History of The American Inns of Court

The concept for the American Inns of Court was developed in the 1970s by distinguished lawyers and judges, including Chief Justice Warren Burger, Chief Circuit Judge Clifford Wallace, Dean Rex Lee of Brigham Young University Law School (and later Solicitor General of the United States), Senior District Judge Sherman Christensen, and Professor Sherman Cohn of Georgetown Law School.

The first local Inn was formed in 1980 in the Salt Lake City area, and included law students from Brigham Young University.     

Not long after, an ad hoc committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States was formed to consider “whether some method of developing professionalism and mentoring could be instituted in the United States.” The Honorable Susan Black, then a United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida, was a member of that committee. The Judicial Conference of the United States endorsed the concept in 1985, and the American Inns of Court Foundation was organized. Judge Black was one of the Foundation’s first seven trustees.

The American Inns of Court movement has grown faster than any other organization of legal professionals. Today there are nearly 400 chartered American Inns of Court in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Tokyo. There are more than 30,000 active members nationwide encompassing a wide cross-section of the legal community, including federal and state judges, lawyers, law professors, and law students.

Read more about the history of the American Inns of Court movement here.


History of The Chester Bedell Inn of Court

The Chester Bedell American Inn of Court received its charter in 1985 and operates in accordance with its bylaws, as amended. It was the 13th American Inn of Court. The organizers were the Honorable Susan Black, then a United States District Judge, and Dean Frank Read of the University of Florida College of Law. Charter members included Albert Datz, John DeVault, the Honorable Henry Adams Jr., George Gabel Jr., the Honorable Major Harding, Mark Hulsey, the Honorable Howell Melton, Rutledge Liles, the Honorable Ralph Nimmons, James McLean, the Honorable Louis Safer, Mary Phillips, William Adams III, Professor James Pierce, Professor Gerald Bennett, James Rinaman, Edward Booth, Edward White, James Cobb,  and William White.