John Kelly Attorney: An Experienced Legal Professional

John P. Kelly – Senior Partner


  • Bachelor of Arts – Michigan State University (1979)
  • Juris Doctor – University of Detroit Mercy Law School (1985)
  • Civil Mediator Training – ICLU (2014)
  • Court-Certified Mediator
  • Probate & Estate Planning Certification – ICLE


  • American Arbitration Association (Arbitrator)
  • Tipping Point Theater (Board of Directors)
  • Friends of the Rouge (Board of Directors)
  • Northville Rotary Member (2008 – Current)
  • Northville Rotary President (2017 – 2018)
  • Michigan Residential Builder (2006 – Present)
  • Michigan State Bar (Probate Section)
  • Michigan State Bar (Business Law Section)
  • California State Bar

Achievements and Awards

  • Paul Harris Plus 5 Pin (Awarded By Rotary District Governor Paul Sincock)
  • Featured in Interview by Detroit Legal News (PDF Download)

Individual Practice Areas

Estate Planning

  • Guardianship
  • Conservatorship
  • Elder Law
  • Healthcare Directives
  • Medicaid Planning

Probate and Estate Litigation

  • Trust Administration
  • Trust Litigation
  • Will Contests

Business Law

  • Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (buying/selling a business)
  • Contract Drafting, Review and Negotiation
  • Contract Disputes

Real Estate Law

Personal Statement

As a CPA and an attorney, I possess unique expertise in handling legal matters related to wills, trusts, real estate, and elder law. Thanks to my experience in tax law, I confidently navigate areas that others may find overly complex. While I primarily handle civil and probate cases in Wayne, Oakland, and Washtenaw Counties, I also have cases in other courts.

In my practice, I am involved in a range of legal matters. I draft contracts, oversee business buy/sell transactions, excel in estate planning and trust work, and tackle probate litigation issues such as will contests and trust disputes. Additionally, I handle civil cases pertaining to real estate and business matters. I am also a commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, specializing in commercial and construction disputes. Furthermore, I hold a license as a residential builder.

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Throughout my career, I have been entrusted with a variety of legal cases, including:

  • A will contest against a caregiver who manipulated the deceased into leaving them the entire inheritance
  • The removal of a trustee who misappropriated trust assets for their addicted adult child
  • The enforcement of a minor child’s claim against a parent’s estate, following an unjust removal due to a contentious divorce
  • Pursuing an estate’s wrongful death claim for murder under the Michigan Slayer Rule
  • Successfully defending a trustee against claims of breaching fiduciary duties
  • The removal of a trustee for embezzling assets
  • Winning a wrongful death claim against an estate in a murder-suicide case
  • Negotiating the sale of large tracts of vacant land to a developer for condominium construction
  • Negotiating contracts for the construction of custom homes and the renovation of bar/restaurant establishments
  • Facilitating the sale of a family-owned business
  • Negotiating commercial real estate leases for an international fitness facility
  • Assisting a family in obtaining Medicaid approval for a parent in a skilled nursing facility
  • Handling failed short sale cases involving realtors
  • Securing guardianship and conservatorship for an incapacitated parent
  • Obtaining court approval for a protective order in an elder law case

I genuinely enjoy practicing law alongside my wife, daughter, and son, who are all lawyers in the firm that we founded over 35 years ago. Our firm prioritizes regular communication with our valued clients. We strive to build lifelong relationships and not just handle single legal matters. Outside of work, I find pleasure in remodeling homes, fly fishing, golfing, mountain biking, scuba diving, snowboarding, and traveling.

To learn more about Garrity Traina and the legal services we offer, visit Garrity Traina.

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