John W. Ellis

John is a business trial lawyer who regularly represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of complex commercial cases.  He has broad experience representing a diverse group of clients ranging from multinational companies to regional businesses and individuals who need a dedicated trial lawyer.  John has extensive experience in the energy, medical device/pharmaceutical, and financial-services sectors, but his practice covers many other areas as well.  He regularly represents clients in putative class actions, mass torts, and individual actions in state and federal courts.  His practice routinely involves disputes concerning products liability, breach of contract, fraud, mortgage lending and servicing practices, securities, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, deceptive trade practices claims, and various other consumer-protection statutes.  

John has assisted his clients in all phases of the dispute-resolution process, including pretrial and trial, post-judgment remedies, and appeals.  He also has experience advising clients in pre-litigation matters and assisting with government investigations, enforcement matters, and regulatory compliance issues.  John regularly takes and defends fact and expert witness depositions throughout the country.  He also has extensive experience drafting and arguing pretrial motions, and has prevailed in dozens of case-dispositive motions in state and federal courts in which he served as the primary drafter and/or lead counsel at the hearing.  John has been recognized as a Texas “Rising Star” for Business Litigation as published in the Super Lawyers and Texas Monthly magazines.  

Prior to joining the firm, John practiced in the Austin office of the international law firm Locke Lord LLP.  Before that, he was a briefing attorney for the Honorable Paul W. Green of the Supreme Court of Texas.  John earned both his J.D. and M.B.A. with honors from the Texas Tech University School of Law.  While in law school, he served as the Editor in Chief of the Texas Tech Law Review, competed on various trial advocacy teams, and helped launch a mentoring program with a local high school law and justice magnet program.  Prior to obtaining his law degree and master of business administration, John served as a manager leading various business units through AT&T, Inc.’s Leadership Development Program.  His background and experience allow him to bring a practical approach to each case.

John is actively involved in various state bar and other civic organizations.  Since 2014, he has served on the board of directors to the Texas Young Lawyers Association where he has helped lead and create various public service projects.  

Recognitions & Awards

Named, “Texas Rising Star” in Business Litigation by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, 2016 - 2017

Editor in Chief, Texas Tech Law Review, Vol. 43

Member, Board of Barristers

TYLA National Mock Trial Team

ALI-ABA Scholarship & Leadership Award

Phi Kappa Phi

University of Southern California: Order of the Torch, Order of the Laurel and Palm, elected as “Mr. USC” for Class of 2006, and the USC Interfraternity Council’s 2006 “Greek Man of the Year”

Representative Matters

Products Liability

Repeated representation of major medical device company as trial counsel in federal and state litigation involving pelvic mesh and hernia mesh products.  

Oil and Gas and Energy Disputes

Represented independent oil and gas operator in business divorce and multiple breach of contract disputes across various jurisdictions

Repeated representation of lessees in suits alleging trespass, nuisance, and breach of contract claims

Represented operator in premises liability dispute.

Business Litigation

Repeated representation of business owners in partnership and membership/management disputes

Assisted with putative class action against electronic filing and service provider regarding antitrust claims and breaches of various consumer-protection statutes

Represented inventor and patent-holder in breach of pharmaceutical patent licensing agreement

Represented franchisor and business owner in business divorce involving ownership of several franchises and territory rights

Assisted with representation of wireless telecommunications company in lawsuit brought by software development company for breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation

Represented individuals and businesses in post-judgment remedies, including obtaining turnover and charging orders

Real Property Disputes

Representation of private real estate investment and development firm relating to its real estate assets

Represented family business in probate dispute concerning claims of fraud and theft of property surrounding title to multiple real estate holdings

Represented landowner in encroachment dispute with neighboring landowner

Repeated representation of commercial and residential landowners in a variety of title disputes

Consumer Finance and Financial Services

Repeated representation of lenders and mortgage servicing companies in disputes challenging the securitization process, home-equity lending, and foreclosure practices.

