WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (June 25, 2014) – Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service business law firms, announced today that former Florida Supreme Court Justice Kenneth B. Bell has joined the firm as a shareholder in Gunster’s Tallahassee office.
Kenneth B. Bell will focus his civil litigation practice on trials and appeals, including mediation, arbitration and trial support.
“Justice Bell brings a tremendous amount of experience to Gunster’s litigation group, particularly in the appellate arena. Justice Bell further solidifies our firm’s reputation as Florida’s law firm for business and expands our capabilities to handle appeals in any state or federal court,” said Bill Perry, managing shareholder of Gunster. “Ken will also help us grow in north Florida, which continues to be a long-term strategic goal of the firm.”
Justice Bell joins Gunster from the law firm of Clark, Partington, Hart, Larry, Bond & Stackhouse where he led the firm’s appellate/trial support group and maintained an active ADR and litigation practice. Before returning to private practice, Ken Bell served on Florida’s Supreme Court from 2002 to 2008, and as a circuit court judge in the Pensacola area from 1991 to 2002.
Appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in 2002 by then-governor Jeb Bush, Justice Bell authored significant opinions on a wide variety of issues. His service on Florida’s Supreme Court was best summarized by Charlie Crist, who was the governor who accepted Justice Bell’s resignation in the fall of 2008:
“Your contributions to Florida law and the judicial system will stand for many years to come. You never wavered in following the text of our Constitution and statutes, and by doing so you set an example of judicial restraint for jurists everywhere. As a man of humility and deep faith in God, you have served as a role model of personal and professional integrity on the bench.”
Prior to his service on Florida’s Supreme Court, Justice Bell was a circuit court judge in Florida’s 1st Judicial Circuit. In 1991, he became the youngest circuit judge in the history of the 1st Circuit. In 12 years on the circuit court bench, he handled more than 27,500 cases as a general jurisdiction judge and was actively involved in improving the judicial system. Preceding his elevation to the judiciary in 1991, Justice Bell was Pensacola’s first board-certified real estate attorney.
Justice Bell is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell and has been recognized by Florida Super Lawyers for his appellate work from 2012-2013 and by Florida Trend as a Florida Legal Elite for his appellate law and arbitration & mediation work from 2009-2014. He sits on the Board of Advisors for Florida Tax Watch and serves as a board member of the Waterfront Rescue Mission.
Justice Bell will co-chair Gunster’s appellate practice with former 3rd DCA judge Angel Cortiñas. Gunster’s appellate team also includes Jack Aiello, Amy Brigham Boulris, John W. Little, III, Ed Marod, and other appellate practitioners who have substantial experience in both state and federal court systems. Gunster attorneys are able to litigate at all levels, from the development of early stage litigation strategy to the appeal of last resort necessary to achieve or preserve a victory or overturn an adverse result.
Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 160 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 350 largest law firms. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.