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Firm History


The four founding name partners of Daniel Coker Horton & Bell were card-carrying, dues-paid-in-full members of America’s Greatest Generation, and they were World War II heroes.


Joe Daniel made four amphibious landings as a Marine Corps artillery officer in the Pacific against Japanese forces, was awarded a Bronze Star and a Silver Star, and left the Marine Corps as a major.

Curtis Coker went from Marine Corps private in 1939 to warrant officer at the end of the Pacific campaign, and among other decorations received a purple heart when his right hand was blown apart on Okinawa as he was saving his commanding officer from a grenade booby trap.

Tommy Bell, a decorated Army Air Corps B-17 pilot, flew 35 combat missions over  German-occupied Europe and was shot down twice, but crash-landed his plane and walked out with his crew both times.

Frank Horton served honorably as an Army weather observation officer in Greenland, reading and reporting the meteorological data that enabled allied commercial and military shipping and flights to cross the North Atlantic between the United States and Europe with the men and material necessary to win the war.

The founding partners became Mississippi Bar Presidents, Hinds County Bar Presidents, Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and Mississippi Defense Lawyer Association Presidents.  Those traditions of bar leadership have continued with subsequent generations of Daniel Coker lawyers.

Our founding partners brought to their law practice the same traits of leadership and devotion to duty which they had shown in the military.  Their intense commitment to honorable and courageous defense of their clients–individual and corporate–became the vision and mission of the firm. 

Daniel Coker’s focus has always been litigation.  In the 1980s, a leading plaintiffs’ attorney described Daniel Coker as “the tiger defense lawyers in Mississippi.”  The firm continues to practice to that standard.  For 2013, the Mississippi Jury Verdict Reporter (“MJVR”) announced that Daniel Coker attorneys tried more cases in the practice areas followed by that reporter than any other firm in the state, with nine trials reported in the areas of auto, premises liability, fraud, products liability, and general negligence.  The MJVR total did not include Daniel Coker’s dispositive motion practice, trials in areas of practice not followed by MJVR, non-jury trials, nor trials in jurisdictions outside Mississippi.

Since all of our founding partners were graduates of the University of Mississippi School of Law, Daniel Coker has supported the University of Mississippi School of Law since the firm’s inception–most recently by establishing the Daniel Coker Horton and Bell Diversity Scholarship.  The firm has also contributed substantially to the Mississippi College School of Law and has engaged in other Bar-related and charitable activities, such as becoming Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s first law firm  sponsor in 1986 and supporting MPB continuously since.

Since Daniel Coker was established, its home office has been located in the capital city of Jackson in central Mississippi.  In 1995 the firm established a second full-service office in Oxford, which serves north Mississippi and surrounding states and is now the largest law office in Lafayette County.  In 1997 a third office was opened in Gulfport to serve the Gulf Coast, south Mississippi counties and adjacent states.

Today, almost 70 years since Joe Daniel hung out his shingle, Daniel Coker’s attorneys continue to provide consistently excellent full-spectrum litigation services to clients in all 82 of Mississippi’s counties and in surrounding states.  Daniel Coker includes attorneys licensed to practice law in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee.