Kelly G. Richardson


Practice Areas

  • Common Interest Developments
  • Corporate Counsel
  • Corporate Law
  • Real Estate


  • Pepperdine University School of Law, J.D.
  • University of California, Irvine, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1977
  • The U.S. District Court for the District of California
  • The U.S. Ninth District Circuit Court of Appeals


  • Past President, Board of Trustees, Shepherd of the Hills Methodist Church, Mission Viejo, California

Professional Associations

  • Community Associations Institute (CAI)
  • California Association of Community Managers (CACM)
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Home Building Council
  • National Insurance Education Association
  • National Institute of Real Estate Management
  • Common Interest Dpevelopment Lawyers Association
  • The Alliance for Successful Communities

Professional Accolades

  • President’s Award, Community Associations Institute-OC
  • Hall of Fame, Community Associations Institute-OC
  • AV® Martindale-Hubbell
  • Peer Review Rating


Kelly G. Richardson is co-founder and partner of Richardson|Ober|DeNichilo. In practice since 1983, Kelly is in his 30th year of serving California common interest developments. He is a national leader, syndicated columnist, and frequent expert witness regarding homeowners association law.

Kelly has prosecuted and defended major claims in construction, corporate and real estate law, as well as claims of breach of contract, franchise fraud, personal injury, unfair competition, wrongful death, breach of fiduciary duty and banking negligence. In construction litigation, Kelly has achieved over $60 million in recovery for property owners, and has assisted builders in resolving claims economically and without adverse publicity. In addition, he counsels residential developers and construction lenders on risk management, and has provided ongoing legal support in more than $170 million worth of construction projects and bank foreclosed assets.

Kelly is heavily committed to the real estate profession. He serves as legal counsel for several Southern California Associations of Realtors® and is a member of the Legal Affairs Forum and a member of the Homeownership and Investment Housing Committees of the California Association of Realtors® (“CAR”). Kelly for two years was a faculty member and contributing author for the Professional Realty Institute, teaching GRI coursework on risk management, construction and development issues to hundreds of Realtors® annually. Kelly is a popular lecturer to Associations of Realtors®, professional real estate organizations and major brokerages and has authored numerous articles on real estate law in local business and trade publications. He is a licensed real estate broker, and is periodically consulted as an expert witness on the standard of care of real estate professionals.

Kelly is a leading advocate for California community associations. Not only is he the originator and founder of two different annual statewide CAI educational conferences, he writes a weekly column on community association law issues currently appearing in 14 newspapers called HOA Homefront and has authored numerous articles for regional and national publications.

Mr. Richardson is licensed to practice before all California state and local federal jurisdictions, and is a member of the Real Estate and Litigation Sections of the State Bar, Los Angeles County and Pasadena Bar Associations.

Prior to founding Richardson Harman Ober in 1994 which became Richardson|Ober in the fall of 2017, and then the current firm, Richardson|Ober|DeNichilo in 2019, Kelly was a partner in the Pasadena law firm, Barker & Richardson.



  • 2016 National President, CAI
  • Fellow, CAI College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL)
  • Seven years of CAI Board of Trustees Service
  • Long-time Past Faculty and Member of Legal Steering Committee, California Association of Community Managers (CACM)
  • Member of the Legal Affairs Forum, Homeownership and Investment Housing Committees of the California Association of Realtors® (CAR)

