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Justice D. Arthur Kelsey, J.D.
Supreme Court of VirginiaSenior Lecturing Fellow

Justice D. Arthur Kelsey, J.D.


The Hon. D. Arthur Kelsey was appointed to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia in January 2015 by the Virginia General Assembly. Other judicial experience includes:

Judge of Court of Appeals of Virginia, appointed in 2002 by the Honorable Mark R. Warner, Governor of Virginia.

Judge of Fifth Judicial Circuit of Virginia, which includes Suffolk, Southampton, and Isle of Wight (2000 to 2002).

Justice Kelsey earned his B.A. in Political Science, magna cum laude, at Old Dominion University, and a Juris Doctor at Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary, Order of the Coif.

Legal Background

Hunton & Williams, Partner on Litigation Team

Law Clerk to Chief U.S. District Judge John A. MacKenzie Eastern District of Virginia 1984 (summer) & 1985 to 1986


Bracton’s Warning & Hamilton’s Reassurance, 66 Virginia Lawyer 2, at 20-27 (2017)

The Laws of Physics and the Physics of Laws, 62 Virginia Lawyer 9, at 30 (2014) (abridged version)

The Commonwealth’s Common Law, 40 VBA Journal 26 (Winter 2013-14), available at

The Resurgent Role of Legal History in Modern U.S. Supreme Court Cases, 37 VBA JOURNAL No. 3, at 10 (Fall 2010), available at

The Architecture of Judicial Power: Appellate Review & Stare Decisis, 53 VIRGINIA LAWYER, No. 3 (Oct. 2004), available at oct04/index.html; see also 45 THE JUDGES’ JOURNAL 2, at 6-13 (ABA 2006), available at

The Laws of Physics and the Physics of Laws, 25 Regent U. L. Rev. 89 (2012), available at

Law & Politics: The Imperative of Judicial Self-Restraint, 28 VBA JOURNAL No. 6, at 6-9 (Sept. 2002), available at

Procedural Defaults: Balancing Systemic & Individual Justice, 1 VTLA APPELLATE JOURNAL 1- 22 (2012), available at

The Thing Decided: Rule 1:6’s Rediscovery of Res Judicata in Virginia, 34 VBA JOURNAL No. 2, at 18-21, 26 (June/July 2008), available at

Virginia’s Answer To Daubert’s Question Behind The Question, 90 JUDICATURE No. 2, 68-71 (2006), at

Procedural Defaults In Virginia Trial Courts: The Adversarial Model & The Imperative of Neutrality, 55 VIRGINIA LAWYER 3, at 38 (Oct. 2006), available at

Social Compact as Law: The Workers’ Compensation Act and the Wicked Sisters of the Common Law, 31 VBA JOURNAL No. 5, at 13-21 (Oct./Nov. 2005), available at

Law & Equity in Virginia, 28 VBA JOURNAL No. 8, at 6-10 (Dec. 2002), available at

In Rem Liens & Ship Repair Contracts, SHIPPING FINANCE ANNUAL 177-79 (Euromoney PLC 1996) ? Robert M. Hughes III & D. Arthur Kelsey, Toxic & Environmental Torts Within Admiralty, 62 TUL. L. REV. 405 (1988), available at LandingPage?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/tulr62&div=20&id=&page=

D. Arthur Kelsey & John E. Holloway, Mistaken LHWCA Compensation Payments: Subrogation Lien Or Third Party Credit?, 30 J. MAR. L. & COM. 19 (1999), available at /wrkco22&div=12&id=&page=

Wendy Cohen & D. Arthur Kelsey, The Virginia Lawyer (Lexis L. Pub.), Chp. 3 (1998)

Contributing Author, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Antitrust Law Developments (4th ed. 1997 & Supp. 1998)

Associate Editor, American Maritime Cases (Mar. L. Ass’n) (1999-2000)