Friday, Nov 18th, 2016
Mobile-based Hand Arendall, one of the largest law firms in the state, recently celebrated its 75th anniversary. The firm was established in 1941, only a few months prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, which precipitated the United States officially entering World War II. Originally established as Smith, Hand & Arendall, attorneys Massey Bedsole, Tommy Greaves and Vivian Johnston were the first among many local lawyers to join the growing practice.
After serving in WW II from 1941 to 1945, members returned to civilian duty and were named partners. The name was officially changed to Hand, Arendall, Bedsole, Greaves and Johnston but soon shortened to Hand Arendall, which has remained the firmís recognized name ever since.
Over time Hand Arendall attained recognition on the national stage after successfully arguing two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court: American Radio Association vs. Mobile Steamship Association Inc. on Aug. 22, 1973, resulting in a 5 to 4 vote in the clientís favor; and the Lane vs. Franks decision, which resulted in a unanimous affirmative vote on June 19, 2014.
Most recently, two members of the firm have gone on to become a state district court judge and a federal bankruptcy judge.
Additionally, through the work of attorneys Johnson and Charlie Arendall, the legal practice has been associated with a number prominent Wall Street firms, working with some of the nationís leading lawyers and jurists from each of the 50 states and a number of foreign countries.
To date Hand Arendall has four offices in Mobile, Birmingham, Athens and Fairhope. It employs about 70 lawyers across all four locations and practices in more than 19 areas of traditional civil law, including admiralty, aerospace, bankruptcy, employment, health care, immigration, international law, real estate, government, tax, technology and intellectual property. Per a news release, it is the largest firm on the central Gulf Coast east of New Orleans.
Clients include local, regional and national companies. The firm has received numerous pro bono awards and is involved in Mobileís Volunteer Lawyer Program, which has been a national model for other bar organizations. More information about the firm and a historical timeline of accomplishments can be found on its website.