J. Lane Bearden, is a fourth-generation resident of Gordon County. His parents, Jimmy L. Bearden (Calhoun High School, ’47) and Charleen Whitehead Bearden, were a military family, and Lane grew up around the country at various air force bases in Dayton, Atlanta, Texas, Washington D.C., and California.
He attended college on a debate scholarship at the University of Redlands (Southern California). He debated successfully on the national debate circuit, served as chair of the Student Judiciary, and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981, with a major in Political Science.
In 1982, Lane attended the University of Alabama School of Law. He competed on the Jessup Moot Court team, and Alabama’s Trial Advocacy Team. He was President of the International Law Society and the Environmental Law Society. He was the law school’s representative to the American Bar Association. He was awarded the Dean’s Outstanding Senior at his graduation in 1985.
After graduation, he joined veteran attorney, William P. Bailey, and they formed Bailey & Bearden (1987-1991). Lane did general law practice, including representation of Gordon County, personal injury and criminal defense. In 1990 he was selected by the Superior Court Judges of the Cherokee Judicial Circuit to serve as Judge of the Gordon County’s Juvenile Court. In 1990 he began focusing his private practice exclusively on personal injury plaintiff’s work, and from 1992-2014, he operated the Bearden Law Firm, where he shared offices with his sister, Lynn Bearden, at the Doughty Building in downtown Calhoun. In 2015, he began practicing out of his home office, located on his family farm, in Gordon County.
He lives in Gordon County with his wife, Carol Jones Bearden, and his children, Joseph, Lloyd and Chaney.