J. Edward Bell III is the founding and senior partner of Bell Legal Group located in Georgetown, South Carolina. He is an attorney, a businessman, and an entrepreneur. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he has distinguished himself as a top litigation attorney at local, state, and national levels. He has taken more than 300 major cases to trial and reached multimillion-dollar verdicts on most of them. He is the only South Carolina attorney honored with a membership in the Inner Circle of Advocates, a prestigious group limited to 100 of the best plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States.
A graduate of the 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 to auto casework 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.
While his work in the legal field is extensive and renowned, maybe more notable is his work with students and young attorneys. Along with mentoring students pursuing a legal education, Mr. Bell has also provided assistance with financial aid, internships and housing for both national and international students. In 2015, this passion for sharing knowledge and understanding of the law led Bell to his newest endeavor as President of the Charleston School of Law in Charleston, South Carolina.
His 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 broaden his environmental pursuits on a national level.
In 2021, Bell received the state’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Palmetto, from Governor Henry McMaster in a Statehouse ceremony. “The work he has done at the law school [in Charleston], with his law practice and with his philanthropy and lifting people up is a record that is very difficult to exceed in South Carolina,” McMaster said.
Ed is on the Board of Directors for the Boy Scouts of America Coastal Carolina Council, and he was recently recognized with the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award. He volunteers through Duncan United Methodist Church, is a Rotarian, a former Board Member of Richmont University in Atlanta, and he has sponsored numerous programs in area hospitals, schools, and youth organizations. He is currently the longest-serving member on the Board of Directors of TMS Global, an Atlanta-based International Mission Group and has spoken about “cross-cultural communications” internationally.
Mr. Bell resides in Georgetown with his wife Dawn and their two children, Jeb and Middleton. He has three grown daughters, Gigi, Virginia and Caroline, and seven grandchildren.