Julian R. Ellis, Jr.

Julian Ellis is an experienced litigator with a focus on solving complex legal issues, often at the intersection of law and politics. He has served as lead counsel and advisor in high-stakes appeals, political and regulatory matters, and constitutional litigation across the country.

Julian represents a diverse group of sophisticated clients in public and political law, regulatory, and commercial matters. At the appellate level, Julian has developed winning strategies on a range of issues, including federal and state constitutional law, administrative law, federal jurisdiction, tax, torts, products liability, employment, and statutory interpretation. He is counsel of record in appeals before federal and state courts across the country, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Colorado Supreme Court, and Colorado Court of Appeals. Julian also has a robust amicus practice and regularly files amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal circuit courts.

At the trial level, Julian serves as lead strategist in complex federal and state litigation matters. He has advised clients on matters related to breach of contract, municipality law, constitutional law, campaign finance, federal permitting, the Endangered Species Act, federal maritime law, and water rights, among others. Julian often parachutes into existing litigation to handle novel, first-impression issues before the trial court in anticipation of appeal. 

Julian also has experience trying cases. He has prosecuted a breach-of-contract action through trial on behalf of a Colorado company, securing the enforcement of an unsigned agreement and an award of full damages and attorney’s fees and costs. He has defended a multimillion-dollar arbitration in Florida that resulted in zero liability for his client. And he has prosecuted an oil and gas arbitration, which resulted in a multimillion-dollar award that was 15 times more than the last settlement offer.

When Julian is not practicing law, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young sons on their Elbert County ranch. Julian is an aspiring working cow horse competitor and accomplished DIY hunter.

Representative Matters

Issues and Appeals 


Served as merits counsel in appeals in federal and state appellate courts. Some of Julian’s reported decisions include: 

  • Lodge Properties, Inc. v. Eagle Cnty. Bd. of Equalization, 504 P.3d 960 (Colo. 2022)
  • Womble v. Chrisman, 2022 WL 334107 (10th Cir. 2022)
  • Ritchie v. Polis, 467 P.3d 339 (Colo. 2020)
  • Womble v. Chrisman, 770 F. App’x 918 (10th Cir. 2019)
  • Allen v. USAA, 907 F.3d 1230 (10th Cir. 2018)
  • In re Marriage of Gross, 371 P.3d 744 (Colo. App. 2016)


Filed amicus briefs on novel issues of first impression and national importance in federal and state courts across the country, including:

  • Trump v. Anderson (U.S. 23-719)
  • CFPB v. Community Financial Services Association (U.S. 22-448)
  • Consumer Data Industry Association v. Frey (U.S. 22-247)
  • The Golden 1 Credit Union v. Burgardt (U.S. 22-230)
  • Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid, 141 S. Ct. 1163 (2021)
  • Seila Law LLC v. CFPB, 140 S. Ct. 2183 (2020)
  • Barr v. AAPC, 140 S. Ct. 2335 (2020) 
  • Colorado Department of State v. Baca, 140 S. Ct. 2316 (2020)
  • City of Boise v. Martin (U.S. 19-247)
  • Lindenbaum v. Realgy, LLC, 13 F.4th 524 (6th Cir. 2021)
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. v. Newman, 51 F.4th 1125 (9th Cir. 2022)
  • The High Lonesome Ranch v. Board of County Commissioners of Garfield County, 61 F.4th 1225 (10th Cir. 21-1020)  
  • Anderson v. Griswold, — P.3d —- (Colo. 2023)  
  • Colorado Literacy v. Colorado Springs School District 11 (Colo. 2022SC940)
  • In re Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission, 513 P.3d 352 (Colo. 2021)
  • Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood v. Wagner, 467 P.3d 287 (Colo. 2020)

