History Spotlight: Bedell Firm

The law firm of Bedell, Dittmar, DeVault, Pillans & Coxe, P.A. recently celebrated a 150-year milestone, making the Bedell Firm the oldest law firm in continuous existence in Florida. The Bedell Firm strives to provide the most comprehensive professional legal representation to every client, and its success has contributed to a storied history of legal excellence in Florida.

Origins of the Bedell Firm

The Bedell Firm at 101 East Adams Street in downtown Jacksonville operates out of a city landmark built in 1905, when Andrew Carnegie donated funds toward the construction of the Jacksonville Free Public Library. The building may be more than 100 years old, but the Bedell Firm has roots tracing even further back into history.

Former United States Union Army Colonel Horatio Bisbee founded the Bedell Firm in 1865 after moving to Jacksonville from the North following his service in the American Civil War. Bisbee would later partner with George Bedell, forming a powerful litigation firm in Jacksonville.

Bisbee eventually left the firm, and George Bedell’s son Chester joined as a senior partner creating Bedell & Bedell in 1927. Chester actually earned entrance into the Florida Bar Association before completing his law degree, creating a tradition that persists in the firm today: none of the attorneys at the Bedell Firm display their degrees or diplomas.

During World War II, both Chester and his brother Nathan left the Bedell Firm to serve their country. Chester found little to salvage after returning from the war, and he essentially rebuilt the Bedell Firm from scratch. The firm relocated into the firm’s current home at the Jacksonville Library Building in 1984.

The Philosophy of the Bedell Firm

To this day, the Bedell Firm continues the tradition of devotion exclusively to trial work in criminal and civil cases. The firm’s attorneys, each with their own specialties, handle a wide variety of lawsuits and offer clients versatile experience in different fields. Furthermore, with track records that include high-profile cases, no stage is too big.

The Bedell Firm represented the families of the victims of the infamous 1963 Roosevelt Hotel fire in Jacksonville. In the 1970s the Bedell Firm represented U.S. Senator Edward Gurney when the senator faced accusations of taking illegal payments from Florida building contractors. Senator Gurney would later become a major figure in the defense team of President Nixon following the Watergate scandal.

What to Expect From the Bedell Firm

When clients approach other law firms with criminal or civil cases in Jacksonville, those firms reach out to the attorneys at the Bedell Firm. The Bedell Firm has the resources and experience to handle all aspects of complex trial cases in many practice areas. Clients want an attorney who has experience with the local court system, and the Bedell Firm remains unmatched in its years of service to the Jacksonville community. The firm has remained steadfast in the types of cases they take and where they practice, and the attorneys have remained focused on serving Jacksonville residents and assisting with their legal matters.

Contact the Bedell Firm today for legal representation in a civil or criminal matter in Jacksonville. The firm’s longevity and reputation rest on a foundation of commitment to clients’ recovery and a desire to protect the rights of everyone they represent.