Since California Business Journal first spoke to Kelly Hyman in 2019, she’s taken her diverse career to new heights. At that time, she was practicing in Colorado but by the end of the year, she moved back to her native Florida to launch The Hyman Law Firm, P.A.
Despite the business opening a few months before COVID lockdowns hit, Hyman now has offices in West Palm Beach and Jacksonville, Florida. A third, in Asheville, North Carolina, is coming soon. Meanwhile, this former child actress with a background in theater and improv, has continued to build her media presence as an on-camera legal analyst across multiple networks.
“It was exciting to have the opportunity to launch my own firm ,” she says. “I’ve always been an aspiring woman entrepreneur. When I was 8, I was painting. When I was 12, I designed T-shirts and sold them and was making my own jewelry. The opportunity to be a female businessowner is a dream come true for me.”
“My mom was from Australia and when I was 5 years old, she was giving Charlton Heston tennis lessons,” Hyman says. “I only knew him as ‘Chuck’ for the longest time. One day, my mom said, ‘We’re going to meet someone and I want you to be prepared.’ She handed me a newspaper and we did an improv exercise of sorts.”
She told Hyman she would read the newspaper for the man – as she could already read – and then ask this client of hers to help with getting an agent.
“I went to the tennis court with her and when she was ready for me, she did ‘cooee,’ or a calling over distance that’s used in the Australian Outback. I came running onto the court and I saw this tall man. She handed me the newspaper and I looked up and smiled. He patted me on the head and before I could say anything, he said, ‘I’ll get her an agent.’ And sure enough, he did connect us to an agent for child actors in Hollywood.”
It wasn’t until a few years later, at age 8, she got a TV pilot called, “Gettin’ There.” When she went into the agent’s office to sign some papers, the agency congratulated her. Her file was open and for the first time she saw a notation that said, “Recommended by Charlton Heston.”
“I thought to myself, ‘Who’s Charlton Heston?’ I had no idea that the nice, tall man I knew only as ‘Chuck,’ my mom’s tennis student, was a famous movie star who got me my start in the entertainment business.”
She soon appeared on the “The Young and the Restless” and other TV projects.
“I say all the work I do is telling a story,” she says. “Whether it is preparing a case for trial or appearing on TV as a legal analyst. I don’t have a script, of course, and I don’t know what they’re going to ask me, but you have to be able to think on your feet and handle any curveballs thrown at you. It’s not uncommon that I’ll be told we’re going to talk about one topic then they switch to another. I have to use the skills I learned when I was young. I believe it’s always a part of who I am and will always be a part of me because it’s what I knew for so many years.”
Hyman has a very specific niche in that she solely represents plaintiffs, usually in complex litigation, whether it’s class action or mass torts.
“I’ve represented people that have served in military, also those who have been harmed by transvaginal mesh, and water contamination cases.
Hyman recently participated in lobby day where she went to DC to lobby against forced arbitration on behalf of the American Association for Justice’s Women Trial Lawyer Caucus, of which she is representative to the Board of Governors
“Arbitration,” she says, “takes away a person’s ’s constitutional right to have their day in court. Arbitration can be very expensive and a lot of companies are forcing people to have their disputed arbitrated but people should be given the freedom and opportunity to make their own decision.”
If that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she appears as a legal analyst on MSNBC, CourtTV, Fox News and other major news networks.
“Whether it’s the latest high-profile case, all the cases covered on Court TV. “With how quickly news is occurring, I might be booked to cover one topic but must be ready to pivot to something else entirely.”
This is particularly true this summer with the onslaught of Donald Trump indictments that require deep legal insight and ability to break down complex issues at a moment’s notice. She was just interviewed on “PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton” on MSNBC and has also recently appeared on Fox News, The BBC and CourtTV.
In addition to that, Hyman launched a podcast called, ‘Once Upon a Crime in Hollywood’ — six-episode series on the Ronni Chasen murder.” Chasen was a high-powered celebrity and awards-show publicist who was shot driving home from a movie premiere. The circumstances of her murder are considered highly suspect.
You can find “One Upon a Crime in Hollywood” on podcast platforms. Hyman’s TV appearances on her YouTube channel, KellyHyman1. She also frequently fosters legal discussion on her Instagram, @Kelly_Hyman1 and on Twitter, @kellyhyman1.
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