David E. Keltner

Top rated appellate attorney in Fort Worth, Texas

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP
David E. Keltner
Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

Practice Areas: Appellate

Licensed in Texas since: 1975

Education: Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2023

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

201 Main Street
Suite 2500
Fort Worth, TX 76102 Phone: 817-878-3560 Email: David E. Keltner Visit website


Formerly a Justice on the Texas Court of Appeals, David Keltner is lead counsel in well over 100 appellate decisions. His legal writings are cited, with approval, by Texas courts. Mr. Keltner is recognized for his appellate accomplishments. He was honored by Texas Lawyer as the "Go To" appellate lawyer in Texas. Texas Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters service published by Texas Monthly, selected him as one of the Top 10 Lawyers in Texas for the last seven years in a row. He was the "Top Point Getter" in Texas 2009-2011. The Texas Bar Foundation honored him with the inaugural Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award. Mr. Keltner is also recognized on the national stage as a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, one of only 300 in the country.

First Admitted: 1975, Texas

Professional Webpage: https://www.kellyhart.com/attorney/David-Keltner

  • Named to The 400 Most Influential by Fort Worth, Inc. magazine, 2018-2020, Top 400, Fort Worth, Inc. magazine
  • Chambers USA: Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2007-2019, Chambers USA, Chambers USA
  • Top Attorney in Appellate Law, 360 West magazine, 2017-2020, Top Attorney in Appellate Law, 360 West magazine
  •  Listed in Best Lawyer in America, 2006-2020, Best Lawyer in America, Best Lawyer in America
  • Top Attorney by Fort Worth, Texas Magazine, 2008-2019, Top Attorney, Fort Worth, Texas magazine
  • Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly, 2003-2020 , Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, published in Texas Monthly magazine
  • Named Dallas/Fort Worth Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers®, 2016, 2018, Dallas/Fort Worth Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers®
  • Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award, Texas Center for Legal Ethics, 2018, Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award, Texas Center for Legal Ethics
  • Designated as “Power Lawyer” by Fort Worth Business Press (2009), Power Lawyer, Fort Worth Business Press
  • Top 10 Lawyers in Texas by Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2003-2020; Ranked No. 1, 2009-2011, Top 10 Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • “Preservation of Error”, Texas Bar CLE 22nd Annual Advanced Evidence and Discovery Course, Houston (2009); "Respondent's Strategies in the Supreme Court", Texas Bar CLE Practice Before the Texas Supreme Court, Austin (2009); "Mandamus: 9 Months After McAllen Medical Center and We Survived" University of Texas CLE 19th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, Austin (2009); “Preservation of Error”, Texas Bar CLE 25th Annual Advanced Personal Injury Course, Dallas (2009); Panel member, Texas Bar CLE 8th Annual Advanced In-House Counsel Course, Houston (2009); “Preservation of Error”, Texas Bar CLE 32nd Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course, San Antonio (2009); Panel member, Collin, Dallas and Tarrant County Bar Associations, Practice Tips from the Clerk’s Office and A Candid Conversation Between Appellate Judges and Lawyers, Fort Worth (2009); “Texas Discovery,” West Publishing (2009) [Loose-leaf Service on Texas Discovery]; “The Art of Appellate Advocacy: A Moot Court Manual” (SMU Press 1975, 1979, 1982); “Protecting the Record for Appeal:  A Reference Guide in Texas Civil Cases,” 17 St. Mary's L.J. 273 (1986) [Selected “Outstanding Law Review Article” by the Texas Bar Foundation]; “Trying the Trier of Fact: Jury Misconduct in Texas,” 34 Sw. L.J. 1131 (1981); Faculty, State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Course (1988-1997, 1999, 2002-03); Faculty, State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Trial Course (1988-2003, 2005); Faculty, State Bar of Texas Evidence and Discovery Course (1999-2002); Faculty, State Bar of Texas Advanced Personal Injury Course (1986-98, 2001); Frequent author and speaker at State Bar CLE courses, seminars for University of Texas Law School, University of Houston Law Center, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, St. Mary’s University School of Law and Texas Tech University Law School
