Lloyd Bell (Photo: John Disney/ALM) Lloyd Bell (Photo: John Disney/ALM)

Atlanta trial lawyer Lloyd Bell has been admitted into an invitation-only, national group of plaintiffs attorneys called “The Inner Circle of Advocates.”

The group is a kind of private million-dollar club for plaintiffs lawyers that in some ways functions as a collective law firm by offering education and support. It was started by Tucson lawyer Richard Grand in 1972—the year he won what at the time was the biggest personal injury award to go to a single plaintiff in the U.S.: $3.5 million for a man burned in a hospital accident.

Bell—a medical malpractice plaintiffs lawyer who founded the Bell Law Firm in 1999—won a $15 million verdict against an Atlanta hospital in 2016 and a $26 million verdict against a Columbus hospital in 2017. The next year, the Daily Report named Bell’s firm “Personal Injury Litigation Team of the Year.”

Grand pushed the limits of his time. He started the club for lawyers who had at least one million-dollar verdict and 50 jury trials behind them. He set the original number of members at 50, although the size has now doubled.

Grand died in 2013 at the age of 83. His obituary on Tucson.com said he had won more than 100 million-dollar awards for clients, and that he once compared his club to baseball. He told a reporter it was “like 100 Barry Bondses getting together who want to know about hitting home runs.”

The Inner Circle of Advocates promotes its members as “the top plaintiff trial attorneys in the nation.” The stated mission is “to promote the highest standards of courtroom competence and mutual fellowship and exchange of knowledge among outstanding trial lawyers.”

Bell becomes only the second Georgia lawyer in the club. His membership listing says he has won more seven- and eight-figure verdicts and settlements than any lawyer in Georgia.

The other Georgian is Don Keenan of the Keenan Law Firm in Atlanta, specializing in catastrophic injury and wrongful-death cases. His membership listing shows 302 verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million and five of more than $10 million.

“I have always admired the lawyers in The Inner Circle of Advocates, both for their courtroom excellence, as well as their commitment to education and leadership in the national trial lawyer community,” Bell said. “Through strong leadership and a constant desire to learn, the Inner Circle helps innumerable victims of negligence receive full and fair justice.”

Bell said he was delighted to be invited into the club. “In fact, most of the trial advocacy books in my office are authored by Inner Circle members,” he said. “It is truly an honor to join their ranks.”