Tanya D. Ellis

Tanya D. Ellis






  • Mississippi College School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude
  • University of Mississippi, B.A. Political Science

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi, 2004
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

In the game of litigation, the cards are never dealt fairly. Sometimes clients need someone who can sort out the facts, good or bad, and diligently search for new information which may result in a successful case. For many clients, Tanya Ellis is such a person. From point A to point Z, Tanya leaves no stone unturned as she digs for facts that may be critical to the outcome of the case and the well-being of her client. As a passionate attorney, she believes that a big part of her job is assessing risk for the client in order to help them make the best possible decision for their company. With the help of her colleagues, Tanya and her team are never short of ideas or motivation to unearth details and knowledge specific to a client's case, and ascertaining that her clients are 100% informed and satisfied. Humble yet determined, Tanya Ellis knows some things are out of her control but, as a relentless attorney and a hard-working mom, she knows that this never excuses hesitation.

Professional Recognition

Important Litigation Involvement

  • Defended multiple public nuisance and environmental exposure claims centered on a wood products facility.  Tanya cross-examined the opposing expert epidemiologist at a Daubert hearing, resulting in exclusion of the expert and dismissal of the cases.  She successfully defended the appeal of the dismissals before the Seventh Circuit.  Pecher, et al. v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., 859 F.3d 396 (7th Cir. 2017).
  • Trial experience, including seven day, federal court jury trial resulting in a verdict in favor of the client, which included punitive damages and attorney fees. The verdict and fee award were upheld by the Fifth Circuit. See Ill. Cent. R.R. Co. v. Guy, 682 F.3d 381 (5th Cir. 2012). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce awarded Forman Watkins with the Institute for Legal Reform’s Award for Outstanding Organization, in part, for its efforts in this case.
  • Coordinates the national asbestos defense of multiple Fortune 500 companies, developing defense strategy, negotiating settlements, litigating cases, and ensuring the efficient defense of all matters.
  • Counsel for national railroad company in FELA cases filed in Mississippi, including litigation, trial, and appellate work.
  • Litigated more than 1,500 claims of exposure to dioxin, pentachlorophenol and creosote, achieving a very favorable outcome for the client.
  • Successfully represented oil and gas company in more than 70 cases filed by residents who lived near a well site and claimed injury from exposure to hydrogen sulfide.

News & Knowledge

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to Mid-South Super Lawyers (2020-2023)
  • Selected to Mid-South Rising Stars (2010-2019)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2019-2014): Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Selected as one of Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women by the Mississippi Business Journal (2017)
  • Selected as one of PORTICO Jackson’s PORTICO 10 (2012)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Organization/Committee Memberships

  • The Mississippi Bar
  • Fifth Circuit Bar Association
  • Hinds County Bar Association
  • Jackson Young Lawyers, Board of Directors
  • Mississippi Women Lawyers Association

Pro Bono & Community Service

  • Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Mississippi Center for Justice
  • Post-Katrina Legal Assistance
  • Stewpot Community Services Legal Clinic

Law School Honors & Awards

  • Herrin-Hess Scholar
  • Law Review
  • Moot Court Board