The Shelley Law Firm is led by Michael Shelley, a trial and appellate attorney with a long history of winning results for his clients. He has had equal success as a trial attorney on behalf of Plaintiffs or Defendants.
Over the course of his now 28-year career, Mr. Shelley has recovered total damages in excess of $250,000,000 for his clients in cases and claims where his clients suffered catastrophic injuries and devastating financial losses. He has also spared his clients from claims of damages totaling more than $1,000,000,000 proving these claims in commercial and tort actions to be fraudulent and/or exaggerated.
Mr. Shelley relentlessly pursues justice for his clients and while always maintaining the integrity of the judicial system. He is a leader in the legal community in obtaining sanctions against litigants adverse to his clients, including the striking of claims and defenses, and obtaining attorney's fees awards, because those adverse litigants attempted to perpetrate fraudulent claims or defenses in Court.
Mr. Shelley has tried to verdict more than two dozen cases in state and federal courts throughout Florida. He has successfully resolved through arbitrations and mediations hundreds of other cases.
Mr. Shelley has pioneered new causes of action in Florida, namely bad-faith against an automobile insurer for failure to properly resolve a claim against an insured's uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) benefits. He also established the cause of action "Tortious Interference with the Physician-Patient Relationship", which arose from a disability insurer engaging in fraud and deceit to deny benefits to one of its policyholders. He has also established state-wide precedent for the standard of dismissal of actions where a party has attempted to perpetrate a fraud upon the court. And on the federal level Mr. Shelley has established precedent in security and premises liability actions for the duty of care owed when a condition is open and obvious.
Mr. Shelley has spoken extensively before numerous legal conferences, government agencies, and corporate clients on topics ranging from the tri-partite relationship between attorneys, insurers, and insureds/clients; insurance fraud; bad-faith claims against insurers; defending and prosecuting legal, medical and accounting malpractice claims; and regulatory compliance and risk management in the legal, hospitality, transportation, maritime, and insurance industries.
Before opening The Shelley Law Firm, LLC in 2014, Mr. Shelley was a partner with the Miami office of a statewide law firm where he specialized in litigating catastrophic tort and highly complex commercial claims. Previously, he was the managing partner with the Miami office of a statewide law firm with a similar emphasis in his practice. Mr. Shelley began his legal career in Tallahassee as a trial lawyer with one of the premier Plaintiff-oriented firms in North Florida and then brought his vast experience and successes back home where he continued as a partner and chair of the litigation department of one of South Florida's most prominent Plaintiff-oriented firms.
Prior to attending law school, Mr. Shelley was an award-winning journalist at The Miami Herald, and his dedication to facts and truth-telling as a journalist well prepared him for the legal profession.
Mr. Shelley, a native of Miami Beach and fourth-generation Floridian and Miami Beach resident, can assist you with a claim or lawsuit throughout the State of Florida.
The Shelley Law Firm is proud of its community service and philanthropy, including its sponsorship of the Special Olympics of Florida, Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Humane Society of Miami-Dade, Educate Tomorrow, the Florida State University College of Law, Florida State University, Florida International University, and the Miami Seminole Club of Florida State University.
Florida State University, J.D. (Law) 1993
Oxford University (St. Edmund Hall, Law) 1992
FIU, B.S. (Honors College, Journalism and Communication) 1990
*Martindale-Hubbell®AV rated every year since 2012 (Maintains an AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5.0 Peer Review *Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest peer review competence and ethical rating possible)
*Florida Trend® Magazine "Legal Elite" for Civil Trial Attorneys 2014 (Top 1.7 % of all active attorneys in Florida)
*Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®*
*Million Dollar Advocates Forum®*
*Top Lawyers of South Florida, Daily Business Review, 2015-2016, 2019-2020
*Top 1% of America's Most Honored Professionals, 2016-2023
*Lawyers of Distinction®, for Corporate and Transactional Law, 2018
*Top Lawyers of South Florida, National Law Journal, 2013
*FSU College of Law Book Award, Complex Litigation, 1993
*FSU College of Law Book Award, Advanced Criminal Procedure, 1992
*FIU Outstanding Graduate, 1990
*Sigma Delta Chi / Society of Professional Journalists Scholarship Recipient 1986-1990
*FIU Honors College, 1986-1990
*FIU Faculty Scholar, 1986-1990
COURTS / JURISDICTIONS
*US District Court, Northern District of Florida, 1995
*US District Court, Middle District of Florida, 1999
*11th Circuit US Court of Appeals, 1999
*US District Court, Southern District of Florida, 2005
*Ohio, 2012 (pro hac vice)
*US District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 2012 (pro hac vice)
