pam kelleyWhen a sudden stroke takes the life of his long-time law partner and mentor, attorney Mike Girardi finds himself as the new lead on a case involving a shady multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the U.S. government.

Set in south Orange County’s Newport Beach, The Crooked Elm Partnership - a legal thriller written by Pam (Smith) Kelley '89 - follows Girardi’s journey to justice with the reluctant help of his federal judge friend and a former associate who works outside the law.

The book is Kelley’s first and draws upon her 24 years of courtroom knowledge as a lawyer with Chadbourne & Parke, Riordan & McKenzie, and Kelley & Kelley, an Irvine-based firm she runs with her husband. Get your copy online or download the ebook at

Kelley graduated summa cum laude in 1989 with honors from the UCI School of Social Sciences. She earned her law degree at Yale Law School in 1992 and returned to Southern California where she’s practiced law ever since. She lectures in the UCI School of Social Sciences on civil rights law, constitutional law, the legal profession and legal ethics. In 2001, she earned the Social Sciences’ Excellence in Teaching Award, and in 2009, she was named the recipient of the UCI Alumni Association’s Lauds and Laurels Outstanding Community Service Award. 


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