Damon Ellis has built a reputation in Charleston as a confident and professional attorney who gives his clients his fullest attention.
“Our slogan here is, ‘It’s not just business, it’s personal,’,” he says. “And we do take it personally. Whether it’s a $2,000 case or a $10 million case, we treat every case as something personal. We work one-on-one with our clients and are as accessible as we can be.”
A native Charlestonian, Ellis headed north to Ohio to go to law school, receiving his J.D. from Capital University in Columbus in 2000. Returning to Charleston, he practiced in a general practice law firm with one of his current partners, Jonathan R. Mani. He and Mani shared a vision about the legal services they wanted to provide to people in the community. In 2004, they launched their own law office.
“We left with no cases and set up a two-room office in a building here in town,” Ellis recalls. “It was a bit scary.”
Success came quickly to Ellis and the firm. Early on, the firm represented a young woman who was sexually assaulted in a community mental health center where she was a resident. The firm’s resolution of that case gave the woman and her family the financial security she needed for proper treatment.
Other significant resolutions included the settlement of a case on behalf of the family of a girl who was killed by carbon monoxide exposure during an overnight stay at a friend’s house. The firm also prevailed on behalf of the family of an elderly woman who was abused in a nursing home.
Ellis has personally achieved justice for numerous clients who have been injured as the result of the negligence of others, including cases involving motor vehicle collisions, defective products, and property injuries.
While Ellis loves representing individuals, he points out that sometimes companies are wronged as well.
“Whether it’s an individual or a corporation, we don’t like them being taken advantage of,” he says. “If there’s a victim, whether it’s an individual or a company, I want to represent them. I want them to see justice, whether it’s financial compensation or otherwise.”
Ellis is known as an even-tempered person, but he admits that he can sometimes be more aggressive in court and in dealing with opposing counsel when the situation warrants.
“I’m very competitive and my partners are too,” he says. “We may raise our voices from time to time, but it’s not about being uncivil; it’s about being passionate about what we do and making sure our clients are taken care of.”
He also cares about his community and finds time to participate in school career days and contribute to the ALS Society and area hospitals.
When he’s not practicing law, Ellis enjoys family time with his wife and two young children, and following his love for soccer and collegiate sports.