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Justin M. Ellis

Justin Ellis’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation, white collar matters, and appellate litigation.  He has tried multiple cases in federal and state trial courts and has argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the Virginia Supreme Court, and the en banc Virginia Court of Appeals.  He has litigated in every level of the judicial system from trial courts to the Supreme Court of the United States.  And he has drafted and argued dispositive, discovery, evidentiary, and procedural motions before courts and arbitral bodies across the country.  Mr. Ellis has particular experience in bankruptcy, distressed-debt, and structured finance litigation, with clients including corporations, hedge funds and asset managers, indenture trustees, family offices, and high net worth individuals.

Lawdragon has named Mr. Ellis as one of the top 500 leading bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers in the United States.  Legal 500 describes Mr. Ellis as having “an unsurpassed encyclopedic knowledge of the law and all of its intricacies.”  He has also been named repeatedly as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and is on Benchmark Litigation’s “40 and Under Hot List.”

Prior to joining MoloLamken, Mr. Ellis was an associate in the New York office of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Frank H. Easterbrook, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and as a research assistant to the Honorable Richard A. Posner and Professor William Landes.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented certificateholders of residential mortgage-backed securities trusts in multiple Article 77 disputes over the distribution of multi-billion dollar settlement funds
  • Represents indenture trustees and investors pursuing multiple RMBS “putback” suits against mortgage originators and other responsible parties in state and federal courts
  • Represents investment advisor pursuing claims against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its state-owned oil company arising out of  bond defaults
  • Represented international asset manager and direct lender, as well as an indenture trustee, in a trial over fraudulent-conveyance and tort claims and breaches of an intercreditor agreement in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, as well as parallel litigation in New York Supreme Court
  • Represents international asset manager and its agent in a major Chapter 15 bankruptcy proceedings for an international natural-resources company
  • Represented investors seeking the appointment of an equity holders’ committee in major retail bankruptcy
  • Represents investors pursuing class-action antitrust claims against a major medical-device manufacturer, distributors, and group purchasing organizations before the trial court and in a successful appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Obtained $24 million lost-profits award for developer of electric power plants in a damages trial in New York Supreme Court concerning theft of trade secrets after obtaining summary judgment on liability
  • Represented international construction conglomerate in dispute over the construction of a distressed renewable-energy project
  • Represented a global financial institution facing multiple regulatory investigations and civil litigation in connection with the LIBOR price-fixing scandal
  • Obtained at arbitration an order to refund client’s entire investment in a feature-length film project based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Interpreter of Maladies
  • Represented a subsidiary of a global reinsurer pursuing tort and contract claims in New York Supreme Court involving a complex, multi-year billing-fraud scheme
  • Represented former Speaker of the New York Assembly in a federal public-corruption criminal jury trial 
  • Represented an investment advisor under indictment for obstruction of justice and perjury in the Southern District of New York
  • Represented diplomatic security agent under investigation by the Department of Justice regarding alleged misconduct abroad
  • Represented a CDO manager under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding alleged securities-law violations
  • Drafted successful amicus briefing at the certiorari and merits stages before the United States Supreme Court regarding the requirements for diversity jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act
  • Represented a foreign central bank in a successful petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court regarding the Article III prohibition on “rules of decision”
  • Represented a software company in a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court and in follow-on proceedings regarding the recognition of foreign judgments
  • Obtained reversal of criminal contempt conviction through briefing and argument before the en banc Virginia Court of Appeals and the Virginia Supreme Court
  • Obtained reversal of summary judgment for a person under civil commitment through briefing and argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Represented a state prisoner in a Fourth Amendment excessive-force jury trial before the Southern District of New York

Publications

Clerkships

  • Law clerk to the Honorable Frank H. Easterbrook, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Honors & Awards

500 Leading Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers, Lawdragon, 2020

New York Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2015-2020

40 and Under Hot List, Benchmark Litigation, 2019-2020

Education

The University of Chicago Law School, J.D.

Articles Editor, University of Chicago Law Review

The University of Chicago Committee on International Relations, A.M.

The University of Chicago, A.B.

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York
  • Washington
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the 2nd and 7th Circuits
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York 
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Professional Affiliations

Federal Bar Council Pro Bono Advisory Council

New York City Bar Securities Litigation Committee

Turnaround Management Association

American Bankruptcy Institute, Bankruptcy Litigation Committee

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