*US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2013 (pro hac vice)
*US District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2013 (pro hac vice)
*North Carolina, 2018 (pro hac vice)
REPORTED DECISIONS (STATE APPELLATE/FEDERAL)
Hilliard v. Akal Security, Inc., 2014 WL 12599825 (N.D. Ohio Oct. 21, 2014)
Rodriguez v. Akal Security, Inc., 534 Fed.Appx. 921 (11th Cir. 2013)
Offen v. Intercontinental Hotels, 141 So.3d 571 (Fla. 3d DCA 2013),
2012 WL 12893732 (Miami-Dade Cir. Ct. June 12, 2012)
Francis v. Silva, 2013 WL 1334549 (S.D.Fla., Mar. 29, 2013)
Rodriguez v. Akal Security, Inc., 2013 WL 435947 (S.D.Fla. Feb. 4, 2013)
Suarez v. Benihana, 88 So.3d 349 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012)
Delgado v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America, 2012 WL 668147 (S.D.Fla., Feb. 29, 2012)
Denis v. Commerce Ins. Co., 2010 WL 374769 (S.D.Fla. Feb. 3, 2010)
Wilson v. DollarThrifty, 286 Fed.Appx. 640 (11th Cir. 2008)
Ibarra v. Izaguirre, 985 So.2d 1117 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008)
Am. Surety & Casualty v. Lake Jackson Pizza, 788 So.2d 1096 (Fla. 2001)
Morrison v. Allstate Indemnity Co., 228 F.3d 1255 (11th Cir. 2000)
Carnesi v. Ferry Pass United Methodist Church, 770 So. 2d 1286 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000)
Peznell v. Doolan, 722 So. 2d 881 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998)
PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
*Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Court Mediator, since 2016
*Candidate, Florida Bar Board of Governors, 11th Circuit, 2020
*Candidate, City of Miami Beach City Commission (Appointment for Vacancy), 2019
*Charlee (Non-Profit Foster-Child Care Organization), Board of Directors, 2013-2014
*Instructor, Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2010-2014
*Community Service Chair, Miami Seminole Club, 2009-2011
*Member, Spellman-Hoeveler American Inns of Court, 2006-present
*Florida Bar Journal / News Editorial Board Member, 2004-2005
*Instructor, Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, 1999-2001
*Guardian Ad Litem, 2nd Judicial Circuit, 1999-2001
*FIU Alumni Association Lifetime Member
1994 - Gadsden County, Florida. Obtained summary judgment under the "master-servant doctrine" against rock-mining company alleging that independent trucking company was its employee, leading to a multi-million dollar settlement arising from catastrophic motor vehicle accident.
1995 - Tift County, Georgia. Obtained large six-figure settlement with an automobile manufacturer for failure to provide three-point safety restraint in back seat, which resulted in catastrophic injury to minor child.
1995 - Gadsden County, Florida. Obtained large six-figure settlement with an automobile manufacturer on crashworthiness claims.
1996 - Leon County, Florida (federal court). Obtained large six-figure settlement with automobile manufacturer for negligent design of an SUV.
1996 - Leon County, Florida (federal court). Obtained six-figure settlement from national fast-food franchise for employee who was subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace.
1997 - Leon County, Florida (state court). Established class-action certification seeking, and recovering, millions in damages against an automobile insurer which engaged in fraudulent and racially discriminatory practices in setting premiums for policies.
1997 - Leon County, Florida (federal court). Obtained seven-figure settlement with concrete manufacturer after proving workers compensation immunity was not available as defense against personal injury claim by independent laborer who was severely injured on the company's property.
1999 - Bay County, Florida. Obtained defense verdict for transportation company after five minutes of jury deliberations in which Plaintiff allegedly injured in motor-vehicle accident sought almost $1,000,000 in damages.
2000 - Duval County, Florida (federal court). Obtained dismissal upon motion to dismiss for national automobile insurer of class-action claim seeking hundreds of millions of dollars for alleged wrongfully denied first-party insurance benefits, affirmed upon appeal by 11th Circuit US Court of Appeals.
2000 - Duval County, Florida (federal court). Defeated motion for class-action certification for national insurance company against labor-supply company seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages from alleged mishandling of tens of thousands of workers compensation claims.
2000 - Leon County, Florida (federal court). Obtained dismissal upon motion to dismiss of civil rights lawsuit seeking seven-figures in damages against private electric company.
2001 - Leon County, Florida. Obtained eight-figure settlement from national automobile insurer for bad-faith insurance practices in negotiating first-party benefits ($10,000 limits in UM coverage) arising from motor vehicle accident that left two young children paralyzed.
2003 - Monroe County, Florida. Obtained dismissal upon motion to dismiss of wrongful death action seeking eight-figures in damages for manufacturer of air compression system which Plaintiff alleged was cause of death in scuba-diving accident.
2004 - Monroe County, Florida. Obtained defense verdict for orthopedic surgeon in medical malpractice action after ten minutes of jury deliberations in which Plaintiff sought more than $3,000,000 in damages.