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Member, Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee, 1993-2000; Chair, Texas Supreme Court Discovery Task Force, 1992-1995; Member, Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee for Professionalism, (Committee drafted the Texas Lawyer’s Creed), 1989; Chair, Continuing Legal Education Committee State Bar of Texas (2004—present); Board of Trustees, Trinity Valley School (2001—present); Dean’s Advisory Board, Texas Wesleyan School of Law (2000—present); Chair of the Fellows, Texas Bar Foundation (2006); Chair, Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, (1999-2000); Executive Board, SMU Dedman School of Law (1998—present); Board of Visitors, University of Texas McDonald Observatory (1997—present); Director, State Bar of Texas (1997-2001); Director, American Board of Trial Advocates (1995-1998); Chair, Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas (1991-1992); Chair, College of the State Bar of Texas (1991-1993); Director, Tarrant County Bar Association (1990-1995, 1997-2000, 2009); Executive Council, Tort and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (1985-1987); House of Delegates, American Bar Association (1984-1987); Chairman, Texas Young Lawyers Association (1982-1983); Member, State Bar of Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee (Volumes I and II, 1982-1985; Volume IV, 1986-1990); Sustaining Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation; Sustaining Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation; Master, American Inns of Court—Eldon Mahon Inn (1994-1996; 2007—present); Charter Member, Tarrant County Bar Foundation
  • Representative cases included: Hyundai Motor Co. v. Vasquez, 189 S.W.3d 743 (Tex. 2006).  Sterling Trust Co. v. Adderley, 168 S.W.3d (Tex. 2005). Monsanto Co. v. Boustany, 73 S.W.3d 225 (Tex. 2002).  Borneman v. Steak & Ale of Texas, Inc., 22 S.W.3d 411 (Tex. 2000). In re Continental Airlines, Inc., 988 S.W.2d 733 (Tex. 1998). ACS Investors, Inc. v. McLaughlin, 943 S.W.2d 426 (Tex. 1997). George Grubbs Enterprises, Inc. v. Bien, 900 S.W.2d 337 (Tex. 1995). Hyundai Motor Co. v. Alvarado, 892 S.W.2d 853 (Tex. 1995). Elbaor v. Smith, 845 S.W.2d 240 (Tex. 1992). Texaco Refining and Marketing, Inc. v. Estate of Dau Van Tran, 808 S.W.2d 61 (Tex. 1991). Fawcett, Ltd. v. Idaho Northern & Pacific R. Co., No. 11-07-00154-CV, 2009 WL 1349988 (Tex. App.—Eastland May 14, 2009, no pet. h.).   Farlow v. Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hosp., No. 2-07-423-CV, 2009 WL 1371411 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth May 7, 2009, no pet. h.).   Sun-Key Oil Co., Inc. v. Cannon, No. 11-07-00025-CV, 2009 WL 626071 (Tex. App.—Eastland, March 12, 2009, no pet.).   Baker Botts, L.L.P. v. Cailloux, 224 S.W.3d 723 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2007, pet. denied). In re Stone & Webster, Inc., 2005 WL 1654875 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth July 12, 2005, pet. denied). Shirvanian v. Defrates, 161 S.W.3d 102 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, pet. denied). COC Services, Ltd. v. CompUSA, Inc., 150 S.W.3d 654 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2004, pet. denied). Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts v. LaSalle Hotel Operating Partnership, I, L.P., 141 S.W.3d 870 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2004, pet. denied). Swank v. Sverdlin, 121 S.W.3d 785 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st. Dist.] 2003, pet. denied). Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corp. v. United Technologies Corp., 9 S.W.3d 324 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 1999, pet. denied). Vinson & Elkins v. Moran, 946 S.W.2d 381 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1997, writ dism’d by agr.). J.D. Abrams, Inc. v. McIver, 966 S.W.2d 87 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1998, pet. denied). Stanton v. University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, 997 S.W.2d 628 (Tex. App.—Dallas 1998, pet. denied). Simms v. First Gibraltar Bank, 85 F.3d 1546 (5th Cir. 1996).
Educational Background:
  • Southern Methodist University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1975
  • Trinity University, Bachelor of Arts, 1972
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Office location for David E. Keltner

201 Main Street
Suite 2500
Fort Worth, TX 76102


21 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2023

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Top 100: Dallas/Fort Worth Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2023 Top 10: Texas Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2023 Top 100: Texas Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2023

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