Pine Bluff attorney Kandice A. Bell has announced that she will seek the position of district judge in Jefferson County, Division Two.
A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Bell earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1994. Bell earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1997.
Bell has practiced in local, state and federal courts. She has been licensed to practice law by the Arkansas Supreme Court since 1998. She is also licensed in the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Bell was first selected to serve as special judge at Pulaski County District Court in 2002. Bell presided over code enforcement cases, an area over which the position she seeks is responsible.
Bell’s early practice experience began in the area of criminal law, where she represented individuals in DWI’s, misdemeanor and small claims cases in bench trials in district courts across the state. Bell has represented individuals in first appearances in felony cases in district court and continued the representation up through jury trials in circuit court and on appeal.
In her appellate practice, Bell achieved reversals of criminal convictions from the Arkansas Court of Appeals in two cases, and the Arkansas Supreme Court in one case.
Bell’s civil practice experience includes labor and employment, divorce, custody and visitation, landlord tenant, personal injury, and small business defense in State regulatory matters. Bell was appointed by the Pine Bluff City Attorney to serve as an Assistant City Attorney in the Jefferson County District Court in 2016; Bell was appointed to the Arkansas Supreme Court as a special justice in a case by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson in 2016, and has served as special judge in the Jefferson County Circuit Court-Juvenile Division with appointments in 2017-2018.
Bell is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association.
She represented the Jefferson County Bar Association in the House of Delegates in 2015, and elected from her district to her current seat on the Board of Governors in 2018, both are the governing bodies to the State bar.
On the recommendation by the Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, the Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Committee was formed in 2019, and the bar president appointed Bell to chair the committee.
The Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court appointed Bell to serve on the Civil Justice Reform Team, where Bell has served on the subcommittee on complex litigation. She has been reappointed to serve on the association’s Ethics, Law-Related Education, Benefits, and Law School Committees.
Bell was appointed by two past bar presidents to the association’s House Advisory Committee to advise the presidents on Federal legislative matters impacting the bar. The Arkansas Bar Association presented Bell a 2019 Golden Gavel award for her exceptional contributions as co-chair of the bar benefits committee.
Bell is actively involved in her community as a board member to the Pine Bluff Salvation Army and past president of the auxiliary.
Bell is the former two-time elected president of the Pine Bluff Newcomer’s Club in 2014-2016; the 2016 recipient of the J. Thomas May Scholarship to Leadership Pine Bluff, and a past volunteer to the Pine Bluff Community Theater in 2014-2015.
She is currently serving a second term on the advisory board to the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas, which has a local affiliate in Pine Bluff. Bell was recently elected to the board of directors to the Arkansas Community Foundation, which also has a local affiliate in Pine Bluff.
Bell has dedicated her personal time to giving back to her home communities of White Hall and Pine Bluff by serving as a keynote speaker, presenter or facilitator at UAPB’s Upward Bound, White Hall High School Career Day, For Colored Girls Fall Retreat, Sisters in Service (SIS), Full Circle 360, Jobs for Arkansas Graduates, and a Summer Youth Enrichment program at St. Luke United Methodist Church. Bell has also mentored UAPB college students over the past four years.
Bell was born in Pine Bluff. She resides in the city of White Hall, and her family has resided there for over 40 years. Her parents are Drs. James and Josephine Bell, retired professor emeriti from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Bell has two siblings, Bruce Bell of Arkadelphia and Kimbra Bell Balark of Chicago, Illinois.
Kandice Bell is employed at the Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson where she serves as the governor’s Senior Counselor and District Representative to Southeast Arkansas.
She is a graduate of White Hall High School, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and a member of Family Church Pine Bluff.