Timothy C. Kelleher III and Patrick T. Jones
That old saying about how the more things change, the more they stay the same has proven remarkably true at the Boston plaintiffs’ firm of Jones Kelleher, which was formerly known as the personal injury practice group at Cooley Manion Jones. In January 2014, CMJ became two firms, and if you ask partner Tim Kelleher about what’s different at Jones Kelleher’s 10-attorney practice—from the way it handles cases to its dedication to client service—the answer isn’t all that surprising. “It’s been a seamless transition,” says Kelleher, who just wrapped up a year-long term at the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA) and is currently acting as its immediate past president. “As a group, we’ve always prided ourselves on our ability to do a great job for our clients.” It’s just that now, says Kelleher, he and his colleagues will potentially be able to assist an even greater number of people. “We don’t have to turn cases away the way we did before,” Kelleher notes, explaining that potential conflicts with other practice groups at the previous firm presented barriers to growth. “We’re free now to take on those cases, and that’s great news for us and for our clients. It’s an exciting time, and we’re off and running.”
Even so, in many ways, it’s simply business as usual for the attorneys at Jones Kelleher, the majority of whom started working together as a group in the 1980s. Kelleher says the firm is currently handling a wide variety of serious personal injury cases, and is well equipped to take on anything from complex medical malpractice claims and catastrophic personal injury cases to cases involving construction-site injury and wrongful death. Multi-million dollar recoveries are routine, but make no mistake, the attorneys at Jones Kelleher treat each case individually, crafting personalized legal strategies to respond to an infinite number of intricacies. At the end of the day, this reluctance to rely on one-size-fits-all solutions translates into real results for clients, says Kelleher.
Cases are staffed by carefully selected teams that bring the full resources of the firm to each matter, says Kelleher. The attorneys have been behind some of the biggest—and most high profile—cases in the region, from a $43 million recovery for victims of a nightclub fire and a $7.5 million recovery for a worker seriously injured in a propane explosion, to a $7 million recovery in a medical malpractice case relating to injuries suffered by a newborn. “These are tragic events that happen to normal, everyday people,” says Kelleher. “Our group is committed to helping our clients get back on their feet and to obtaining civil justice in our legal system.”
Something else that didn’t change in January? The firm’s unwavering commitment to community service. Partner Pat Jones, who is currently serving as the president of the Rhode Island Association for Justice (RIAJ) and is also a past president of MATA, is, along with fellow lawyers, spearheading Pine Street Inn’s Boston Legal Community House Project, an effort to raise $1 million from within the legal community to build a new residence that will provide permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless guests of the Inn. “It’s a great way for the legal community to give back,” says Jones, who notes that colleague Elizabeth Conway recently ran the Boston Marathon—her first time in the race—to raise donations for Pine Street Inn. “But then again, community service runs deep within our group.” Adds Jones, “We don’t do this because we have to, but because of a deeply held belief that to truly be a part of the community, we have to participate in improving it. It’s a benchmark of our firm.”
For this team of lawyers, it boils down to leadership: in the community, in the courtroom, and at the negotiating table. “Working with such a motivated, driven group of attorneys has been one of the joys of my life,” says Kelleher. “We have a history of proven results and we are proudly continuing that tradition as Jones Kelleher.”