South Carolina native J. Edward Bell III, founder and senior partner of Bell Legal Group in Georgetown, is an attorney, businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he has distinguished himself as a top litigation attorney at local, state and national levels and has tried more than 300 major cases throughout the United States. Bell is a recognized Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Rated attorney. He is listed in The American Trial Lawyers Association’s prestigious Top 100 Attorneys; named to Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, Benchmark’s Litigation Star; and received the SC Lawyers Weekly Leadership in Law Award. He is the chairman of the board of Garden & Gun magazine, Garden & Gun Land, The Litchfield Company and will now take his place as the president of the Charleston School of Law.
Bell’s work in the legal field is extensive and renowned, yet more notable is his work with students and young attorneys. His history of mentoring students interested in pursuing the law has included assistance with financial aid, internships and housing for national and international students. It is this passion for sharing his knowledge and understanding of the law that led Bell to his newest position as President of the Charleston School of Law.
A graduate of University of South Carolina School of Law, Bell distinguished himself as a top civil litigator in the field of complex litigation law with his success in the demanding auto torts and auto safety field. His unique approach in auto case work led him to establish a Vehicle Safety Research Center, a facility that conducts auto defect investigations, accident re-enactments, develops exhibits, and explores the complex nature of the issues surrounding injury and accident cases. Since its inception, the center has evolved into a multi-disciplined Science and Technology Center used to assist attorneys in unraveling technical information associated with trial work.
His legal career continues to bring him national recognition in the fields of environmental law, auto safety, auto defects and product liability. He is a member of the Bars of South Carolina, United States District Court, District of South Carolina; United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and United States Supreme Court.
Bell’s work in environmental law coupled with his love of Southern culture led him to explore opportunities for land development with an emphasis on environmental conservation. In 2010, he became a partner in Garden & Gun Magazine, LLC, a nationally-recognized Southern lifestyle publication. That partnership, along with the acquisition of an established coastal real estate business, The Litchfield Company, LLC, and the inception of Garden & Gun Land, continues to help broaden his environmental pursuits on a national level.
A native of Sumter, Bell lives in Georgetown with his wife, Dawn, and two young children, Jeb and Middleton. He has three grown daughters, Gigi Bell Hammond of Atlanta, Virginia Bell Flynn of Dallas, also an attorney, and Caroline Bell Stowe of Baltimore. Ed volunteers through Duncan United Methodist Church, Helping Hands and Habitat for Humanity and has sponsored numerous programs in area hospitals, schools and youth organizations. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Georgetown, SC, is on the Board of Directors of the Mission Society, Atlanta and former board member of Richmont University, Atlanta.