F. Dulin Kelly Sworn in as National President of The American Board of Trial Advocates
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 14, 2017) — F. Dulin Kelly of the Kelly Law Firm in Hendersonville,
Tennessee, was installed as National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates at the
organization’s National Board Meeting at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Kelly took the oath of
office from Patrick C. Simek, who served as National President in 2002.
ABOTA is an invitation-only national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges
dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,
which guarantees the right to civil jury trials. ABOTA’s primary goal is to educate the American
public about the history and value of the right to trial by jury and is dedicated to elevating the
standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession. Founded in 1958 with a
membership of more than 7,600 experienced attorneys representing both the plaintiff and defense
bars in civil cases, ABOTA is uniquely qualified to speak for the value of the constitutionallymandated jury system as the protector of the rights of persons and property. The ABOTA
Foundation was established in 1992 to provide education to the American public about the right
to trial by jury and to promote the professional education of trial attorneys.
Kelly, who was admitted into ABOTA more than 27 years ago, holds the distinction of being the
first person to serve as National President from Tennessee. He was elected by the chapter to
National Board Member in 1996 and has served in leadership roles for the Tennessee Chapter, the
Southeast ABOTA chapters, the ABOTA Foundation and the National organization. Kelly holds
the highest membership ranking possible — Diplomate — for trying more than 100 jury trials in
“ABOTA is intricately woven into the fabric of the life of my family,” Kelly said. He said
Sebrina, his wife, has attended ABOTA meetings with him for the past 18 years, and his son
Clinton L. Kelly of Hendersonville, Tennessee, is a National Board representative, past president
of the Tennessee Chapter, and president-elect of SEABOTA.
He described ABOTA members as having integrity, honor and courtesy — plaintiff and defense
— in and out of the courtroom.
“The support and professionalism of ABOTA members over the years have been invaluable to
me,” he said. He added that he will continue to pursue creative ways to inform the public through
the Save Our Juries efforts; advance the faster jury trial initiative in all states; and strengthen
ABOTA’s membership by increasing the organization’s diversity, including the recruitment of