International Society of Primerus Law Firms
Michael S. Kelley, Esq.
Practice Areas:

Knoxville Attorney
Michael S. Kelley, Esq.

Phone: 865.312.8814


Languages: English

A 1990 graduate of Harvard Law School, MICHAEL S. KELLEY practices in the areas of municipal law, commercial litigation, and healthcare fraud. Mr. Kelley is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and the trial courts and appellate courts of the State of Tennessee. From 1998-2004, Mr. Kelley served as the Law Director for the City of Knoxville. In this position, he represented the City, the Mayor, and other municipal officials in all types of lawsuits in state and federal court and in various regulatory matters. Since returning to private practice, Mr. Kelley has focused upon civil litigation and internal investigations for private companies and governmental entities.

During his twenty years in public and private practice, Mr. Kelley has represented clients in the following areas:

  • defended a large health care company in qui tam lawsuit alleging violations of Medicare statutes
  • represented governmental officials and city governments in actions for alleged civil rights violations under § 1983
  • represented many clients before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and Tennessee Court of Appeals
  • defended insurance companies in lawsuits involving failure to pay on insurance policies
  • represented property owners and developers in litigation involving real property disputes
  • defended a regional lender in multiple lawsuits and arbitration proceedings
  • represented a local development agency and city government in multiple lawsuits under the Governmental Tort Liability Act
  • conducted internal investigations for health care companies and municipal governments
  • represented lenders and borrowers in receivership actions
  • defended companies in actions alleging discrimination, harassment, and violations of federal wage and hour requirements
  • represented companies before state regulatory boards
  • defended municipality in dozens of annexation lawsuits
  • prosecuted actions against contractors and design professionals for negligent workmanship

Select Cases

Williams v. Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., 582 F.3d 617 (6th Cir. 2009); Lowery v. Jefferson Cnty. School Bd., 586 F.3d 427 (6th Cir. 2009); Monday Foundation v. Diocese of East Tennessee, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 771 (2008); Massey v. R.W.Graf, Inc., 277 S.W.3d 902 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2008); Hockett v. Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., 498 F. Supp. 2d 25 (D.D.C. 2007); Lane v. Am. Gen. Life & Accident Ins. Co., 252 S.W.3d 289 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2007); Sharpe v. Cureton, 319 F.3d 259 (6th Cir. 2003); Alcoa v. LGPAC, 123 S.W.3d 351 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003); Thompson v. Ashe, 250 F.3d 399 (6th Cir. 2001); Lovelace v. City of Knoxville, 2001 Tenn. App. LEXIS 198 (2001); Doane v. City of Oak Ridge, 898 S.W.2d 828 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995).

Areas of Practice

  • Civil Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Municipal Law
  • Healthcare Fraud


  • Harvard Law School — J.D., cum laude, 1990
  • Honors: Managing Editor, Harvard Journal of Law and Technology.
  • Davidson College — B.A., cum laude, 1983
  • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee – 1990
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee – 1994
  • U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals – 1992
  • U.S. Supreme Court – 2008


  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Knoxville Bar Association


  • “‘Something Beyond’: The Unconditional Vagueness of RICO’s Pattern Requirement,” 40 Catholic University Law Review No. 2 (1991).


  • Appointed by Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam to Board of Directors, Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation.


Contact This Firm

Kennerly, Montgomery & Finley, P.C.

550 Main Street W
Knoxville, TN 37902
United States

Law Firm Contact: Jack Tallent, II

Tel: 865.312.8814

Fax: 865.524.1773



Member Since: 2008

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