Ed bell

J. Edward Bell

Charleston School of Law President J. Edward Bell has accepted an invitation to join an exclusive group of the nation’s best trial lawyers known as the Inner Circle of Advocates.

“I’m extremely honored and proud to have been invited into this talented and successful group of attorneys,” said Bell, principal of Bell Legal Group in Georgetown. “This recognition validates the hard work that our whole legal team has done over three decades to solve complex cases that uncover the truth and help make things right for our clients across the country.”

The Inner Circle of Advocates is an invitation-only group of the 100 best trial lawyers in the United States. It started in 1972 when Arizona attorney Richard Grand decided there needed to be an organization of the nation’s most skilled plaintiff lawyers who could share information about their work “about experts, techniques and whatever it took to be a great trial lawyer.”

To qualify, members must meet criteria based on performance and success in the courtroom. They must have at least three verdicts of $1 million or one verdict worth more than $10 million with the most recent verdict being no more than five years old. Members of the organization must have a “substantial number of jury trials.”

Bell, a nationally-known litigator who is an owner of Garden & Gun magazine, has won numerous multimillion dollar verdicts. He is the only South Carolina attorney who is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates.

Representative verdicts include Souders, et al v. Santee Cooper (2011), $219 million; Estate of Huggins v. Eastern Healthcare Group (2005), $28.5 million; Motelson v. Ford (2014), $19 million; and Watson v. Ford (2010), $18 million.

Bell, who has tried more than 300 cases across the country, became the law school’s president in 2015. Since then, the school’s enrollment has increased significantly after 200 first-year students started in August 2016, compared to less than half of that number the year before.