Gregory R. Ellis is certified as a specialist in appellate law by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization. Since 1987, he has limited his practice to appeals, writs, and related trial-court consulting and writing. In 1997 he was part of the first group of attorneys to be formally certified by the State Bar as appellate specialists. Mr. Ellis represents appellants and respondents in all civil and family law appellate and writ matters. He also consults with trial counsel concerning strategic and tactical trial issues and is often retained to draft substantive motions and pleadings in various pre-judgment and post-judgment trial court proceedings.
Mr. Ellis received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College in 1972, and in 1985 received a JD degree from UCLA School of Law, where he was on Law Review. Between college and law school he worked as a musician in various venues around the country. Mr. Ellis also holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
After law school Mr. Ellis spent two years as a litigator at the former Los Angeles firm Memel, Jacobs, Pierno, Gersh & Ellsworth. In 1987, Mr. Ellis decided to pursue his appellate law aspirations and joined Horvitz & Levy in Encino (at the time, Horvitz, Levy & Amerian). While there, he represented clients in a wide assortment of appellate and writ matters. Several years later he also began representing indigent criminal defendants in court-appointed appeals as a member of the various criminal appellate projects throughout California.
In 1994, Mr. Ellis co-founded Wolff & Ellis (later Wolff, Ellis & Clausen), a boutique San Francisco appellate law firm. There, he added family law appeals to his practice, an area which has become a substantial focus of his firm.
Mr. Ellis returned to Los Angeles in 2004 where he became head of the appellate practice at Geragos & Geragos, APC. While at that firm he continued handling criminal, family law, and civil appeals (the latter ranging from personal injury to civil rights to invasion of privacy cases). He also drafted significant trial court motions and writ petitions in two of the firm’s high-publicity cases at the time – People v. Scott Peterson, and People v. Michael Jackson.
In 2006, Mr. Ellis became a partner in the appellate firm Esner, Chang & Ellis, reuniting with two colleagues from his Horvitz & Levy years. He continued representing clients in civil and family law appeals and writs.
In January 2010, Mr. Ellis formed his present firm, the Law Offices of Gregory R. Ellis, where he continues his appellate and trial consulting practice.