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Johns Marrs Ellis & Hodge Litigation Boutique Opening in Austin, Houston
Former University of Texas School of Law classmates start new trial and appellate firm
September 5, 2012 1:28 pm

HOUSTON/AUSTIN Four former law school classmates are announcing the establishment of Johns Marrs Ellis & Hodge, a boutique law firm with offices in Austin and Houston. The new firm focuses on trials and appeals in commercial disputes, eminent-domain actions, and probate and fiduciary matters.

Firm partners Chris Johns and Luke Ellis of Austin and Joseph Marrs and Justin Hodge of Houston were classmates at the University of Texas School of Law before gaining extensive experience while working at top law firms and serving as court clerks for some of the country's most esteemed judges.

"We're a talented, experienced team that works well together, and our track record includes wins at the U.S. Supreme Court, several eight-figure settlements and verdicts for plaintiffs, and the successful reversal of a nine-figure liability determination for a defendant," says Mr. Johns, who focuses on appeals.

Johns Marrs Ellis & Hodge's Austin office is located at 300 West Sixth Street, Suite 1950, and the phone number is (512) 215-4078. The firm's new Houston office is located at 1001 Fannin, Suite 760. The Houston phone number is (713) 609-9503.

Mr. Ellis focuses on representing property owners in condemnation proceedings. His clients include multiple Fortune 500 companies as well as individual owners of shopping centers, office buildings, gas stations, developing subdivisions, ranches, residential and recreational tracts, and vacant land. Mr. Ellis, who previously was selected to the Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, also served on the Texas Law Review and as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Texas. He is the author of the Austin Chronicle's "The Common Law," an informational legal column started in 2003.

Mr. Hodge provides extensive experience in civil litigation, focusing his practice on condemnation and real-estate disputes. He has successfully represented landowners in administrative hearings, jury trials, and appeals in state and federal courts. Mr. Hodge, who is also a licensed realtor, previously served on the staff for Texas Review of Law and Politics and as a law clerk in the General Counsel's Office of then-Governor George W. Bush. He also is a prior honoree in the Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.

Mr. Johns entered private practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where he worked with former Texas Solicitor General Greg Coleman in the firm's national Supreme Court and appellate practice. He previously served as editor in chief of the Texas Law Review, was a Chancellor at UT Law, and clerked for the Hon. Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. He earned a post-graduate law degree from the University of Oxford in England.

Mr. Marrs has represented clients in jury and bench trials as well as arbitration proceedings throughout Texas. Rated "AV-Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer-review rating available, Mr. Marrs has won a variety of cases for clients, predominantly in trust and will contests, disputes involving fiduciaries, and probate matters. He worked on the editorial board of the Texas Law Review with Mr. Johns and served as law clerk in Travis County Probate Court.

Johns Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP is a trial and appellate boutique with offices in Austin and Houston. The firm's attorneys handle a variety of civil litigation in the courtroom, focusing on commercial litigation, eminent domain, probate and fiduciary matters, and appeals. Visit the firm online at

For information on the new offices for Johns Marrs Ellis & Hodge, please contact Mary Flood at 1-800-559-4534 or

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