Kelly G. Richardson


Practice Areas

  • Civil Litigation
  • General Business
  • Construction
  • Real Estate Contracts
  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Real Estate Risk Management
  • Common Interest Developments


  • University of Southern California, J.D. 1983
  • University of California at Riverside, B.A., Political Science 1980

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1983
  • The U.S. District Court for the District of California
  • The U.S. Ninth District Circuit Court of Appeals

Expert Witness

  • Real Estate Standard of Care
  • Common Interest Developments


  • Board of Directors, Various Local Churches
  • Board of Directors, Local Private School
  • Board of Directors, Pasadena Salvation Army
  • Weekly Homeless Outreach Program, Pasadena 2001-
  • Cliffs Club Interval Owners Association Board of Directors 2019 -

Professional Associations

  • Community Associations Institute (CAI), National President, 2016
  • CAI Board of Trustees 2011-2017
  • California Association of Community Managers (CACM), Past Faculty Member, Legal Steering Committee
  • Community Associations Institute (CAI), Greater Los Angeles Chapter President, 2004
  • College of Community Association Lawyers, CCAL, 2006
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, 2010-
  • CAI California Legislative Action Committee, Chair 2009 & 2010
  • California State Bar Association, Real Estate & Litigation Sections
  • Settlement Officer, Glendale & Pasadena Superior Courts, 1996-2013
  • Los Angeles Superior Court Arbitrator/Mediator, 1998-2011
  • California Association of Realtors (CAR), Member, Legal Affairs Forum, 1999-
  • CAR Home Ownership & Investment Housing Committees, 2011-
  • CAR and National Association of Realtors 2008-
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Pasadena Bar Association

Professional Accolades

  • AV® Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review rating
  • CAI’s, National “Rising Star” Award recipient, 2004
  • CAI Byron Hanke Award recipient, 2019
  • CAI Orange County Chapter, Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009


KELLY G. RICHARDSON is co-founder and Partner of Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo. In practice since 1983, Kelly is known as a devoted and successful trial attorney and advisor to real estate professionals, property and business owners, and common interest developments.

Kelly is heavily committed to the real estate profession. He serves as legal counsel for several Southern California Associations of Realtors® (“CAR”), and is a member of its Legal Affairs Forum and Homeownership and Investment Housing Committees. For more than 20 years, Kelly was a GRI faculty member, 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 and national 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. In 2006 he was the 16th California attorney admitted into the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), an elite group of attorneys serving the common interest community housing sector. In 2016, he was the international President of the Community Associations Institute (CAI), an organization with 45,000 members in four countries, and served on its Board of Trustees for seven years. For 13 years, he has authored a syndicated column on homeowner association legal issues, currently appearing in approximately 14 publications.

While he uses his experience and expertise to help clients steer clear of litigation, when litigation is necessary and unavoidable, Richardson is an accomplished trial attorney and fierce courtroom advocate. He was in 2010 admitted to the American Board Of Trial Advocates, an elite jury trial attorney organization, skipping its entry-level membership and receiving admission as an “Associate” ABOTA member. He 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, professional negligence, wrongful death, breach of fiduciary duty, construction defect, and banking negligence.

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. He holds an “AV” rating with the prestigious Martindale Hubbell attorney listing organization – the highest available rating for competence and ethics, based upon peer review input.

Prior to founding the firm now known as Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo in 1994, Kelly was a partner in the Pasadena law firm of Barker & Richardson.



  • 2016 International President, CAI
  • Member, CAI Board of Trustees, 2011-2017.
  • Fellow, CAI College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), admitted in 2006.
  • Long-time Past Faculty and Member of Legal Steering Committee, California Association Community Managers (CACM)
  • Member of the Legal Affairs Forum, Homeownership and Investment Housing Committees of the California Association of Realtors® (CAR)


Select Courses, Authored and Taught

  • Instructor and co-author Graduate Realtors Institute course #112, “Land Use, Construction Overview and Environmental Concerns”, 1998-2019
  • Co-author/originator, 8 hour CAI California Law Course for Common Interest Development Managers
  • Co-author/originator, 3 hour CAI Basic Board Education Course
  • Numerous (32+) courses on Real Estate Law


Other Publications

  • “Avoiding Conflict,” Common Ground Magazine, 2002.
  • “Condos, Covenants and Co-ops”, Realtor Magazine, January 2015
  • “Simply the Best”, Common Ground Magazine, January 2019
  • Co-author/originator CAR “Guide to Common Interest Developments”
  • Weekly Columnist on HOA law in 14 newspapers – 2006-present
  • Periodic articles in newspapers, trade magazines, and Association of Realtor® publications on common interest development and real estate law
  • Frequently sought after by media regarding HOA and real estate issues