John Rhett Crosswell Bowen
Adjunct Faculty in English
92-A Main Street
Hilton Head Island, SC
University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee
J.D., M.A., B.A, University of South Carolina
United States Army Field Artillery School (Basic and Advanced Officers Course)
United States Army Command and General Staff College
John R.C. Bowen has been a member of the Adjunct Faculty at USCB since 2002. From 1979 to 1982 he was an instructor in the English Department at the University of South Carolina in Columbia where he taught courses in composition and English literature and poetry. His teaching career includes a two year stint as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at USC from 1974 to 1976, and three years at The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he taught High School Senior English, and served as the Department Chair. His interests and his graduate work lie in the areas of Elizabethan Drama and Restoration Comedy, and include published works on Christopher Marlowe (The Damnation of Faustus - A Petty Case of Paltry Legacies), and other equally as riveting and timely subjects. He teaches both English as well as courses in various aspects of Business and Commercial Law in the Department of Business Administration.
Mr. Bowen has practiced law for almost three decades in the areas of admiralty and maritime law, personal injury, employment litigation, estate and trust litigation, business litigation, and general civil litigation. Since the early 1980s he has represented victims of all types of injuries caused by products or accidents, and was involved in the early air-bag litigation against Ford Motor Company and other auto makers, which litigation contributed to that safety feature being government mandated. He has represented ship and boat owners, brokers, crew, passengers, and insurance carriers in all manner of maritime claims including personal injury to passengers and crew, vessel damage claims, crew wages, contract matters, salvage claims, charter parties, watersports (parasailing, dolphin tours, jet ski, marina, etc.) liability, documentation, brokerage, and vessel arrests. In recent years, he has handled some significant estate and trust litigation arising from the abuse or exploitation of elder clients. Additionally, John has practiced business litigation including contract disputes and business torts.
He, with partner Drew Laughlin, was a founding member of Laughlin & Bowen which has served the Hilton Head and Bluffton area for more than 20 years. Prior to forming the firm, John practiced law as a partner with the firms of Bowen, Smoot and Laughlin and Palmer, Brooks, Bowen and Howell, both also on Hilton Head Island.
Over the past 30 years, John has been active in the Hilton Head and Bluffton communities as a Founding Member of the Hilton Head Sertoma Club, Charter Member of the Bluffton Rotary Club, a member and Past Master of Unanimity #418 Masonic Lodge on Hilton Head, member of Scottish Rite - Charleston, youth soccer coach and team sponsor since 1993, a member of the Vestry of The Church of The Cross in Bluffton, and of All Saints Episcopal Church, Hilton Head. He is also a member of the Bluffton Historical Society, The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of South Carolina, and the St. Cecilia Society. For 27 years he served his country as a Field Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army and the National Guard, serving active duty tours in both Vietnam and Germany.
He has received the AV® rating by Martindale-Hubble which is their highest rating for legal ability and ethics, is listed in the Bar Registry of Pre-eminent Lawyers, and is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, and the Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, and South Carolina Bar Associations. He has been certified as a Civil Mediator in both State and Federal Courts for more than ten years. He currently serves as a Member of the Fee Dispute Committee for the 14th Judicial Circuit, has been a member of the South Carolina Bar’s Ethics Advisory Committee, the Lawyer Physician Relationship Committee, and the Vice-President of the Beaufort County Bar Association.
He and his wife Leslie live on Hilton Head Island where they have raised their four children, and where they now are helping to raise two grandchildren.