Daniel B. Kelly

Daniel B. Kelly

Professor of Law

Office: 3166 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574-631-7690
Fax: 574-631-0653
Email: daniel.kelly@nd.edu
Staff Assistant: Beth Smith
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SSRN: View

Professor Dan Kelly teaches and writes in the areas of property law, remedies, and wills, trusts, and estates. He is also a co-founder and co-director (with Professor Margaret Brinig) of the Notre Dame Law and Economics Program. A member of the American Law Institute, Kelly serves as an associate reporter for the Restatement (Fourth) of Property. During spring 2016, he was a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. 

Kelly’s research focuses on the economic analysis of property law, including the assembly of land for economic development, the sharing and division of property among multiple parties through contracts, leases, and trusts, and the transfer of wealth at death. He has presented two articles at the Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum: “Strategic Spillovers,” published in the Columbia Law Review, and “The Right to Include,” published in the Emory Law Journal. His research on the government’s use of eminent domain has appeared in the Cornell Law ReviewHarvard Law Review ForumSupreme Court Economic Review, and Research Handbook on the Economic Analysis of Property Law. And he has written several articles on wills, trusts, and fiduciary law, including “Toward Economic Analysis of the Uniform Probate Code” and “Restricting Testamentary Freedom: Ex Ante Versus Ex Post Justifications.” 

Kelly has served as a referee for a number of journals, law reviews, and university presses, including the American Law & Economics Review, European Association of Law & Economics, Harvard Law Review, Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, Journal of Legal Analysis, Review of Law & Economics, Society for Institutional & Organizational Economics, University of Chicago Law Review, University of Chicago Press, Yale Law Journal, and Yale University Press. He is a frequent lecturer on property at the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Law Institute. At Notre Dame, he also serves as a faculty advisor for the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) Program, a faculty fellow at the Research Program on Law and Market Behavior, and a member of the Faculty Board on Athletics

Before joining the NDLS faculty, Kelly was a clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, an attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and a fellow at Yale and Harvard Law School. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Notre Dame.

Courses Taught

LAW60906, Property

LAW70203, Remedies

LAW70507, Trusts and Estates

LAW73145, Law and Economics Seminar

LAW73524, Property Theory Seminar


Trusts & Estates: US/UK Comparative Perspective



“Anti-Opportunism Rules in Succession Law” (in progress) 

“How Real Estate Developers Assemble Land” (in progress) 

“Categorical Versus Ad Hoc Fiduciaries" (in progress) 

Economic Analysis of Fiduciary Law, in Research Handbook on Fiduciary Law (Andrew Gold & D. Gordon Smith, Edward Elgar Press 2016) (forthcoming). 

The Law and Economics of Trust Term Extension, 67 Florida Law Review Forum __ (2015) (forthcoming). 

Dividing Possessory Rights, in Law and Economics of Possession 175-206 (Yun-Chien Chang ed., Cambridge University Press 2015). 

The Right to Include, 63 EMORY L.J. 857-924 (2014). 

Restricting Testamentary Freedom: Ex Ante Versus Ex Post Justifications, 82 Fordham Law Review 1125 (2013). 

Toward Economic Analysis of the Uniform Probate Code, 45 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 855-98 (2012). 

Strategic Spillovers, 111 Columbia Law Review 1641 (2011). 

Acquiring Land Through Eminent Domain: Justifications, Limitations, and Alternatives, in Research Handbook on the Economic Analysis of Property Law (Kenneth Ayotte & Henry E. Smith, eds., Edward Elgar 2011). 

Pretextual Takings: Of Private Developers, Local Governments, and Impermissible Favoritism, 17 Supreme Court Economic Review 173 (2009). 

The Limitations of Majoritarian Land Assembly, 122 Harvard Law Review Forum 7 (2009). 

The '€˜Public Use'€™ Requirement in Eminent Domain Law: A Rationale Based on Secret Purchases and Private Influence, 92 Cornell Law Review 1 (2006).

Areas of Expertise

  • Law & Economics
  • Property Law
  • Real Estate Law / Development
  • Trusts & Estates