Luke Ellis is recognized as one of Texas’s top lawyers practicing in the area of eminent domain. He focuses exclusively on representing Texas property owners facing condemnation and eminent domain proceedings. His clients include Fortune 500 companies, individual owners of shopping centers, office buildings, convenience store / gas stations, industrial centers, developing subdivisions, ranches, residential and recreational tracts, and vacant land. Mr. Ellis has broad trial experience and has enjoyed success in other areas of civil litigation.
Mr. Ellis graduated with honors from the University of Texas, receiving a B.A. in political science in 1997. He obtained his law degree in 2002 from the University of Texas School of Law, where he was a member of the Texas Law Review. Following graduation, he served as a law clerk on the Texas Supreme Court. He is admitted to practice in Texas (2003), New York (2002), and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, Western, and Eastern Districts of Texas. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, Texas Young Lawyers Association, the Austin Bar Association, and Austin Young Lawyers Association.
Mr. Ellis has received several awards recognizing both his exceptional abilities as a lawyer and his substantial contributions to the community: the Austin Bar Association’s award as Austin Outstanding Young Lawyer for 2009, the Austin Under 40 Award in the Legal Category in 2008 (www.austinunder40.org), and the Austin United Way’s 2007 Young Professional of the Year. The magazine Law and Politics has repeatedly recognized him as a “Rising Star”—both in eminent domain (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and in commercial litigation (2006, 2007).
Mr. Ellis is the author of the Austin Chronicle’s “The Common Law,” an informational monthly column about everyday legal issues, and for five years he hosted News8Austin’s weekly television news segment of the same name. He served on the Board of Directors for Austin Habitat for Humanity for seven years (2006-2012) and served two terms as board president. He participated in a post-tsunami home building project in Sri Lanka with Habitat for Humanity International and is a founding member, former chair, and advisory board member of Austin Habitat Young Professionals. He previously served as a co-chair and guest lecturer for the People’s Law School, an annual Austin Bar Association event designed to teach people about their legal rights. A 2007 graduate of Leadership Austin, Mr. Ellis served on the advisory committee for the first ever Leadership Austin Emerge class.
B.A., Political Science, University of Texas at Austin, 1997 (with honors).
J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 2002 (with honors, Texas Law Review).
Represents multiple landowners against electric power companies such as Oncor, Lone Star, and Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) (Lampasas, Guadalupe, Comal, Williamson, Mills, Comanche, Erath, Johnson, Wise, Wichita, Bell Counties)
Represents multiple landowners in Bell, McLennan, and Hill Counties against the State of Texas’ widening of I-35.
Represents multiple landowners in Greater Dallas-Fort Worth (Tarrant, Johnson, Ellis, Denton, Wise, Van Zandt Counties) against pipeline easement acquisitions.
Represents multiple Fortune 500 business against pipeline easement corridor acquisitions in Greater Houston (Harris and Chambers Counties).
Represents multiple landowners in Central Texas facing a water & wastewater pipeline easement acquisitions (Travis County).
Represented hotel and business owners against the State of Texas’ (North Tarrant Express – NTE) expansion of US Highways 183 & 121.
Represented convenience store / gas station against State of Texas’ I-35 expansion.
Represented landowner against the State of Texas in relation to a new SH-45-SE tollway project.
Represented multiple landowners against the State of Texas’s SH-130 project (segments 5 & 6).
Conducted numerous jury trials, special commissioners hearings, and related expert and fact witness depositions in eminent-domain and condemnation matters.
PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
“Landownership as a Keystone Right: Eminent domain and easements,” San Antonio Bar Association-Natural Resources Section Luncheon, San Antonio, January 9, 2014.
“Texas Condemnation The Good and The Bad: From the Landowner’s Perspective,” 12th Annual Policy Orientation for Texas Legislature, Austin, January 9, 2014.
“Landownership as a Keystone Right: Five Issues in Condemnations for Pipeline Easements,” co-authored with Justin Hodge, 39th Annual Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Conference, Houston, March 2013.
“The Common Law,” Austin Chronicle (more than 350 columns since 2003).
“The Common Law,” News8Austin (approximately 150 television segments since 2004).
“Eminent Domain 101—The Nuts and Bolts of How the Condemnation Process Works,” Flick Commercial Real Estate Report, Sept.–Oct. 2007.
Lecturer, CLE International – Texas Eminent Domain Conference (2007 & 2008).