William R. Ellis

Of Counsel

250 East Fifth Street, Suite 310
Cincinnati, OH 45202
P 513.361.8284
F 513.361.0335
E wellis@ralaw.com
222 South Main Street
Akron, OH 44308
P 330.849.6607
F 330.376.4577

William R. Ellis

Of Counsel

Phone: 513.361.8284
Fax: 513.361.0335
Email: wellis@ralaw.com

Mr. Ellis has been engaged in general civil litigation for more than 36 years in a wide variety of fields including cases involving admiralty or maritime law, disability insurance defense, toxic torts, fire, explosion, product liability, employment issues, structural failure, motor vehicle accidents, and premises liability. He has tried numerous Jones Act cases, in addition to several maritime collision, fire, and spill cases. His work has taken him throughout the United States and to Canada, England and Germany. He also focuses his practice on preventative law assisting clients in evaluating product safety, marketing materials and warnings for new products before they are initially marketed.

Mr. Ellis represents a wide variety of clients from national and international companies to small businesses and individuals with respect to their litigation and litigation prevention needs. He is the creator of a unique witness preparation program which is used by numerous attorneys with whom he has worked and which has been presented at both regional and national industry and legal conferences. Additionally, he has acted as a consultant for an engineering company in Delaware advising on warnings and sales material for new and unique products that were about to be placed in the market. He also serves as a mediator at the request of other attorneys and the Hamilton County Court in Ohio.

Representative Matters

  • Significant experience in maritime law including inland river, from the Monogehela River, the Ohio River and it's tributaries, part of the Mississippi River, and the Illinois River on matters involving cargo damage, collision, pollution, personal injury, the Jones Act, maritime contracts, and also serves on an emergency response team
  • Successfully represented a major maritime company in defense of a $40 million Qui Tam suit in southern Ohio
  • Represented most of the largest disability insurance carriers since 1980, in both state and federal courts, throughout the Midwest including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana, and has tried cases in Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, South Dakota, New York, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Georgia.
  • Significant experience in chemical products, including trials of toxic tort, product damage, contaminant and product liability cases and has handled a number of fire and explosion cases involving chemical products


  • AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyer" by Ohio Super Lawyersmagazine (2004-2013)
  • Former Clerk to Chief Judge Rabe F. Marsh of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Recognized in Who's Who in American Law (2000-2001)
  • Completed training to serve as a mediator and has experience in mediating cases


  • 1975, J.D., Duquesne University School of Law
  • 1970, B.A., University of Dayton
    • One semester at the University of Hamburg, Germany

Professional Affiliations

  • Cincinnati Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA)


  • "Witness Preparation" - Eastern Claims Conference, New York, New York
  • "The Duck and the Eagle" - ABA Litigation Section, San Diego, California
  • "Here an Expert," There an Expert" - ABA Corporate Counsel Section
  • "LSHW Compensation Act Update" - Ohio Valley Improvement Association

Languages Spoken

  • Conversant in German