Mr. Bell is the senior partner in the law firm of Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP., of Sacramento and Los Angeles, California, and is resident in the firm’s Sacramento office.
Mr. Bell has practiced political and election law exclusively since 1980.
Mr. Bell is the General Counsel to the California Republican Party, and has served in that role for 30 of the past 35 years. He has counseled many California candidates and officeholders, including current Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian, Attorney General Dan Lungren, and many of the State Assembly and Senate Republican Leaders since 1980. Mr. Bell also has represented the Republican National Committee,the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee on California matters, as well as a number of federal candidates and officeholders. Mr. Bell has served as counsel to numerous political action committees, lobbyists and lobbying firms, corporations and trade associations.
Mr. Bell served as coordinator of litigation concerning the 2003 California gubernatorial recall. In this role, he coordinated the filing of two lawsuits and the defense of eleven other lawsuits, in all California federal courts, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in the California Supreme Court, two state appellate courts, and two trial courts.
In 2004, Mr. Bell served as a National Co-Chairman of Lawyers for Romney, and its California Co-Chairman. He served as a California Co-Chairman of Lawyers for Bush-Cheney, in 2000 and 2004. He served in 2008 as California Chairman of Lawyers for McCain-Palin and a member of the McCain-Palin National Legal Steering Committee. He served from 2001-2009 as President Bush’s Chairman of the Eastern District Subcommittee of the California Judicial Advisory Committee, responsible to recommend candidates for U.S. District Court judges, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of California.
Mr. Bell has lectured on California campaign finance reform and redistricting, and has authored a number of articles in legal journals and newspaper op-ed pages concerning political and election issues. He has participated in litigation in the California state appellate courts and Supreme Court concerning more than a dozen state ballot propositions. He has also participated in appellate litigation in the California state and federal courts and in the United States Supreme Court concerning redistricting, the regulation of political parties, and freedom of speech issues, including California Democratic Party v. Jones (2000) and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, 2003, the constitutional challenge to the Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, and Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008). Mr. Bell has also been involved in significant election litigation, and election contests and recounts. He is the author of “California Campaign Finance and Lobbying Regulation: A Summary of Major Initiatives, Litigation, and Current Law” (2001) and was a co-editor of “California Election Law Primer” (1998 ed.). His published articles include “The Open Primary Case: California Democratic Party v. Jones,” Fall 2000 Issue, Free Speech and Election Law News, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, Washington, D.C.;
“Proposition 226 ‘Paycheck Protection'-- the California Experience,” Fall 1998 Issue Free Speech and Election Law News, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, Washington, D.C.; and “A Practitioner's Viewpoint on the Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. Federal Election Commission Decision,” October 1996 Issue, Free Speech and Election Law News, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, Washington, D.C..
Mr. Bell is a graduate of Stanford University (A.B. 1968) and the Stanford Law School (J.D. 1974). He served as Counsel in the Office of General Counsel, Federal Communications Commission, from 1974 to 1976, participating in policy and appellate litigation matters, including political broadcasting issues involving the fairness doctrine, equal time for political candidates, and television violence.
Mr. Bell currently serves as a Member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Election Law and previously served as a consultant and liaison to that Committee. He served as a volunteer attorney with the International Republican Institute’s South African Election Project in Johannesburg, South Africa, during that country’s 1994 all-race election.
Mr. Bell is a member, and served as the founding chairman of the California Political Attorneys' Association. He served as President (2009-2010) and First Vice President (2007-2008) and as a member of the Board of Governors, and currently serves as the General Counsel to the Republican National Lawyers' Association, Washington, D.C., and as a director and a former two term Chairman of the Federalist Society of Sacramento, and as a Vice Chairman of the Free Speech and Election Law Practice Group of The Federalist Society for Law and Policy, Washington, D.C.
Mr. Bell serves as Treasurer and director of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Capitol Foundation, which commissioned and placed a statue of President Ronald Reagan at the California State Capitol, and the Sacramento Federal Judicial Library and Learning Center Foundation, which operates the Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Library and Learning Center, Sacramento, California.
Mr. Bell is 68, resides in Halcyon, California, is married to Janice Freeman Bell, and has two children, Brien (30) and Jennifer Bell Roe (28).