Political and Public Law 

  • Representing Republican National Committee and Arizona Republican Party in challenge to Arizona’s 2023 Elections Procedures Manual. Julian’s clients are alleging that the Arizona Secretary of State impermissibly failed to follow the state’s Administrative Procedure Act in promulgating a 250+ rulebook for the 2024 election.
  • Representing a former Oklahoma state prisoner in prisoner-rights litigation involving inadequate nutrition and conditions of confinement under the Eighth Amendment. The case has been appealed twice to the Tenth Circuit; both times Julian’s client prevailed.
  • Representing intervenor-defendants alongside the Colorado Secretary of State in defending the constitutionality of Colorado’s signature verification requirement for mail-ballot elections. Julian’s client partially prevailed before the trial court, and the case is pending interlocutory review before the Colorado Court of Appeals. 
  • Republican National Committee v. Pelosi, 2022 WL 4349778 (D.C. Cir. 2022). Successfully represented the Republican National Committee in challenging a congressional subpoena issued by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. The case raised issues of first impression regarding the Congressional subpoena power and under the First Amendment. After winning an injunction pending appeal to the D.C. Circuit, and full briefing on the merits of the appeal, the Select Committee withdrew the subpoena. The RNC is the only entity to have successfully resisted a subpoena by the Select Committee.
  • Successfully overturned an adverse campaign-finance order requiring a conservative nonprofit to register as an issue committee and disclose its donors. The appeal raised issues under the Colorado Constitution and the First Amendment.
  • Successfully represented a sitting Councilmember in D.C. in overturning an adverse campaign-finance order. The appeal raised both vagueness and First Amendment issues.
  • Stencil v. Johnson, 605 F. Supp. 3d 1109 (E.D. Wis. 2022). Successfully represented a sitting U.S. Senator in Wisconsin against a challenge under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Disqualification Clause. The case raised first-impression issues over whether there is a private right to enforce the Disqualification Clause.
  • Ritchie v. Polis, 467 P.3d 339 (Colo. 2020). Successfully represented plaintiff-petitioners in a challenge to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s Covid-19 executive order that eliminated the in-person signature gathering requirement to qualify an initiative for the Colorado ballot. In a 7-0 decision, the Colorado Supreme Court reversed a lower court and held the executive order violated the Colorado Constitution.
  • Represented a charter school in Jefferson County challenging the authority of the Executive Director of the County Public Health Department to issue public health orders without the full board’s approval. Julian’s client intervened as a defendant in an enforcement proceeding against three religious schools. Despite prevailing at the preliminary-injunction phase, the county health department agreed to dismiss case and dissolve the preliminary injunction while an appeal was pending. The county health department also commenced approving public health orders before the full board, and the executive director resigned.

J.D., University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Order of the Coif and Order of St. Ives
M.B.A., Valdosta State University, Langdale College of Business
B.B.A., Finance, Valdosta State University, Langdale College of Business


Law Clerk, Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Bar and Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Professional and Community Involvement 
  • Supreme Court Historical Society, Member
  • Tenth Circuit Historical Society, Corporate Secretary, 2017–2019, Director, 2020–present
  • Federal Faculty of Advocates, Member
  • The Federalist Society, Member
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • University of Denver Professional Mentoring Program, Mentor, 2014–present
  • University of Denver Law Alumni Council, Member, 2014–2016
Activities and Honors
  • Up and Coming Lawyers, Law Week Colorado, 2020
  • Articles Editor, Denver University Law Review
  • Robert J. Jackson Scholar
  • Medal of Excellence, American Bankruptcy Institute 
  • Krendl Business Planning Award
  • Hartje Writing Award
  • Outstanding Langdale College of Business M.B.A. Student


  • A Comparative Law Approach: Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements in American Insolvency Proceedings, 92 AM. BANKR. L.J. 141 (2018)
  • RFRA: Circuits Split on “Compelling Government Interest”, AM. BANKR. INST. J., Nov. 2015, at 36 
  • The “Common Practice” of Bundling: Fact or Fiction?, 91 DENV. U. L. REV. ONLINE 105 (2014)
  • Natural Persons, Unnatural Law: Conflict for Corporate Debtors Between § 548(d)(3)(A) and RFRA, AM. BANKR. INST. J., Mar. 2014, at 34 
  • Limited Liability Company Operating Agreements: Can Creditors Restrict a Borrower’s Ability to File for Bankruptcy Protection?, 90 DENV. U. L. REV. ONLINE 19 (2013)
  • Comment, Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders: The Resurrection of Bell v. Wolfish and the Questions to Follow, 90 DENV. U. L. REV. 559 (2013)

Book Chapters

  • Norton Bankruptcy Law & Practice 3d (Thomson West), Chapter on Arbitration Agreements in Bankruptcy
  • Colorado Causes of Action Series, Chapter on Product Liability—Warranties
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