HOA Articles

Real Estate Articles

Speaking Engagements

  • Fair Housing, Web Seminar, June 2015
  • Fair Housing for Realtors, 2015
  • Super Summit, Asian Real Estate Association of America – Greater Los Angeles Chapter, July 2015
  • What Your Clients Need to Know About Homeowners Associations (Legal Issues), Women’s Council of REALTORS San Fernando Valley Chapter, June 2015
  • Integrity and the ‘F’ Word, San Gabriel Valley Association of REALTORS, June 2015
  • Boards – Don’t Make These Mistakes, Web Seminar with Robert Nordlund of Association Reserve, March 2015
  • Assessment Collection – Advanced Issues, Web Seminar, March 2015
  • Rentals in Your Community, Web Seminar, January 2015
  • 2015 Legislative Update, Web Seminar, November 2014
  • Five ways to reduce the frustration of Homeowners Association board service, Beven & Brock Management, October 2014, Pasadena, CA
  • Risk Management and Consumer Protection Forum, California Association of REALTORS®, October 2014
  • “Environmental Concerns, Construction Overview and Land Use”, Pasadena-Foothill Association of Realtors, October 2014
  • “Ask the Attorneys”, Community Association’s Institute Legal Forum, October 2014, San Diego, CA
  • Legal Affairs Forum, California Association of Realtors®, August 2014
  • “When The Bulls-eye Is On You”, South Bay Association of Realtors® , July 2014
  • “Residential Hazards from A to Z”, South Bay Association of Realtors® , July 2014
  • Legal Affairs Forum, Sacramento
  • Association of Realtors, May 2014, Sacramento, CA
  • Broker Luncheon, South Bay Association of Realtors, May 2014
  • “Meeting of the Minds: Laying the Groundwork for Positive, Effective Board Meetings”, Community Associations Institute, April 2014
  • “HOA Residents Legal Tool Kit”, Community Civil Association of Laguna Woods Village, April 2014
  • “Update on Key 2014 Davis-Stirling Act Amendments and Related Topics of Interest to Broker Clients”, California Association of REALTORS®, May 2014
  • “What A Year It Was! Important 2013 California Court Decisions Affecting HOAs”, CAI-GLAC, March 2013, Los Angeles, CA
  • “Advanced Board Meeting Issues and Strategies”, Cardinal Property Management, February 2014
  • “What You Don’t Know Could Hurt Your Client”, Orange County Association of Realtors, March 2014, Laguna Hills, CA
  • Fair Employment and Housing Council, February 2014, Oakland, CA
  • “Hot Topics for Community Association Lawyers”, Community Association Law Seminar, College of Community Association Lawyers, January 2014, Las Vegas, NV
  • “Board Survival 101”, Amber Property Management, October 2013, Mission Viejo, CA
  • “Ask the Attorneys”, 2013 Community Association Institute’s Legal Forum: California Communities, October 2013, Irvine, CA
  • “Updates to Davis-Stirling – Coming Changes to California’s Common Interest Development Law”, Pasadena Bar Association’s Real Estate Section, September 2013
  • “Is Your Money Safe? A Discussion of Common Homeowners Association Problems and Ways To Prevent Them”, Chinese American Real Estate Professionals Associations’ (CAREPA) 2013
  • Real Estate Business Conference & Expo, September 2013, San Gabriel, CA
  • “Mold – A Curse, or Oversold?,” Chinese American Real Estate Professionals Association, June 2013, Monterey Park, CA
  • “Environmental Concerns, Construction Overview and Land Use,” Pismo Coast Association of REALTORS, May 2013, Grover Beach, CA
  • “You Make the Call”, Community Associations Institute Orange County Regional Chapter, May 2013, Tustin, CA
  • Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) – the State’s Fair Housing laws, and the ways in which associations often violate these laws and run afoul of the powerful DFEH –housing discrimination issues included familial status, racial, gender and disability violations, CAI – Greater Los Angeles Chapter, April 2013
  • CAI’s 20th Annual Legislative Day at the Capitol, April 2013, Sacramento, CA
  • “Disclosures,” Downey Association of REALTORS, March 2013, Downey, CA
  • “Construction Defect All Stars,” Treeline Realty, March 2013, Temple City, CA
  • “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off: Cancellation of Contracts,” RE/MAX, March 2013
  • “Changes…Living with New Laws,” CAI – Orange County Chapter, March 2013, Irvine, CA
  • “Establishing and Operating Common Interest Developments in California,” Two Full-Day Seminars on Common Interest Development Law “Board Survival 101,” Beven & Brock Property Management, February 2013, Pasadena, CA
  • “C.A.R. Buyer Representation Agreements,” Downey Association of REALTORS, February 2013, Downey, CA
  • “Environmental Concerns, Construction Overview and Land Use,” Orange County Association of REALTORS, January 2013, Laguna Beach, CA
  • “Short Stories Any Association Can Learn From,” CAI – Channel Islands Chapter, January 2013, Thousand Oaks, CA
  • “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off: Cancellation of Contracts,” Arcadia Association of REALTORS, January 2013, Arcadia, CA
  • “Tales from the HOA Crypt…Stories That Will Frighten and Educate You,” CAI Law Seminar – Channel Islands Chapter, January 2013, Thousand Oaks, CA

Major Classes & Seminars Taught

  • Amber Board Member Educational Seminar, October 2013, Instructor
  • “Land Use, Construction Overview and Environmental Concerns,” Instructor and co-author
  • Graduate Realtors Institute course #112, 1998-2019
  • California Association of Community Managers courses, Instructor
  • CAI California Law Course for Common Interest Development Managers, Co-author/originator
  • “Establishing and Operating Common Interest Developments,” Lorman Seminar, 2005, co-author/instructor
  • CAI Basic Board Education Course, Co-author/originator
  • Numerous (20+) 1-2 hour courses on real estate law