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Dagger  kelly bv lg

Kelly Margolis Dagger focuses her practice on business litigation, appeals, and criminal defense. She has represented clients in a range of matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Her experience includes higher education litigation, contract disputes, trade secrets and unfair competition claims, consumer finance law, employment law and departing employee disputes, securities fraud litigation, and constitutional claims. Ms. Dagger also has federal criminal defense experience, including trial, pleas, sentencing, and appeals, and maintains an active pro bono practice.

Ms. Dagger joined Ellis & Winters after receiving her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as an editor of California Law Review. While in law school, she also served as the president of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and continues to take an active interest in animal welfare issues. Ms. Dagger earned her undergraduate degree in religious studies, with highest distinction, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Dagger worked as a research analyst for a pharmaceutical business intelligence firm in Research Triangle Park and as an intern at Equality North Carolina in Raleigh.

Ms. Dagger is a competitive runner at the marathon and half-marathon distances.  She is a native of Charleston, West Virginia, and lives in Raleigh with her husband and their dog.

Awards and Honors

  • North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine, "Rising Stars" list, Business Litigation (2016-present)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Federal Bar Association, EDNC Chapter, Secretary
  • SPCA of Wake County, Board of Directors
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Appellate Practice Section Council
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys



  • North Carolina
  • United States District Courts
    • Eastern District of North Carolina
    • Middle District of North Carolina
    • Western District of North Carolina
  • United States Courts of Appeals
    • Fourth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court