Winning a $1 million settlement from Corning Inc. just over five years out of law school is just one reason why Andrew Ellis is among the most successful litigators in Los Angeles. Another is the rigorous work ethic and self-discipline indicative of a former stint in the U.S. Army- and before that, the poise and quick thinking under pressure of a onetime craps dealer in the casinos of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Today, as the founder and senior partner of Ellis Law Corporation he heads a team of experienced litigators representing clients in a wide variety of serious personal injury lawsuits including automobile accidents, negligence, medical malpractice, elder abuse and product liability.
He attributes his success to two qualities: a dogged determination to win on behalf of his client and a commitment to playing fair and courteously with the opposition. Indeed, opposing counsel has described him as “a pleasure to work with” and “cordial and professional.”
The legal profession runs deep within the Ellis bloodline. Mr. Ellis’ great-grandfather, in addition to founding the New York City firm Ellis, Ellis & Ellis (which closed its doors in 1993) was Theodore Roosevelt’s lawyer and head of the New York City Republican party at the turn of the century.
With a degree in business and economics from UCLA, Mr. Ellis began his legal education at Seton Hall University School of Law in New Jersey and later transferred to Loyola the following year where he ultimately earned his JD. Ellis opened his personal injury practice fresh out of law school-from an apartment he shared with roommates for $220 in rent. Soon, he teamed up with a law school pal to take 30 cases from an attorney friend who had no wish to litigate them.
“My first trial was a disaster,” Ellis admits. “We won but it was a $414 award. It was five months out of law school when I took it.”
The Corning settlement several years later signified an end to law school loans and the launching of Ellis’ own practice, over which he now presides from his office in L.A.’s Westwood district, above the bustling traffic of Wilshire Boulevard.
What keeps Ellis in business is not just the incentive to win (and the winning itself), but the approach he takes to his job.
“The thought process behind my job is to do morally what is correct,” he says. “We’re in a business that allows us to obtain some lucrative benefits, but if I can’t make this a better place that I’m living in, why am I even doing this?”
Mr. Ellis earned his JD from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and is admitted to practice before all of the Courts in the State of California. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Attorneys, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.