Former justices

Justice Daniel Kelly

Justice Daniel Kelly

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice: 2016–2020
Life: 1964–

Justice Daniel Kelly was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gov. Scott Walker in 2016 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice David T. Prosser, Jr.

A native of Santa Barbara, California, Kelly grew up in Arvada, Colorado. He came to Waukesha, Wisconsin to study at Carroll College (now Carroll University), where he earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish in 1986. He earned his law degree from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1991.

Before joining the Court, Kelly had 19 years' experience as a private practice attorney in Wisconsin and represented clients in cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Kelly spent most of his private practice career at one of the largest and oldest law firms in Wisconsin. Subsequently, he served as vice president and general counsel for a philanthropic foundation, and then practiced law at a firm he owned and founded in Waukesha.

Early in his legal career, Kelly was a law clerk and then staff attorney for the Office of Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, from 1992 to 1996. He worked as a law clerk for the late Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge Ralph Adam Fine from 1991 to 1992.

Kelly is a member of the board of advisors and past president of the Milwaukee Lawyer's Chapter of the Federalist Society. He serves on the Carroll University President's Advisory Council and is a former member of the Wisconsin Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Kelly is married and has five children. He lives in North Prairie, Wisconsin.

Back to former justices