Jessica L. Ellsworth

Jessica L. Ellsworth

Washington, D.C.

Email jessica.ellsworth@​

Phone +1 202 637 5886

Fax +1 202 637 5910

Practice groupLitigation, Arbitration, and Employment

Having argued more than 60 appeals, Jessica Ellsworth focuses her practice on the Supreme Court and federal and state courts of appeals. She combines extensive experience in appellate courts with a keen ability to help clients solve the litigation challenges they face.

Jess has handled complex appeals arising from motions to dismiss through jury trials and spanning a wide spectrum of issues – from patent and trademark disputes to class certification, from statutory interpretation to contractual and jurisdictional issues.

Jess is a leader in administrative law where she regularly pursues and defends against Administrative Procedures Act challenges to government agency action, and she has a niche practice in litigating dispositive motions and appeals in False Claims Act (FCA) cases. She has represented clients in every federal court of appeals and a dozen state appellate courts.  In all these matters, she brings her appellate perspective to developing and managing case strategy to achieve her clients' goals.

Whether the case involves the FCA, jurisdiction, sovereign immunity, statutory interpretation, patent infringement, or a contrary jury verdict, Jess crafts winning briefs and persuasively argues cases. Working in our Chambers-ranked Appellate practice, Jess has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star for appellate litigation in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Her clients span the automotive, pharmaceutical, life sciences, and financial services industries, among others.

She has successfully litigated motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, and appeals across all these industries.

Jess served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Martha Craig Daughtrey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Honorable Rebecca Beach Smith of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. While in law school, Jessica was named Best Oralist by then-U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter in the Harvard Law School Ames Moot Court Competition.

Awards and recognitions


Dispute Resolution: Product Liability, Mass Tort, and Class Action: Automotive/Transport
Legal 500 US

2015, 2017-2019

Dispute Resolution: Appellate
Legal 500 US

2011-2012, 2014, 2016

Legal Elite, Appellate Law
Virginia Business magazine


Rising Star (Appellate)
Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers


Transport: Rail and Road (Litigation)
Legal 500 US

Education and admissions


J.D., Harvard Law School, 2001

B.A., Dartmouth College, magna cum laude, 1998

Bar admissions and qualifications

District of Columbia


Court admissions

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Related knowledge

Internet of Things

Representative experience

Successfully represented a pharmaceutical company in a game-changing personal jurisdiction case in the Supreme Court.

Successfully represented an Indian tribe in the Supreme Court on a matter of tribal sovereign immunity.

Prevailed in precedential appeal on design patents in the Federal Circuit.

Successfully argued appeals involving the False Claims Act in the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits.

Prevailed in precedential Telephone Consumer Protection Act appeals setting limits on unilateral consent revocation (Second Circuit) and the contours of the advertising prohibition (Third Circuit).

Obtained discretionary review, and reversal by the Ninth Circuit, of a district court ruling on an issue under the Class Action Fairness Act.

Obtained reversal of judgment entered after a bench trial in a trade dress dispute based on lack of personal jurisdiction.

Successfully argued a D.C. Circuit appeal involving the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and personal jurisdiction.

Successfully argued a summary judgment motion in an Administrative Procedures Act case involving complex issues of agency delegation.

Prevailed in a challenge to the FDA's denial of orphan drug exclusivity and obtained order directing FDA to grant such exclusivity.

Obtained reversal of the judgment in a multimillion dollar jury verdict in the Delaware Supreme Court based on legal error in the damages analysis.

Argued a successful appeal in the Virginia Supreme Court for a university involving a statutory interpretation question of first impression.

Dedicated a decade to seeking, and ultimately obtaining, a green card for a Kurdish Iraqi asylum seeker.

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