Attorney Bent Owens joins Ellis, Head, Owens and Justice

Lawyer Bent Owen in front of the new sign at Ellis, Head, Owen and Justice law firm in Columbiana. (Contributed)

Lawyer Bent Owen in front of the new sign at Ellis, Head, Owen and Justice law firm in Columbiana. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

A new face is on Main Street at the law firm of Wallace, Ellis, Head, Fowler and Justice, now known as Ellis, Head, Owens and Justice.

James Bentley Owens III, known as Bent, has joined the law firm as a partner who specializes in public entities litigation.

An accomplished trial lawyer of 30 years at a Birmingham law firm, Starnes, Davis and Florie, Owens met Butch Ellis through many years of working together in cases involving Shelby County and its towns and cities.

As Ellis at age 74 was thinking of slowing down his practice to be able to spend more time with his grandchildren and time to travel with wife Diane, he was looking for someone with experience with county and city governments.

Owens was a perfect fit.

“I am 60 and at the time of my life where I wanted a change,” said Owens. “It was a mutual decision between Butch and me. I do not know who thought of it first. I have known Butch professionally and personally for over 25 years and was acquainted with all the outstanding lawyers in this firm. Butch has an unprecedented law practice with Shelby County government, Board of Education and local cities and towns. I hope that I can help preserve the local government law practice that he has developed. I hope to help with the day-to-day administrative work with clients as well as add the dimension of my trial experience.”

Owens grew up in Mt. Brook where he graduated from Mt. Brook High School in 1972. He graduated from the University of Alabama and then University of Alabama Law School in 1979.

He married Jennie Jackson and they have four children.

“I love the pace and variety in Columbiana,” said Owens. “I love seeing the activity out my window on Main Street. Jennie and I live on a mini 25-acre farm outside Columbiana where I am a ‘Green Acres’ farmer. I love setting my own pace and have more personal time for my clients. Jennie and I are so happy here in Columbiana and Shelby County.”