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About me

Mr. Ellis handles all civil, family law, and criminal appellate matters. Some of his recent cases have involved issues as diverse as (1) a claim that a law enforcement agency used excessive force against a suicidal individual; (2) a challenge to an award of reimbursement under Family Code section 2640; (3) sexual harassment by an employer; (4) a conviction for attempted murder; (5) application of Pereira and Van Camp methodologies in the division of a separate property business; (6) a Marvin claim raised in a probate proceeding; (7) conflict of interest under Government Code section 1090; (8) unlawful discharge; (9) denial of an anti-SLAPP motion; (10) modification of a spousal support award in the context of a stipulated Richmond / step-down order; (11) domestication of a foreign judgment; and (12) a conviction for first degree murder.


Mr. Ellis received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College in 1972, and in 1985 received a JD degree from UCLA School of Law. While at UCLA, where he was on Law Review, he discovered a passion for the sort of issue and policy discourse that often accompanied the analysis of case law in the classroom. Practitioners advised him he could best pursue that interest after law school by focusing on appellate law.

He believed he should first experience trial practice, however, so after graduation he worked as a litigator at the Century City firm Memel, Jacobs, Pierno, Gersh & Ellsworth, where he participated in a wide variety of cases ranging from health care litigation to business torts to lawsuits raising environmental issues concerning real property. He also wrote the occasional appellate brief as well. At the start of his second year, he was given the honor of heading the firm’s Bank of America project, where he handled some 200 small defense cases for the bank, in essence functioning as a sole practitioner within the larger firm.

During that year he tried four cases, arbitrated many more, and negotiated some 40 settlement agreements. 

In 1987, Mr. Ellis decided to pursue his appellate law aspirations and joined Horvitz & Levy in Encino (at the time, Horvitz, Levy & Amerian). There, working first as an associate and then later on a “contract” basis, he handled 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 received an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he had been participating in a graduate degree program. That same year he relocated his family to the Bay Area, where he became a name partner in the boutique San Francisco appellate law firm Wolff & Ellis (later Wolff, Ellis & Clausen). There, he added family law appeals to his practice, an area which, along with criminal appellate law, remains a focus of his current firm. 

Ten years later, in 2004, Mr. Ellis returned to Los Angeles 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 which were pending 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 appellants and respondents in civil and family law appeals and writs, and appellants on criminal appeals.

In January 2010, Mr. Ellis formed his present firm, the Law Offices of Gregory R. Ellis. He continues to represent appellants and respondents in appellate and writ matters in all substantive areas. He also consults with trial counsel concerning strategic and tactical trial issues, and drafts substantive motions and pleadings in various pre-judgment and post-judgment trial court proceedings.



Photos and videos

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Contact info

Law Offices of Gregory R. Ellis

350 W Colorado Blvd Ste 200
Pasadena, CA, 91105

Practice areas


  1. Appeals: 100%
    29 years

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Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2015
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2014
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2013
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2012
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2011
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2010
Top AttorneysPasadena Magazine2010
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2009
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerLaw Offices of Gregory R. Ellis2010 - Present
PartnerEsner, Chang & Ellis2006 - 2010
AttorneyGeragos & Geragos, APC2004 - 2006
PartnerWolff, Ellis & Clausen, LLP1995 - 2004
Contract AttorneyHorvitz & Levy, LLP1989 - 1994
AssociateHorvitz & Levy, LLP1987 - 1989
AssociateMemel, Jacobs, Pierno, Gersh & Ellsworth1985 - 1987
Publication nameTitleDate
Journal of the California Association of Certified Family Law SpecialistsRequesting and Objecting to Statements of Decision: What Happens If I Don’t?2014
Los Angeles Daily JournalTactical Considerations: Effective Appellate Briefs2013
Journal of the California Association of Certified Family Law SpecialistsI Want to Appeal This. . . . Can I?2013
The AdvocateCode of Civil Procedure section 166.1: Getting the trial judge to endorse your writ2004
Journal of the California Association of Certified Family Law SpecialistsDon't Lose Your Appeal in the Trial Court2003
California Litigation MagazineDon't Lose Your Appeal at Trial1999
San Francisco Daily JournalRequisite Writ1998
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California at Los Angeles School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1985
Amherst CollegeN/AOther - Bachelors1972
Vermont College of Fine ArtsN/AOther - MastersN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Webinar-State Bar of CaliforniaTen Ways to Lose Your Appeal at Trial2014
State Bar of California Annual MeetingElements of Briefwriting2014
State Bar of California Annual MeetingElements of Briefwriting2013
State Bar of California Annual MeetingStatements of Decision2009
State Bar Section Education InstituteFamily Law Set-Aside Motions2007
State Bar Section Education InstituteEffective Brief Writing2007
State Bar of California Annual MeetingEffective Brief Writing2007
State Bar of Calfornia Annual MeetingEffective Brief Writing2006
State Bar of California Annual MeetingEffective Brief Writing2005