About the Firm
Stockey & Kelly is a Pittsburgh based law firm founded in 1997. Our attorneys have had close ties to the region dating back to the 1970's, and since then we have provided our clients with a careful and competent approach concerning all legal issues. We believe that the substantial goodwill we have developed over the years is the product of our workmanlike attitude and our clients' easy access to each of us by e-mail, telephone or in person meetings. We believe that preparation is the foundation of our success, whether it be in trying cases or in negotiating resolutions outside of litigation.
Our office opens at 7:00 a.m. daily and stays open until our work is done. In trying cases, we believe that preparation is the foundation of our success. For the convenience of our clients, we also have a Cannonsburg office which is open by appointment.
We currently have three attorneys. Attorney William Stockey and Luke Kelly are profiled below. In Attorney Donald Jerich, we boast a very fine legal writer who does a large portion of our appellate cases but also drafts briefs and memorandums of law as well. We have two additional affiliate attorneys which enables us to handle a broad array of legal issues.
We'd like to thank you for taking the time to read about us and we ask that you contact us directly with any questions you may have about our firm or how we can help you address your legal situation.
About William Stockey
William "Bill" Stockey received his Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctorate degrees from Pittsburgh's Duquesne University. He has practiced in state courts in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Texas, California, New York, Iowa, Colorado, Florida, as well as Toronto, Ontario (Canada). He has also practiced in federal courts including the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, the United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit (New Orleans), and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Suffice it to say that Bill has never shied away from a fight!
Bill was a partner of the firm Lewis and Stockey after graduating law school and remained there until 1997, when he joined Luke Kelly and founded Stockey & Kelly. As Senior Partner to the firm, Bill either handles as lead counsel or oversees all civil and criminal litigation. He has represented the criminally accused including high profile homicides and other serious crimes. He has represented hundreds of people charged with Driving Under the Influence, has represented the estates of people killed in accidents, and has handled myriad other criminal, civil and personal injury matters.
Bill was a law clerk to Federal Judge Rabe F. Marsh and has worked as a Criminal Law and Procedures Instructor at the Pennsylvania Police Academy. A member of the Allegheny County Board of Arbitration, Bill has also received the respect of his peers through his appointment to the Fee Dispute Board of the Allegheny County Bar Association.
A personal note from Bill…
The success that I have enjoyed in a large part may be attributed to my taking ownership of sage advice received from Federal Judge Marsh when I clerked for him during law school: “The best lawyers are best because of preparation.” Preparation has enabled me to go about my profession without fear. What may appear to be a very large task when broken down is just a lot of smaller tasks stacked on top of each other. Every case is important to us. Every client represents a voice in the community where we practice.
I want our clients to know that we are in their corner and that we are
accessible 24/7. I thank you for considering our firm for your legal issues.
About Luke Kelly, Family Attorney
Luke Kelly is Stockey & Kelly's lead attorney in domestic matters and is one of Pittsburgh's most respected family attorneys.
What do I need to do?
In over 25 years as a family law attorney there have been a number of typical questions that spouses ask at their initial consultation. The most common question is this: What do I need to do now? The answer depends to a large extent on how they answer this question: Do you want to be divorced?
One of the worst things a family attorney can do is to encourage a spouse to divorce, either by stating so plainly or by creating a false sense of
urgency. One common example of the latter is advising the closing of joint lines of credit or capturing joint funds. This type of advice makes divorce a self-fulfilling prophecy when given to a spouse who has not yet decided what he or she wants, and is often a grave disservice to the potential client.
At the point immediately prior to the beginning of almost allfamily cases, the driving emotional forces are typically fear of the unknown, loss of relationship, change in general, issues regarding children, and finances. Therefore, when one spouse closes out the accounts or cancels lines of credit, the other spouse sees this not as an effort to ensure that one is protecting themselves in the event of a divorce, but as the drawing of “first blood” and a war shall ensue. The harmed spouse wants retaliation and swiftly, which is often in neither spouse's best interest.
Even more problematic is when the lawyer is much more direct: “You need to get out of this marriage.” Though there are certainly cases where it is difficult not to encourage separation or divorce, ultimately that decision belongs to the spouse and not to the attorney. (There is, however, a moral duty to help people protect themselves from domestic violence or abuse.)