2006 - Orange County, Florida. Obtained large seven-figure settlement for injured construction worker from manufacturing company that allegedly designed unsafe roofing materials.
2007 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Obtained dismissal upon motion to dismiss for local health care company in a multi-million dollar personal injury lawsuit after proving Plaintiff was attempting to perpetrate a fraud upon the court.
2008 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Successfully defended transportation company from a multi-million dollar wrongful death claim, resulting in dismissal without payment.
2009 - Broward County, Florida. Successfully defended transportation company from a multi-million dollar wrongful death claim, resulting in dismissal without payment.
2009 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Obtained defense verdict for transportation company where Plaintiff sought seven-figures in damages.
2011 - Monroe County, Florida. Successfully defended multi-million dollar claim against several construction companies in case alleging negligent design and construction, resulting in dismissals without payments.
2011 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Obtained dismissal upon motion to dismiss for national restaurant chain in a multi-million dollar personal injury lawsuit after proving Plaintiff was attempting to perpetrate a fraud upon the court.
2011 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Defeated multi-million legal malpractice claim against real-estate lawyer by proving Plaintiff financial institution's claims were fraudulent.
2011 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Defeated seven-figure contract claim against local family owned business by proving Plaintiff financial institution engaged in fraud.
2012 - Miami-Dade County, Florida (federal court). Obtained large seven-figure settlement for family of deceased motorist from national insurance company in insurance coverage action after proving the insurer wrongfully denied benefits.
2012 - Miami-Dade County, Florida (federal court). Obtained defense verdict for national health care employer in insurance policy dispute in which Plaintiff sought millions of dollars of damages arising from an alleged failure to properly process life insurance application.
2012 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Obtained directed verdict for national hotel chain in which Plaintiff sought more than $21,000,000 for alleged damages, affirmed upon appeal by Third DCA.
2012 - Broward County, Florida. Obtained dismissal in favor of attorney in legal malpractice action in which Plaintiff sought more than $1,000,000, without any payment to Plaintiff after proving claims by Plaintiff and his attorney were fraudulent.
2012 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Obtained dismissal for national security company in which Plaintiff sought more than $5,000,000 for an assault by an alleged employee after proving claims by Plaintiff and her attorney were fraudulent.
2012 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Established a new cause of action in the State of Florida, "Tortious Interference with the Physician-Patient Relationship" in a case which arose from a disability insurer's fraudulent scheme to deny one of its policyholders disability benefits, leading to a significant recovery for the Plaintiff.
2013 - Miami-Dade County, Florida (federal court). Obtained summary judgment for national security company in which Plaintiff sought more than $50,000,000 for a catastrophic injury resulting from alleged negligence, affirmed upon appeal by 11th Circuit US Court of Appeals.
2014 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Obtained dismissal in favor of attorney in legal malpractice action in which Plaintiff financial institution sought more than $5,000,000, without any payment to Plaintiff and where Plaintiff made large six-figure settlement to attorney in resolution of counterclaim.
2016 - Miami-Dade County, Florida (federal court). Obtained summary judgment in favor of a transportation company in an employment dispute after proving claims by Plaintiff and his attorney were fraudulent.
2016 - Broward County, Florida. Obtained dismissal of a subrogation action by a national insurance company seeking more than $600,000 after proving insurer's claims were fraudulent.
2017 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Recovered entirety of damages totaling in the mid six-figures for local transportation company from steamship line and further defeated steamship line's counter-claim seeking seven-figures after proving its claims and defenses were fraudulent.
2017 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Defeated multi-million dollar claim against privately owned firm by proving that claims of Plaintiff were fraudulent and barred by judicial estoppel.
2018 - Miami-Dade County, Florida (federal court). Prevailed in insurance coverage action against national insurer, forcing insurer to indemnify multi-million dollar claim where insurer had wrongfully denied coverage.
2019 - Miami-Dade County, Florida. Defeated wrongful-death claim by proving Plaintiff estate's claims were barred by workers compensation immunity.
2021 - Broward County, Florida. Secured total settlements in the seven-figures in a tort and contract action for property damages arising from the negligence and gross negligence in the servicing of a private aircraft.
Ms. Shelley focuses her practice on practical and business oriented solutions for technology clients, including drafting and negotiating high value contracts.
Ms. Shelley earned a law degree with honors from the George Washington University Law School and a BA in Economics from New York University. Ms. Shelley is a member of the Florida Bar and the New York Bar.
Before joining the Shelley Law Firm, Ms. Shelley practiced law at premier law firms in New York and Florida, including as an associate at Shearman & Sterling in New York and as a partner at Steel Hector & Davis in Miami.
Ms. Shelley has held the role of General Counsel at leading edge companies in the technology industry.