Ryan D. Ellis

Ryan D. Ellis

Ryan D. Ellis joined The Lanier Law Firm in 2013 as an associate in the Commercial Litigation section.  He represents clients in a variety of civil litigation matters, including complex business disputes and product liability actions.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Ryan attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated with Highest Honors in 2010.  He earned his law degree at the University of Texas School of Law in 2013.

In law school, Ryan served as Executive Editor of the Texas Review of Law & Politics, was an intramural mock trial champion and a member of the UT Interscholastic Mock Trial Team. He further augmented his legal education by serving as a judicial intern for Justice Eva Guzman at the Texas Supreme Court.

Named a “Lawyer on the Rise” by Texas Lawyer magazine in 2017, Ryan focuses his practice on product defect and business disputes involving trade secret theft, breach of contract, fraud, and business torts.  He has represented individuals and businesses large and small in civil disputes across a wide variety of industries and throughout all stages of litigation.  A few highlights of Ryan’s career thus far include:

  • Represented a small Houston-based exploration and production company in arbitration against a large, publicly-traded energy producer for claims of business fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract. Ryan coordinated electronic and expert discovery for that case involving a massive amount of data.  The case settled shortly before the final arbitration hearing, resulting in a significant payment to the small company.
  • Represented San Antonio’s Harlandale Independent School District in litigation charging that HVAC equipment installed in school buildings had created a hazardous mold problem. That case settled favorably for the school district before trial.
  • Worked closely with victims and their family members in General Motors Ignition Switch Litigation, coordinating fact and expert discovery and ultimately recovering millions for his clients through the GM Victim Compensation Fund.
  • Member of the litigation team which successfully sued on behalf of former Houston Texans punter, Brett Hartmann, who suffered a career-ending knee injury after his foot was caught in a turf seam caused by the infamous “pallet system” on the NRG Stadium field. That case resolved with a settlement in favor of Mr. Hartmann and resulted in the changing of the turf to better protect professional football players from unwarranted injuries.
  • Represented a family-owned stud-welding business against allegations that it owed a former broker hundreds of thousands of dollars for services allegedly rendered. That case resolved with Ryan’s client paying nothing to the broker, and in fact, resulted in a payment to the small business.
  • Assisted in the representation of a coalition of sugar farmers and producers in their false advertising claims against a large agribusiness conglomerate. That lawsuit settled in the middle of trial.

A growing area of Ryan’s practice involves business disputes in the energy sector.  He has recently been part of the litigation teams representing Chesapeake Energy and Apache Corporation in separate, high-profile disputes involving allegations of trade secret theft.

Ryan has contributed legal analysis to articles published by Reuters and Sports Litigation Alert.  Additionally, his note, “Mandating Injustice: The Preponderance of the Evidence Mandate Creates a New Threat to Due Process on Campus” was published in the Winter 2013 edition of The Review of Litigation.

Ryan was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2013, and is also admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Southern, Western, and Eastern Districts of Texas.  He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Texas Young Lawyers Association, and the Houston Bar Association.

Ryan serves on the Leadership Team of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Calf Scramble Donors Committee, which generates funds for Texas high school students to purchase and raise cattle of their own and earn college scholarships.

Ryan resides in Houston, and is a proud supporter of the Texas Longhorns.