Published March 2010 by Lawrence P. Rochefort After just a few minutes with Judge Kelley, it was evident that “family” is the most important thing to him. Judge Kelley was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania and, at the ripe age of 18 months, his Mom and Dad moved to Palm Beach County, specifically Indiantown. Judge Kelley’s Dad worked at Pratt Whitney as a foreman in the machine shop for 28 years. After a couple of years, Judge Kelley and his parents moved to West Palm Beach. Judge Kelley will soon be celebrating 30 years of marriage with his wife, Karen. Believe it or not, Judge Kelley and Karen were high school sweethearts and continued to date through college. During Judge Kelley’s last year of law school, he married Karen and they lived in married housing. Judge Kelley is very proud of his 2 children. His son, Bryan, is a civil engineer working at a local firm and his daughter, Michelle, received an undergraduate degree in the biological sciences and is now applying to graduate school. Both kids attended the University of Florida. Judge Kelley also is very proud of his grandchildren. His granddaughter, Lorelei, is 20 months old and his grandson, Donavon, is only a month old. Donavon was born the week before Thanksgiving. Judge Kelley recounted to me numerous memories he had coaching his kids in baseball and flag football. The photographs in Judge Kelley’s office tell how much those times meant to him. Judge Kelley attended Berkshire Elementary, Jefferson Davis Junior High School (now renamed Palm Springs Middle School) and Forest Hill High School. After attending Palm Beach Junior College for a period, Judge Kelley transferred to the University of Florida where he received an undergraduate degree. Judge Kelley loved Gainesville so much, he stayed and attended law school at the University of Florida. Judge Kelley was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1982. During his last year of law school, he clerked at what was formerly Gunster Yoakley Criser & Stewart. Judge Kelley fondly remembers his mentor, Judge Rapp, during his early years at Gunster Yoakley. Judge Kelley started a solo practice and eventually became partners with Bill Broome, Peter Aldrich, and Richard Warren. Judge Kelley’s practice always focused on commercial and business disputes and, in particular, securities law. In 2007, Judge Kelley ascended to the Bench. Judge Kelley was one of Governor Jeb Bush’s last appointments and he received word of his appointment the week before Christmas. What a Christmas present! Judge Kelley had aspired to be a judge for quite some time and when I asked him if he enjoys being a judge, he responded “I believe I was meant to do this.” In their spare time, Judge Kelley and his wife, Karen, enjoy boating and spending time with their grandchildren. Of course, in keeping with his ties to the University of Florida, his boat is named “Sea Gator.” We are very lucky to have Judge Kelley.