John C. Kelly

Founding Partner


Professional Recognition


John C. Kelly is a founding member of Carroll, Kelly, Trotter & Franzen. a trial firm, established in 1994, specializing in the defense of personal injury claims. Prior to establishing the firm with his partners, Richard D. Carroll and Michael J. Trotter, Mr. Kelly was a partner with the firm of Baker, Silberberg & Keener handling the defense of professional liability claims from both their Santa Monica and Orange County offices. Mr. Kelly is a member of both California and the Nevada Bars and defends claims in both states. Mr. Kelly graduated from UCLA in 1982 and from Southwestern School of Law in 1985.

Mr. Kelly is a member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates and has earned the Rank of Advocate. He is a frequent lecturer at the Masters in Trial Programs sponsored by the American Board of Trial Advocates and has been requested to speak on medical-legal issues to innumerable medical groups, hospitals and law schools throughout Southern California. Mr. Kelly is also a member of the select Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and is also associated with the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel and numerous bar associations. Mr. Kelly enjoys an AV rating, the highest rating available, with Martindale-Hubbell.

In 2012, Mr. Kelly was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in America.

Mr. Kelly has been lead trial counsel in well over 100 jury trials and binding arbitrations. He has been selected to the Trial Panel of several well established carriers including CAP/MPT, The Doctors’ Company, Norcal Mutual Insurance Company, Dignity Health, Western Litigation, Hudson Insurance Group, Prime Healthcare, The Regents of the University of California, Adventist Health, BETA Healthcare Group, Kaiser Permanente, Providence Health, Huntington Memorial Hospital Foundation, City of Hope National Medical Center, Memorial Healthcare Medical Group, Medicus, Allied World, and others. He has been named as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” from 2005 – 2018. Mr. Kelly has been recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, Orange County in 2013, as well as listed by Best Lawyers ongoing since 2012.

Born in Los Angeles in 1959, Mr. Kelly resides with his wife and two children in the Los Angeles area. Outside of his practice, he is a member of the Corporate Recruitment Cabinet of Verbum Dei High School in Watts. He also enjoys water skiing, skiing, and beach volleyball.

Our Firm Has Been Recognized in the Following Rating Services & Publications:

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