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 Texas. It distinguishes attorneys who have had, or continue to have, extraordinary careers that have affected and shaped the legal profession.
Kelly, founding partner of Kelly Hart & Hallman, was born in Bonham. He earned his bachelor’s degree 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.
Kelly began a solo law practice in Fort Worth in 1964, and in 1979 he founded Kelly, Hart & Hallman PC 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 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 TCU. He was appointed to the initial board of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, which honored him with its 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 boards of the University of Texas Law School Foundation and the Center for American and International Law. He currently serves on the board of UT Southwestern Moncrief Cancer Center.
Among his many honors, Kelly has received 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 with 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 20th century.
– Staff reports