Born in Columbus, Mississippi, our Senior Partner, Mr. Martin Ellis attended the University of the South, Sewanee, TN (B.S. 1973) where he was elected as President of the Order of Gownsmen, the University’s highest elected student position. Before attending the University of Tennessee College of Law, Martin Ellis spent 10 months on Kibbutz Sdot Yam, Israel, where he taught English to recent Russian immigrants. He received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1978. He is the proud father of one son and two daughters. He is an active volunteer with such community organizations as St. Joseph Catholic Church, Habitat for Humanity, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries and Big Brothers Big Sisters where he served on the Board of Directors for three years.
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated*
The firm of Ellis & Ellis Law, P.C., is rated as an AV law firm. Only the most distinguished law practices appear in the Bar Register — those that have achieved the prestigious “AV” rating, the top ranking in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. This rating is the result of a structured peer review and is based on the confidential opinions of practicing attorneys and members of the judiciary. Fewer than 5 percent of all law firms qualify and are included, making Ellis & Ellis Law, P.C., one of the most distinguished and respected in the country. The Bar Register has proven to be an invaluable resource for lawyers, support staff and other professionals looking for the leading practitioners in a given location or practice.Martindale-Hubbell recognizes Martin L. Ellis as an AV Preeminent peer review rated* lawyer, the highest such rating available to any individual lawyer. The Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating system is based on the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary, including both those who are rated and those who are not. A compilation of these opinions from various sources is necessary to form a consensus, and lawyers under review are sometimes acted to provide professional references to assist the process. In addition, confidential questionnaires are sent to the lawyers and judges in the same geographic location and/or area of practice as the lawyer being rated. Members of the bar are instructed to assess their colleague’s legal ability and general ethical standards. An AV rating shows that a lawyer has reached the height of professional excellence. He has usually practiced law for many years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.
Civil Trial Specialist/Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate
Martin L. Ellis is certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization and by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. A Civil Trial Specialist must (a) have a demonstrated level of experience in trying civil cases; (b) pass a written examination that covers certain aspects of civil law, evidence and ethics; (c) receive positive recommendations from judges and attorneys that he or she has tried cases against and (d) have a good disciplinary history. The attorney applied for civil trial certification with the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a division of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification. Less than 1 percent of attorneys in Tennessee have been certified as Civil Trial Specialists.If a Tennessee attorney is certified by this group, the attorney must then apply to the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization Commission for certification in Tennessee. The Tennessee Commission imposes additional requirements, including professional liability insurance and client recommendations. Lawyers certified in civil trial practice must be re-certified every five years. A lawyer who has attained board certification has demonstrated that he or she meets or exceeds the requirements for certification.Martin L. Ellis is also certified as a Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate, which includes the preparatory steps for all disputes before a tribunal, including litigation proceedings from inception of litigation through discovery, pretrial motions and hearings and alternative dispute resolution procedures.The Million Dollar Advocates ForumMartin L. Ellis was recently selected to The Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is recognized as one of the most prestigious group of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multimillion-dollar verdicts, awards and settlements. The organization was first founded in 1993. Fewer than 1 percent of United States lawyers are members. Forum membership acknowledges excellence in advocacy, and provides members with a national network of experienced colleagues for professional referral and information exchange in major cases. Members must have acted as principal counsel in at least one case in which the client has received a verdict, award or settlement in the amount of $1 million or more.The Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is pleased to announce that attorney Martin L. Ellis of Knoxville, TN, has been certified as a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum must be Life Members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and must have acted as principal counsel in at least one case that has resulted in a multimillion-dollar verdict, award or settlement.

The International Society of Barristers

Martin L. Ellis’ experience and abilities as a trial lawyer were recognized by his election to the International Society of Barristers (Fellow). The International Society of Barristers is an honor society of outstanding trial lawyers chosen by their peers on the basis of excellence and integrity in advocacy. Created in 1965, the society arose out of a desire to bring together the best of the trial bar in a setting devoid of partisan interests. With limited membership, the society has fellows from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Australia, Canada, England, Scotland and Mexico. Mr. Ellis is one of only nine lawyers in the state of Tennessee who were currently elected to this society.

City View Magazine

Each year Knoxville City View Magazine asks local attorneys to vote for the attorney they would call or refer their friends to if they were in need of specialized legal services. Martin L. Ellis was named to City View’s 2009 Top Attorney List in the category of Product Liability.

