Doyle Spell, Jr., far better known in the legal community as Buddy Spell, was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana where he graduated from St. Martin's Episcopal School before receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. After receiving his law degree from Loyola University of the South School of Law, where he first met his future wife and law partner, Buddy joined the international firm of Rice, Fowler, Kingsmill, Vance & Flint in 1989, where he primarily practiced insurance defense maritime personal injury law, antitrust defense, and sports and entertainment regulation. In May, 1993, he left Rice, Fowler to set out on his own and to establish Spell & Associates, L.L.C. Three years later, in 1996, Buddy moved to the north shore of New Orleans to marry Annie and the couple settled initially in Washington Parish. In February, 1997, Annie and Buddy Spell first opened the doors of Spell & Spell in Franklinton, Louisiana where Annie was engaged in a civil practice while Buddy continued his long and extensive journey in the field of criminal defense.
In 2001, the couple and their young daughter moved to Covington where they have established roots in the St. Tammany Parish community they now call home. Seven years later, they purchased and renovated a hundred year old Covington cottage on the corner of North Columbia Street and Tyler Street which has housed the law firm ever since. It was at that time that Annie opted to begin an extended sabbatical from the practice so as to begin a new career as a stay at home mom. Buddy continued on in his criminal defense practice as a solo practitioner until new partner, Tara Zeller, joined Spell & Spell in 2015, and Annie Spell returned to the practice in early 2016.
Over the course of a criminal defense career now extending well over two decades, Buddy Spell has represented clients charged with felonies of all types, many of whom have gone to jury trial. A substantial portion of his client base is comprised of individuals designated by the government as multiple offenders exposed to the enhanced penalties set out by statute.
Buddy is admitted to practice in all Louisiana state courts and United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
Anne Spell, known by most everyone as "Annie", was born and raised in Bogalusa, Louisiana and graduated from St. Scholastica Academy in Covington before earning an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Upon her graduation from Loyola University of the South School of Law, she practiced personal injury and family law in Bogalusa for seven years before joining her husband to establish Spell & Spell in 1997, where she currently manages the civil side of Spell & Spell's practice with a concentration on personal injury cases.
After more than twenty years of providing legal services to families and children, Annie is highly regarded as a skilled, fearless, and effective advocate in the courtroom. Generous with her talents, she has litigated claims on behalf of parents raising children with disabilities and was recognized by the Nellie Byers Training Institute for her pro bono contributions on behalf of physically and mentally disabled children. As second chair on many criminal matters over the years, she has successfully defeated State attempts to secure death penalty sentences with her husband in every capital case her law firm has ever handled. Respected by courtroom friends and foes alike, Annie brings valuable and substantial legal expertise to every case she handles with a level of enthusiasm rarely seen in most court rooms.
She is well known locally as the immediate past president of the Greater Covington NAACP, only the second white female to hold such a post in NAACP history and the first to finish out her term of office. Under her leadership, the local branch was able to reconstitute itself and become an example of activism throughout the national organization. In that role, she actively resisted discrimination in all of its forms. She has also served in the Junior League of Greater Covington, worked in fundraising for the Children's Museum of St. Tammany, and cofounded The One Hundred Super Club which, over the last two years, has raised over $75,000.00 donated directly to local nonprofits.
Long before becoming a mother herself, Annie served for several years as the president of Camp Fire Boys and Girls (Towazi Council serving Tangipahoa and Washington Parishes). Later, when her own daughter came of age, she served as a Girl Scout leader with a troop based out of Christ Episcopal School. Today, she is a proud "cheer mom" at St. Martin's Episcopal School where her daughter is enrolled as a high school senior. An animal lover, Annie is also a past president of the Washington Parish Humane Society.
Annie is admitted to practice in all Louisiana state courts.
Tara Farris Zeller is a proud native of St. Tammany Parish and a graduate of Slidell High School, Louisiana State University, and LSU Law School. Now a resident of Covington, she is the mother of two school age children and a daughter studying at the University of Wisconsin. Tara is a member of The One Hundred Supper Club and is active in her community.
Upon graduating from law school, Tara practiced for several years in a general civil litigation practice in Slidell. Afterwards, she was selected to serve eleven years as Staff Attorney for Judge Donald M. Fendlason and, after Judge Fendlason retired, for Judge Richard A. Swartz of the Twenty-Second Judicial District Court. Tara also served as the Twenty-Second Judicial District Court's Commissioner pro tem for both Washington and St. Tammany Parishes. In that capacity she set bonds in criminal matters, heard motions for protective orders, and presided over non-support cases.
After taking time away from the practice of law to spend several years as a stay at home mom, Tara approached Annie and Buddy Spell and told them that she wished to return to private practice. She was enthusiastically welcomed into Spell & Spell as a partner in January, 2015. At Spell & Spell, Tara manages and oversees the firm’s misdemeanor docket and assists with the ever growing felony case load. She also represents clients before the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole and sits second chair at jury trials.
Tara is admitted to practice in all Louisiana state and federal courts.