Dee J. Kelly


Dee J. Kelly is a partner at Kelly Hart and served as the firm’s managing partner from 2005-2016. He is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Administrative Law practice groups and serves on its executive committee. Mr. Kelly represents corporate and individual clients in a wide variety of business litigation in state and federal courts. Mr. Kelly also advises and represents clients with matters pending before governmental and administrative bodies.

U.S. News and World Reports included Mr. Kelly on The Best Lawyers in America® ranking every year since 2007. In addition, from 2003 through 2023, he was named a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters. Since 2018, Mr. Kelly has been named to the Top 400 Most Influential by Fort Worth Inc. magazine and chosen among the city’s best attorneys in polls conducted by Fort Worth Magazine and 360 West.

Mr. Kelly is a master member of the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court and vice president of the Center for American International Law. He is a trustee for Texas Christian University and the University of Texas Law School Foundation. Mr. Kelly is also the former chairman of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the Board of Directors for a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, the Performing Arts Fort Worth/Bass Hall Performance Hall, the Fort Worth Symphony Association, The Gatehouse, the Fort Worth Zoological Association, the Van Cliburn Foundation, the Safe City Commission, Southeast Fort Worth, Inc., and the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association.

Mr. Kelly was appointed to serve on the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee in 2013 and received a Presidential appointment to the United Service Organization in 2004. In addition, the Boy Scouts of America recognized Mr. Kelly as the Distinguished Citizen of Fort Worth in 2014.

Mr. Kelly is a lifelong resident of Fort Worth, Texas, where he resides with his wife Dana and their three daughters.


Lead trial counsel in many complex litigation matters including:

  • Representing major transportation company in a wide variety of matters including litigation over protection of intellectual property and online distribution rights
  • Successfully defending class action suits involving public company disclosures and securities violations
  • Representing public and private oil and gas companies in a variety of contractual, environmental and personal injury disputes
  • Representing municipal governments and elected officials in a variety of matters;
  • Representing companies in disputes over employee theft, conversion of business opportunities, and fraud claims
  • Active appellate practice before local, state and administrative courts

  • Tarrant County Bar Foundation
    • Board of Directors, 2015-2021
    • President, 2021
    • Sustaining Charter Fellow
  • Center for American and International Law
    • Board of Trustees, 2006-present
    • Vice Chair, 2015-2023
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
  • Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, Master Member
  • Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, Charter Fellow
  • Tarrant County Bar Association
  • Court Advisory Committee, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 2013-2019
  • United Service Organizations, Board of Governors, 2004-2007
  • Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, 2013-2018
  • Texas Christian University
    • Trustee, 2018-present
    • Executive Committee, 2023
  • University of Texas Law School Foundation, Trustee, 2014-2023
  • Cotton Bowl Athletic Association
    • Executive Committee, 2018-present
    • Board of Directors, 2008-2013, 2018-2023
  • Performing Arts Fort Worth/Bass Performance Hall
    • Vice President Board, 2018-present
    • Board of Directors, 2016-present
  • Fort Worth Symphony Association
    • Executive Committee, 2018-present
    • Board of Directors, 2010-present
  • Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show
    • Executive Committee, 2016-2023
    • Board of Directors, 2004-present
  • Van Cliburn Foundation;
    • Board of Directors, 2010-present
    • Executive Committee, 2010-present
  • Fort Worth Zoological Association
    • Executive Committee, 1990-present
    • Board of Directors, 1990-present
  • Safe City Commission
    • Treasurer, 2021-2023
    • Board of Directors 2005-present
  • Southeast Fort Worth, Inc.
    • Board of Directors, 2017-present
  • Worthington National Bank
    • Board of Directors, 2007-present
  • The Gatehouse
    • Board of Directors, 2017-present
  • Trail Drive Management Corp. | Dickies Arena
    • Board of Directors, 2016-present
  • University Lands, Advisory Board, 2021-2023
  • Exchange Club of Fort Worth
    • President, 2017
    • Member
  • Philosophical Society of Texas
    • Member, 2018-present
  • Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
    • Board of Directors, 2010-2017
    • Board President, 2015-2016
  • Streams and Valley
    • Board of Directors, 2002-2017
    • Board President, 2004-2006
  • All Saints Episcopal School
    • Board of Trustees, 2006-2014
    • Board President, 2007-2013
  • Trinity Improvement Association, Former Chairman, 2008-2012 
  • United Way of Tarrant County, Former Board Member, 2009-2012
  • Texas Business Hall of Fame, Former Board Member
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth, Former Board Member
  • Best Lawyers in America®, U.S. News & World Report, 2007-2024
    • Administrative | Regulatory Law
    • Commercial Litigation
  • Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2022, 2023
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2003-2023
    • Business Litigation
    • Civil Litigation | Defense
  • Top Attorney, 360 West magazine, 2017-2023
    • Government and Administrative Law
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Corporate Counsel
  • The 400 Most Influential People, Fort Worth, Inc. magazine, 2018-2023
  • Top Attorney, Fort Worth Magazine, 2006-2023
    • Civil Law & Litigation
    • Commercial Litigation
  • Saint’s Leadership Award, All Saints Episcopal School, 2017
  • Best Lawyers® Administrative | Regulatory Law Lawyer of the Year, Dallas, 2014
  • Distinguished Citizen Award, Longhorn Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 2014
  • Attorney of Excellence, Fort Worth Business Press, 2003-2012
  • Power Attorney, Fort Worth Business Press, 2012

  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1985
  • The University of Texas, B.A., with honors, 1982
  • State Bar of Texas, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
Best Lawyers in America®, U.S. News & World Report, 2007-2024