John Caleb Bell

Caleb Bell is chair of Bricker & Eckler's Public Finance practice group with a regional practice that emphasizes public finance and economic development matters. He has served as bond counsel in a wide variety of transactions. His clients include Ohio municipalities, counties, townships, school districts, and public universities, as well as private developers and property owners. Caleb is well known for his representation of special purpose financing entities such as port authorities, new community authorities (NCA), special improvement districts (SID) and energy special improvement districts (ESID).

Caleb has diverse economic development experience and is sought after for his knowledge of development tools such as tax increment financing (TIF), special assessments, community redevelopment area (CRA) abatements, enterprise zone (EZ) abatements, joint economic development districts (JEDD) and zones (JEDZ), and job creation tax credits.

In addition, Caleb has been instrumental in advancing energy financing in Ohio and Kentucky. He has served as bond counsel and underwriters’ counsel in more than $4 billion of natural gas and electricity prepayment bonds, including Ohio’s only tax-exempt refunding of energy prepayment bonds. Caleb has also served as bond counsel for multiple qualified energy conservation bond (QECB) transactions. He was retained by clients to author Ohio's property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing statute, he served as bond counsel for Ohio's first issue of PACE-secured bonds, he has financed over 100 PACE projects, and he routinely works with public and private PACE lenders.

Caleb is an experienced negotiator, regularly advising his clients on complex projects involving multiple aspects of Ohio public finance and economic development law. He advises both public entities and private developers, and he brings a broad-based perspective to every negotiation.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Trustee, Otterbein College Board of Trustees, 2002 – 2004
  • White House Intern, 2001

Presentations & Published Works

  • Speaker, "Intro PACE Finance WebCourse," Council of Development Finance Agencies, December 2017
  • Presenter, “Energy Savings and Conservation Finance Programs,” CDFA National Development Finance Summit, November 2017
  • Panelist, “Energy Finance: Ask an Expert,” CDFA National Development Finance Summit, November 2017
  • Speaker, “PACE Financing: Applicability and Impact,” Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA) Annual Summit, October 2017
  • Speaker, "Energy Finance: Legal, Policy & Regulatory Considerations," CDFA Intro Energy & Water Finance Course, August 2017
  • Speaker, “Being an Effective Economic Development Negotiator,” Ohio Township Association (OTA) Networking Forum, June 2017
  • Speaker, “New Laws and Changes in Economic Development,” County Auditors’ Association of Ohio (CAAO) Summer Conference, June 2017
  • Speaker, "Problem Solving in the Economic Development Context," Ohio Association of Public Treasurers (OAPT) Public Finance Officers Training Institute, June 2017
  • Speaker, "Public Projects and State Incentive Toolbox," I-70/75 Development Association Economic Development Summit, May 2017
  • Speaker, “Financing Improvements for Energy Efficiency in Ohio,” 2016 CDFA Ohio Financing Roundtable Conference, September 2016
  • Speaker, “Large Scale Mixed-Use Development – The Latest Trends,” 2016 CDFA Ohio Financing Roundtable Conference, September 2016
  • Speaker, Ohio Treasurer of State Center for Public Investment Management (CPIM) 2011-Present
  • Contributor, "Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: The Ohio Story," The Electricity Journal, January/February 2011
  • Contributor, Local Government Law – County, West Publishing, 2007-Present
  • Contributor, Ohio Municipal Service, West Publishing, 2006-Present
  • Contributor, Local Government Law – Township, West Publishing, 2006-Present

Bar Admissions & Activities

  • Admitted, State of Ohio; State of Kentucky; State of Pennsylvania
  • Member, National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • Member, C-PACE Alliance
  • Member, CDFA Ohio Financing Roundtable
  • Member, Ohio Economic Development Association

Awards & Recognition

  • Rising Star, Ohio Super Lawyers, (Government Finance), 2014–2019
  • Best Negotiator, Georgetown Law, 2005


  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., cum laude), 2007
  • Otterbein College (B.S., economics and political science, magna cum laude with honors), 2004