Longtime Fort Worth legal professionals to receive lifetime award

Dee J. Kelly

Dee J. Kelly of Fort Worth will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Texas Lawyer. The award recognizes lawyers who have made their mark on the legal profession throughout the state of Texas. The award distinguishes attorneys who have had, or continue to have, extraordinary careers that have impacted and shaped the legal profession.

“I am very honored to be included on this list with Clifford Davis and other lawyers,” said Kelly.

L. Clifford Davis, of counsel at Johnson, Vaughn & Heiskell in Fort Worth, also was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kelly, founding partner of Kelly Hart & Hallman, was born in Bonham, Texas. He earned his bachelor of arts from Texas Christian University and attended law school at George Washington University. He later received the Distinguished Alumni Award from both universities. In 1994, the Alumni Center at TCU was dedicated in his honor.

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Kelly began a solo law practice in Fort Worth in 1964 and in 1979 founded Kelly, Hart & Hallman P.C. with Mark L. Hart Jr. and William P. Hallman Jr. Kelly has represented individuals, institutional clients, and municipalities in a broad range of civil litigation matters before state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels. He has litigated matters pertaining to oil and gas, fiduciary duties, breach of contract, defamation, and banking matters. He also assists clients with transactional issues pertaining to corporate and securities and energy matters.

He has served on the boards of AMR Corporation, SABRE Inc., Justin Industries Inc. and Texas Christian University. He was appointed to serve on the initial board of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, which honored him with the first-ever “Champion Award” for outstanding leadership in the fight against cancer. He currently serves on the boards of the Jane and John Justin Foundation, Performing Arts Fort Worth Inc., the Van Cliburn Foundation, and the Sam Rayburn Foundation. Kelly formerly served on the board of the University of Texas Law School Foundation, the Center for American and International Law and currently serves on the board of UT Southwestern Moncrief Cancer Center.

Among his many honors, Kelly has been the recipient of Fort Worth’s Outstanding Citizen Award, Fort Worth’s Outstanding Business Executive, the Horatio Alger Award, and the Blackstone Award presented by the Tarrant County Bar Association. He was named a Power Attorney by Fort Worth Business and most recently was honored by the Texas Bar Foundation as a recipient of the 50 Year Lawyer Award.

In 1999, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram named Kelly one of the 10 most influential leaders in Tarrant County in the second half of the Twentieth Century.

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In addition to the lifetime achievement award honorees, Texas Lawyer has named three nominees for Attorney of the Year. The winner of that award will be announced at an event in Houston on Nov. 2. The attorney of the year nominees are Tony Buzbee, founder, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston; Daniel McNeel Lane Jr., partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, San Antonio; and Allyson N. Ho, partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Dallas. – Staff reports