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  • Writer's pictureMKE Federalists

New Event: 2023 Judge Rudolph T. Randa Lecture and Award


Time & Location

When: October 26, 2023 at 12:00 PM

Where: The Milwaukee Club, 706 N Jefferson St, Milwaukee, WI 53202, USA

Registration Information

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About the Event

Please join the Milwaukee Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society at the Milwaukee Club on October 26, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. for a ceremony honoring former Supreme Court of Wisconsin Justice Daniel Kelly with the Judge Rudolph T. Randa Award.

Each year, the Milwaukee Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society presents the Judge Rudolph T. Randa Award to an individual whose work on behalf of the rule of law and the legal principles our Society exists to uphold is as unquestioned as it is longstanding. Judge Randa, the Award’s namesake, served on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He was a friend and patron of the Milwaukee Lawyers Chapter; but more importantly he lived the principles that most animate citizens in a free republic and, as a judge, scrupulously adhered to the law as written.

Past award winners include Michael W. Grebe, Richard M. Esenberg, Judge William Griesbach, and Judge Diane Sykes. This year the recipient of the Award is Daniel Kelly, former justice of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, who will be presenting a lecture entitled, “Freedom in the States: Constitutions and the Common Law.” State governments are often assumed to have “plenary” powers, as opposed to “enumerated” powers of the federal government. But do state constitutions place any limits on the inherent authority of the state political branches? Regardless, how should state courts incorporate the common law when ascertaining the limits of government power? Justice Kelly’s lecture will address these often overlooked topics.

A native of Santa Barbara, California, Kelly grew up in Arvada, Colorado. He came to Waukesha, Wisconsin to study at Carroll College (now Carroll University), where he earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish in 1986. He earned his law degree from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1991. Following law school, Kelly worked as a law clerk for the late Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge Ralph Adam Fine from 1991 to 1992, then as staff attorney for the Office of Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, from 1992 to 1996.

Before joining the Supreme Court of Wisconsin Kelly had 19 years' experience as a private practice attorney in Wisconsin and represented clients in cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. He spent most of his private practice career at one of the largest and oldest law firms in Wisconsin. Subsequently, he served as vice president and general counsel for a philanthropic foundation, and then practiced law at a firm he owned and founded in Waukesha. In 2016, Kelly was appointed to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin by Governor Scott Walker in 2016 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice David T. Prosser, Jr. He is a member of the board of advisors and past president of the Milwaukee Lawyer's Chapter of the Federalist Society. He is married and has five children.

Joining us to present the award to Kelly is his former colleague Justice Rebecca Bradley of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. Bradley, a Milwaukee native, was elected to the Supreme Court in 2016 after being appointed by Gov. Scott Walker in 2015. She is the first Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice to have served as an intermediate appellate court judge as well as a circuit court judge. Before joining the Supreme Court, Justice Bradley served as a District I Court of Appeals judge (appointed 2015), a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge (appointed 2012, elected 2013) and worked as an attorney in private practice (1996-2012), including serving as vice president of legal operations for a global software company.

Justice Bradley graduated from Marquette University in 1993 with an honors B.S. in Business Administration and Business Economics and received her juris doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1996. Among other activities, Bradley is a member of the Board of Advisors and past president of the Milwaukee Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.


  • Hon. Daniel Kelly, Former Justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court


General Admission & Private Sector: $20 | Government Employee & Non-Profit: $15


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

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