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Don Kelly is a member of the Firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Service Team and serves as the Chairman of the Firm’s Executive Committee. He concentrates his practice in the areas of toxic tort and related environmental litigation, products liability and commercial disputes. 




  • American Commercial Barge Line
  • Blackstone Group LP
  • Brunswick Corporation
  • Chemours
  • Corning Incorporated
  • CSX Transportation, Inc.
  • E.I. du Pont De Nemours and Company
  • Ingersoll-Rand Company
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation
  • Oxy Vinyls, L.P.
  • Paducah & Louisville Railway, Inc.
  • Papa John’s International, Inc.
  • PharMerica Corporation
  • Rockwell Automation, Inc.
  • The Province of Our Lady of Consolation, Inc.
  • Thorntons LLC
  • Uniper
  • Vinland Energy Company
  • Volvo



J.D., cum laude, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, 1988

  • Member of Brandeis Honor Society

B.S.M.E., Purdue University, 1983



  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky
  • Kentucky Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit



  • Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Litigation-Environmental and Product Liability Litigation-Defendants, 2010-present, and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defendants, 2013-present
  • Best Lawyers® 2020 Louisville Product Liability Litigation – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Best Lawyers® 2019 Louisville Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Best Lawyers® 2014 Louisville Litigation – Environmental “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Recognized among the Top 50 Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2020
  • Highest Professional Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Recognized by his peers in Kentucky Super Lawyers® in the practice area of Business Litigation
  • Recognized as one of the “Top Lawyers” in the area of General Litigation and Product Liability Law – Defense by Louisville Magazine, March 2014
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville, 2017
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Catholic Education Foundation, 2016
  • First Capital Bank “Deep Roots” Award, 2002
  • Leadership Award from Volunteers of America, Board Chair 2000-2002



Mechanical Engineer with Louisville Gas and Electric Company



  • Louisville, Kentucky, and Federal Bar Associations
  • Appointed by the Supreme Court to the Jefferson County Business Court Docket Advisory Committee 2019
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Kentucky Defense Research Institute
  • Leadership Louisville, 2001
  • Leadership Kentucky, 2007



  • Board of Trustees, Bellarmine University
  • Director Saint Xavier High School
  • Director of New Hope Foster Homes
  • Director of Community Catholic Center
  • Past Director of GLI, Inc.
  • Co-Chair of 2017, 2019 Boy Scouts of America Leadership Luncheon
  • Legal Aid Society, Justice For All Campaign Committee, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Metro United Way 2016, 2018 Campaign Cabinet
  • Chair of 2014 Saint Xavier High School Gala Steering Committee
  • Member of Saint Xavier High School Advancement Committee
  • Member of President’s Advisory Committee and past Chair of Volunteers of America, Kentucky and Tennessee
  • Past Director and Secretary of Catholic Education Foundation, Inc.
  • Past Chair of Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana, Inc.
  • Past Chair and Member of the Saint Barnabas Parish Council and Co-Chair of Capital Campaign
  • Past Director and Chair of Office of Lifelong Formation and Education Advisory Board for the Archdiocese of Louisville



  • General Counsel Round Table, Merger and Acquisition Considerations, Wyatt’s 9th Annual In-House Counsel Institute, June 2016
  • General Counsel Round Table, Wyatt’s 8th Annual In-House Counsel Institute, June 2015
  • Legal Issues for Traditional “Vice” Industries, KBA’s Issues for Corporate House Counsel CLE Seminar, April 2015
  • Association of American Railroads presentation, April 2015
  • Pre-empting the Angel’s Share, April 2015
  • In-House Counsel’s Relationship with the Board, November 2014
  • Electronic Discovery: Recommendations to Limit Risk, March 2014
  • Company in Crisis: When Minority Shareholders File Suit, November 2013
  • Getting the Most from Client Presentations and Sales Pitches; Moderator, Dupont Legal Network Marketing and Referral Conference, September 2013
  • Story-Boarding: Driving Consistency and Authenticity of Your Message Across Your Entire Board, Nonprofit Leadership Conference, October 2012
  • Marketing Successes: We can Learn From That!  Panelist, DuPont Legal Network Marketing and Referral Conference, September 2012
  • Handling a Toxic Tort Matter; Kentucky Bar Association 2011
  • Anatomy of a Toxic Tort Class Action; Louisville Bar Association 2010
  • Fixing the Fight: Effective Dispute Resolution Strategies Before the First Bell, Louisville Bar Association 2009; Kentucky Bar Association 2010
  • Legal and Practical Considerations in Loan Workout, Collection & Foreclosure, and Bankruptcy; Workout/Collection/Bankruptcy presentation to Your Community Bank, June 2009
  • Qualifying Scientific Experts; Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program 2006
  • The Daubert Challenge, Kentucky Defense Counsel



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Donald J. Kelly - America's Top 50 Lawyers - Class Actions - Kentucky

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