Extensive experience representing national banks, mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers, and investors in residential mortgage disputes involving alleged FDCPA, TILA, RESPA, FCRA, TDCA, and DTPA, violations, together with allegations of mortgage fraud, predatory lending, false credit reporting, improper collection, violations of various state and federal statutes, regulations, the home equity provisions of the Texas Constitution, and other lending and servicing errors

Assisted with putative class actions regarding home-equity lending and forbearance programs and collection and distribution of foreclosure fees and excess sale proceeds.

Assisted with extensive internal investigation of mortgage lending practices and compliance with various state and federal laws for a leading financial institution

Legal Malpractice

Representation of law firm in dispute with former clients concerning underlying construction litigation

Bar Admissions & Activities

Admitted to the State Bar of Texas, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Member, State Bar of Texas

Board of Directors, Texas Young Lawyers Association, 2014–present

  • Co-Chair, Public Service Committee, 2016–17
  • Co-Chair, Marketing and Technology Committee, 2015–16
Texas Bar Foundation

  • Fellow, 2016 – present
  • Member, Texas Bar Foundation District 9 Nominating Committee, 2016–present
Member, Austin Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section

Member and TYLA Liaison, Austin Young Lawyers Association

Member, Defense Research Institute (DRI)

Community and Charitable Organizations

Boy Scouts of America: Eagle Scout, Vigil Honor, and former Assistant Scoutmaster

Repeated pro bono representation of low-income individuals through the Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas

Student mentor, multiple occasions, Texas Tech University School of Law Regional Externship Program

Education

University of Southern California, B.A. in Political Science, minors in Professional and Managerial Communication and Critical Approaches to Leadership, magna cum laude, 2006

Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2011

Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business, M.B.A., 2011

Articles & Presentations

Course Director and Speaker, Practical Skills for New Lawyers, Austin, Texas, forthcoming March 2017

Speaker and Co-author, “Recent Developments in Texas Spoliation Law,” 14th Annual Advanced Business Law Course, Dallas, Texas, November 2016

Moderator, “Conversations with Texas Litigation Legal Legends,” State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, 2016

Course Director and Speaker, Building Your Career: A Guide for New Lawyers, Austin, Texas, 2014

Speaker, Justice James A. Baker Guide to Ethics and Professionalism in Texas, CLE, Austin, Texas, 2014

Speaker, Justice James A. Baker Guide to Ethics and Professionalism in Texas, Austin, Texas, 2013

Author, Yours, Mine, Ours?—Why the Texas Legislature Should Simplify Caretaker Consent Capabilities for Minor Children and the Implications of the Addition of Chapter 34 to the Texas Family Code, 42 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 987, (June 1, 2010)

Selected Reported Cases

Rojas v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A, No. 571 F. App’x 274 (5th Cir. June 6, 2014) (unpublished op.) (affirming motion to dismiss)

Klein v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., A-14-CA-861-SS, 2014 WL 5685113 (W.D. Tex. Nov. 4, 2014), aff'd 613 F. App’x 428 (5th Cir. Aug. 20, 2015) (per curiam) (unpublished op.) (affirming motion to dismiss)

Trevarthan v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. 03-15-00011-CV, 2016 WL 368533, at *1 (Tex. App.—Austin Jan. 29, 2016, no pet.) (affirming summary judgment)

Isaac v. Vendor Resource Management, Inc., No. 03-14-00529-CV, 2016 WL 3917133, at *1 (Tex. App.—Austin July 15, 2016, no. pet.) (affirming order granting summary judgment)

Schuetz v. Source One Mortgage Services Corp., No. 03-15-00522-CV, 2016 WL 4628048, at *1 (Tex. App.—Austin Sept. 1, 2016, no. pet. h.) (affirming summary judgment)

Farkas v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 03-14-00716-CV, 2016 WL 7187476, at *1 (Tex. App.—Austin Dec. 8, 2016, no. pet. h.) (affirming summary judgment)

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