Our History

In June, 1962, Howell V. “Skeets” Bellamy, Jr. graduated from the University of South Carolina Law School and returned home to establish his law office upstairs in the Colonial Building in Myrtle Beach. The Colonial Building was one of Myrtle Beach’s most historic buildings and was located adjacent to the Pavilion on Kings Highway. Skeets practiced as a solo practitioner for approximately five years until he was joined by John K. Rutenberg in 1968.

Skeets and John later moved the office to the corner of 18th Avenue North and Oak Street. They practiced in that location for several years and later moved to a building constructed in a commercial office center at 19th Avenue North and Oak Street, making a new Myrtle Beach law firm location. Claude M. Epps, Jr. joined the practice in 1969 and the firm became Bellamy, Rutenberg & Epps.

Followed by Epps were: David R. Gravely, 1972; Edward B. Bowers, Jr., 1974; Bradley D. King, 1974; and John E. Copeland, 1976. The firm was then renamed Bellamy, Rutenberg, Copeland, Epps, Gravely & Bowers, P.A.

M. Edwin Hinds, Jr. clerked for the law firm for several summers and joined the firm upon his graduation in 1982. Jill F. Griffith joined the firm in 1983 after clerking for a Circuit Court Judge.

In the Spring of 1985, the firm moved to its present 14,000 square foot location located on 29th Ave in Myrtle Beach. David B. Miller, a former summer clerk, became an associate at the Bellamy Law Firm in 1987, followed by C. Winfield Johnson in 1988. Douglas M. Zayicek was hired as associate in 1997. Martin C. Dawsey was hired in 1998 and Robert S. Shelton, after clerking with the firm for several summers, became an associate in 2000.

In January 2001, Howell V. Bellamy, III joined the firm after six years with the Horry County Solicitor’s Office, and established the firm’s first Criminal Practice Division. In 2004, George W. Redman joined the firm. The firm continued to grow as Benjamin A. Baroody was hired in May 2007, Phillip Albergotti was hired in 2009, Hayes K. Stanton was hired in 2011, and both Kara Keith and Holly M. Lusk were hired in 2014.  In January 2017, The Bellamy Law Firm opened the firm’s Pawleys Island Office.  In 2017, Lauren Benton and Jon Craig Howell joined the firm.  Zach Crowl joined the firm in 2018 and Brice Bertschin and Allie Tiller joined the firm in 2022.

After more than forty years with the firm, Claude Epps retired in the summer of 2011, followed by John Copeland and Jill Griffith in 2013 and David Gravely in 2014, and the Bellamy Law Firm family mourned the loss of John Rutenberg in 2012 honoring him with the installation of a live oak in the front lawn of the Myrtle Beach office. After successful tenures with the firm, Bradley D. King retired in 2019, and Edward B. Bowers, Jr., retired in early 2024.