So when one spouse is unsure as to whether he or she wants a divorce, our common counsel is not to worry about financial issues; there is nothing
that cannot be done after the spouse makes the very personal decision regarding whether they really want to be divorced. This is a decision that should be driven not by fear but only after careful reflection (and often marriage counseling). While there are a minority of cases where some action is needed before the decision is made, in those cases the action needs to be studied and careful so that the decision is not made by the action taken but by the true desires of the parties.
Why Luke Kelly?
Luke graduated from West Virginia University with honors in
1980, and subsequently attended Duquesne Law's evening program while working at the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office. He graduated in 1984 in the top third of his class and passed the bar exam immediately thereafter in September of 1984. In 1986 Luke transferred from Commissioner Pete Flaherty's office to the Allegheny County Law Department, where he has represented qualified Plaintiffs in Support Court as an Assistant County Solicitor for the past 25 years.
Luke's work with Allegheny County has allowed him to focus his private practice in Family Court where he spends a very high percentage of his time. Attorney Kelly has chosen to practice in family court only and in Allegheny and surrounding counties, cultivating relationships with important Court and administrative personnel. In so doing, he has been able to provide very knowledgeable and complete services to the clients he has served. Trained in mediation and collaborative law, Luke belongs to the only
collaborative practice group in Pennsylvania, known as CLASP (read more about collaborative law at www.clasplaw.org). Nonetheless, Luke's practice is focused on litigation, as the collaborative practice in this area is still catching on.
Critical when selecting an attorney is the idea that the client has the “right fit” with his or her Attorney. Luke's goal is to help clients feel more comfortable (or perhaps better said, less uncomfortable) in very difficult times. In order to help the client to feel better about a divorce action, Luke focuses on addressing a a few critical needs:
1) Clients want to know at all times what the “game plan” is—what will be happening over time and why;
2) Clients want an attorney who is accessible to them and prompt in returning calls and emails; and
3) Clients want competent representation.
The Game Plan
The "Game Plan" is developed around the client’s priorities and is designed to achieve those priorities on a stated time line. Some priorities will be rejected with an explanation as to why, others must be tailored in order to conform to what's legal or what makes sense; however, typically the client’s priorities are to a large extent incorporated into the game plan. As with anything, our game plan may be subject to change, but as the client, any changes to our plan will be shared with you and explained. The client has input in the game plan as dictated by your priorities. It is your divorce and, as such, you need to have an understanding of the process and be given critical input on how it will proceed. In this manner, clients have less anxiety and ideally a better quality of life under tough circumstances.
Clients that come to us from other law offices typically express one common complaint: “My attorney did not return my calls and I don’t think that is right.” We agree. Clients don’t need to be waking up in the middle of the night wondering whose side their lawyer is on. Upon being retained, our clients are supplied with Luke's email address, back-line phone number for calls before office hours, and cell phone number. Luke's calendar is on site and clients will have the ability to schedule in as they see fit at either of our two offices. Early or late appointments can be scheduled in Canonsburg convenient and appointments between 7am and 4pm can be scheduled in our Pittsburgh office. Accessibility of your attorney is critical and we understand that fact.
Competent Counsel: A Word from Luke Kelly
This is what I do for a living. This is how I feed my five kids. I love family law and enjoy practicing with my peers. It is intensely competitive but collegial. I enjoy working with numbers and interrelated issues that drive one another one way or the other. If a case calls for a forensic accountant or a business valuation expert I will bring one in early in the case for a couple reasons: I want to get the expert that I use first before the other side does; and, experts help in case planning and it really is not cheaper to wait. If I am unable to cover a matter because of a scheduling conflict we have three mature and very competent attorneys associated with us that can help out when needed.
Thank you for taking the time to read about us. If you need additional information or would like to arrange an appointment please call 412-338-8500 or email Luke Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you and your spouse are interested in mediation I require that initial communication be arranged either through my staff or by phone contact with me and both spouses. In this manner the role of mediator is not compromised by communicating directly with one spouse. Finally, I would ask you to consider mediation as it provides a potentially less expensive and more efficient resolution of both economic and custody related issues.