securities, et al. in a lengthy FINRA arbitration in which the George's claims were denied in their entirety.  Obtained order in Federal Court confirming the arbitration award and succeeded in having the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals uphold the Order confirming the arbitration award.  The opinion can be read here.

  • Ashburn v. Sagepoint Financial, Inc.:  Represented Respondent Sharon A. Kearney in a lengthy FINRA arbitration and successfully obtained an award that the claimant's claims are denied in their entirety.  The opinion can be read here.

  • Habersham Funding v. Mills Potoczak & Company:  Represented Mills Potoczak & Company and successfully opposed Habersham's motion for contractual attorney fees and Habersham's subsequent appeal.  The opinion can be read here.

  • Sawyer v. Horowitz & Associates, Inc.:  Represented the Respondents and obtained a favorable award in a lengthy FINRA arbitration where the claimant's claims were denied in their entirety.  Successfully opposed claimant's motion to vacate the award and succeeded on our cross-motion to confirm the award.  The opinion can be read here.

  • Chandler v. Asset Preservation, Inc.:  Successfully defended Respondent in a AAA arbitration.  Not only were claimants' claims denied in their entirety but our client was also declared the prevailing party and awarded fees and costs of $151,354.00.  The Final Award can be read here.

Legal Experience

  • Litigation in state and federal Courts, as well as arbitrations administered by FINRA, AAA, JAMS and private mediation. 

  • Securities Litigation - representing securities broker-dealers and registered representatives, registered investment advisors, and financial planners. 

  • Employment - representing employers in civil litigation as well as administrative investigations and hearings. 

  • Real Estate Litigation - representing real estate agents and brokers, property inspectors, title insurers and escrow agents. 

  • Insurance Litigation - representing life insurance agents, property and casualty insurance agents, and commercial insurance agents. 

  • Miscellaneous Professional Liability - representing a variety of professionals and service providers in civil litigation and arbitration. 

  • General Civil Litigation - matters ranging from business disputes to premises liability, as well as director and officer disputes.

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