Mother-Daughter Legal Team Fights For Father’s Rights

By Lori T. Williams, Esq., Oakland/Wayne County Legal News Examiner for

 Wayne County’s Mother-Daughter Legal Team, Michele Kelly and Ryan Steele, have carved out a unique niche within family law representing fathers’ rights in paternity matters.  Michele Kelly realized that “few other family law attorneys challenge paternity.” One of their clients went to 7 other lawyers who all declined his case, before Kelly & Kelly accepted him as a client. “Our male clients in paternity cases range from professional athletes, to soldiers, to doctors, and factory workers,” states Ryan Steele.   Kelly and Steele found that there is a need for education about father’s rights at all educational and socio-economic levels.  To combat the need for education, Kelly and Steele started speaking to athletes at High Schools across Michigan.  A TV commercial will air during Monday Night Football this Fall, creating more exposure of the issues and highlighting Kelly and Steele as capable advisors. Their clients come from Metro Detroit, Port Huron, Muskegon, and Newaygo to date.

Recently Kelly and Steele co-authored an article known as the “Baby Daddy Dilemma” which was presented in a relatable (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) manner, while educating males as to the seriousness of the matter.  Steele said, “ it happens all too often that men are falsely accused of being the baby’s father, and they either never find out the truth, or they find out years later after a bond is formed with the child and support is paid.”  Kelly and Steele would like to see prosecutors take a tougher stance and prosecute the women who falsely and knowingly name men as fathers in paternity cases.  Michele Kelly stated that “research shows 1/3 of men tested in paternity matters aren’t the fathers of the children in controversy.  Furthermore, legislation is pending which will require a child to be tested for paternity prior to leaving the hospital, where no father acknowledges paternity.”  If the proposed law passes, it should save a lot of time, money and grief for all concerned, noted Kelly.  This is an important development in father’s rights.

Kelly & Kelly, PC is a boutique family and criminal law practice based in Northville (on the border of Wayne and Oakland County), Michigan, with satellite offices in Ann Arbor and Elk Rapids.  Three of the Four attorneys in the firm are family members.  Founding Partners John and Michele Kelly, and their daughter, Ryan Steele, enjoy practicing together and anticipate more family members joining them in time.  They have a son who owns a landscaping business in their building, another son in law school, and a daughter studying pre-law in College.  Family is the focus of the Kelly’s, both personally and professionally.  For more information, visit:

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Lori T. Williams is an attorney based in Birmingham, MI, licensed in 1989.  As owner of a legal referral business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC, Lori personally assists individuals and small businesses in need of legal advice or representation in Metro Detroit by connecting them with the right legal specialist to meet their needs. Click here for a pdf of legal referral services. 

Through group training and events, Lori also focuses on referral marketing strategies for attorneys and other professionals. For more information about Lori or Your Legal Resource, visit  For networking events, training programs, and workshop information, visit:


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