James P. “Jim” Kelly
My name is Jim Kelly. As an attorney at Paul Padda Law, I handle both pre-litigation and litigation cases. The best part of being a personal injury lawyer is the satisfaction that comes with achieving results that can make a huge impact in a client’s life. Compared to most attorneys, I believe I have a rather unusual background. But it’s this background which, I believe, gives me a unique perspective and, frankly, an advantage in representing the firm’s clients.
I was born in Miami, Florida. While growing up, I moved several times with my parents and sister because of my father’s career as an airline pilot. During my formative years, I lived in Hawaii and New York before settling in California by the time I was nine years old. Growing up, I loved sports in school and played on many teams from an early age through college including baseball, basketball, football, track & field and rowing crew. These experiences in sports taught me the value of teamwork. When a team works together, it can achieve amazing things.
I received my bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles (“UCLA”). Being a biology major at UCLA taught me, among other things, about human anatomy which is knowledge I apply every day in my current job, which often involves reading complex medical records and speaking with physicians. While in college, I worked every summer in construction building homes and apartments. These experiences taught me the value of hard work and instilled in me a healthy respect for folks that earn an honest living working with their hands. After graduating from UCLA, I decided to focus on my early fascination with airplanes and flying by pursuing an aviation career, just like my father. I became a licensed pilot, then a certified flight instructor teaching others (including this famous guy Tom Cruise) to fly airplanes, and finally becoming a certified airline transport pilot flying for a national commuter airline. Those were some exciting years and I loved being a flight instructor and pilot. These experiences taught me the value of never “flying blind.” What this means to me is that, whether it’s navigating a plane or handling a personal injury case for a client, preparation is the key to a successful landing or result.
After being a pilot and flight instructor, I decided to change career paths and begin a new challenge. I moved to Las Vegas and joined the charter class at the Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (“UNLV”) in 1998. While studying law at UNLV, I also worked as a journeyman electrician at a major Las Vegas strip hotel. I graduated law school cum laude (with honors) and began my legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Sally Loehrer in the Clark County District Court. This was a phenomenal experience that allowed me to support a trial judge and observe hundreds of legal proceedings, including both civil and criminal trials. Every day I got to observe some of the best lawyers in Las Vegas argue cases to juries and learned a lot from simply watching them apply their talents. Later, I was selected to serve as a law clerk for the Honorable Myron Leavitt of the Nevada Supreme Court. I was fortunate to have this opportunity given that being selected to serve as a Supreme Court clerk is considered a highly prestigious and competitive opportunity afforded to only a few select law school graduates. This experience as a law clerk with Nevada’s highest state court allowed me to gain firsthand insight into how the law could influence the rights of people injured by the actions of others and how judges decide cases. With a ring side seat as a law clerk to so many fascinating cases, I became motivated to focus on a legal career helping people.
After finishing up my clerkships, I began practicing criminal law as an associate to James “Bucky” Buchanan, one of the most colorful and well-known criminal defense lawyers to ever walk the halls of the courthouses of Nevada. Working for Bucky was both entertaining and also a “baptism by fire” so to speak because he had me involved with many hearings and criminal cases on the first day of the job. Bucky was not the type of person that believed in a training period. You either made it or you didn’t. Not the type of lawyer to coddle his clients or his staff, Bucky had me running from one courtroom to the next every single day fighting for clients. I learned so much from these experiences. I learned from Bucky valuable lessons about advocacy, toughness, negotiation skills and always putting the client first. As I spent more and more time in court, I met many people who were victims of injury accidents caused by the carelessness of others who sought my help. One day Bucky tragically passed away because of a car accident. This affected me, and I decided right then and there that I needed to focus on helping injury victims.
Having represented personal injury clients for well over a decade now, I’ve had a chance to come to certain conclusions. First, most people want a lawyer who tells it to them straight. Second, in law, as in most things in life, it’s better to under promise and over deliver. Third, the best advocacy comes from a place of honesty and authenticity. These are the traits that impress judges and juries the most. While as a lawyer I can never guarantee a result, I can promise that when you hire Paul Padda Law you’re picking a firm that cares about you. You’re picking a team that knows how to win. Give us a call today at (702) 213-9454 or contact us through this website “Contact Us” page, and let us help you get on the path to recovery.