American Society of Legal Advocates

Martin L. Ellis was selected by the American Society of Legal Advocates as one of the top 100 Litigation lawyers in the state of Tennessee for 2013. The American Society of Legal Advocates is an invitation-only nationwide organization of elite lawyers in practice today who combine stellar legal credentials with a proven commitment to community engagement and the highest professional standards. His selection was the culmination of a six-month process in which ASLA independently researched information on tens of thousands of lawyers and ultimately selected less than 2 percent of lawyers overall. The American Society of Legal Advocates’ Top 100 Lawyers listings recognize exceptional legal talent.

Nation’s Restaurant News Annual Food Safety Symposium

Martin L. Ellis was an invited lecturer at the 4th Annual Food Safety Symposium sponsored by Nation’s Restaurant News and Ecolab. Mr. Ellis lectured on the topic of “Foodborne Illness-Prevention & Crisis Management” (see related article in Restaurant News discussing the H1N1 virus). Fifty corporate representatives were present representing in excess of $50 billion in annual sales. As a direct result of lecturing before the Nation’s Restaurant News 4th Annual Food Safety Symposium, Martin Ellis was hired as statewide counsel for Texas Roadhouse. Texas Roadhouse has 12 restaurants in Tennessee and 276 nationally. Mr. Ellis was invited back to lecture at the 5th Annual Food Safety Symposium and his topic for this lecture was “The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men – Foodborne Illness.”

FoodSafetyTech Symposium

Martin L. Ellis was an invited speaker to a FoodSafetyTech Event entitled “Supply Chain Vulnerabilities: Benchmarking & Best Practices in the Food Industry,” May 7-8, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Ellis presented on the topic of “Legal Liability and Best Practices for Protecting Yourself and Your Brand.” A copy of the PowerPoint presentation is available upon request.

Law Practice Today Expo

Martin L. Ellis was an invited panel speaker at the 2012 Legal Practice Today Expo in Knoxville, Tennessee, on April 20, 2012. Mr. Ellis and other panel members spoke on the issue of “How Specialization Is Changing the Practice of Law – A Practitioner Roundtable.”

For many years, the legal profession has offered services tailored to the needs of every individual client. Now many attorneys are concentrating their practice in specific areas and are offering

packaged services. In this session, Mr. Ellis spoke on the issue of specializing his practice in order to offer greater quality, consistency and faster turnaround for each client.

Mid-South Super Lawyer

Martin L. Ellis was named a 2008 – 2010 Mid-South Super Lawyer.  Being named a Super Lawyer is a great honor as only 5 percent of attorneys in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee are chosen. The selection process, which is merit based, involves peer nominations with ballots mailed to 23,000 Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee lawyers, a blue-ribbon panel review and independent research on candidates.


Verdicts or settlements discussed herein are not intended to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer or law firm can achieve or imply that the firm can achieve similar results in future litigation.
Martin L. Ellis has tried and successfully defended asbestos personal injury cases in seven states. Those cases have included asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma claims. The plaintiffs’ attorneys in each of the cases involved were demanding over $5 million in damages.Mr. Ellis successfully defended Teledyne Economic Development Company in a wrongful death claim. Plaintiff claimed a student was brutally murdered by three other students. Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that Teledyne’s recruiter negligently misrepresented the conditions of the local facility. Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment was filed. Trial court found “that the plaintiff has failed to come forward with sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact as to the existence of a duty on the part of Teledyne, a breach of that duty even if one existed, or that anything that Teledyne did or did not do was the proximate cause of the murder. Therefore, the court finds that defendant Teledyne’s motion for summary judgment will be granted and the complaint against Teledyne will be dismissed. The court commends the parties for the excellent briefs they presented to the court on this motion for summary judgment.” Hon. Leon Jordan, United States District Judge.Mr. Ellis successfully defended a product liability case wherein a railroad tanker car had split in half and allegedly caused exposure to carbon disulfide. After a three-day bench trial, the court ruled in favor of our client, Akzo Nobel.Mr. Ellis successfully mediated a wrongful death case on behalf of a tractor-trailer company. The defendant fully expected the case to settle for approximately $3.5 million. Through the meticulous efforts of Martin L. Ellis, the case was successfully settled for $1.8 million.Mr. Ellis successfully argued a motion for summary judgment in a wrongful termination case. The plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals opinion affirmed the trial court’s granting of the motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of the defendant. The client indicated that in his opinion the case did not necessitate a trial but that in his experience “the ability to consistently achieve efficient, positive results, whether through motion practice, or settlement, is a sure sign that the attorney is a true trial lawyer and a genuine professional.”Mr. Ellis had the opportunity to represent three Irish students who were involved in a motor vehicle accident in Sevier County, Tennessee. After depositions were taken in Ireland, the case was successfully mediated.Verdicts or settlements discussed herein are not intended to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer or law firm can achieve or imply that the firm can achieve similar results in future litigation.

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