Felicia Ellsworth is an experienced trial and appellate litigator, and a member of both the Appellate & Supreme Court Litigation Group and Business Trial Group. Her trial practice focuses on high-stakes complex commercial litigation in both state and federal courts, and her appellate practice spans both civil and criminal matters in the state and federal appeals courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.
Ms. Ellsworth has represented numerous clients in commercial disputes on a wide range of legal issues including antitrust, contract law, real property, administrative law and procedure, and constitutional law. She has also represented clients in both civil and criminal appeals involving patent infringement, contract law, constitutional law, and criminal law and procedure. Ms. Ellsworth has represented clients in state administrative tribunals, Massachusetts Superior Court, and in state appellate courts, including the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Ms. Ellsworth’s federal practice spans numerous district courts as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth and Federal Circuits; and in the Supreme Court of the United States. She has argued before both federal and state appeals courts, including the First, Second and Sixth Circuits, and the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
As co-chair of the firm's Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, Ms. Ellsworth also maintains a robust pro bono practice, including representing clients in constitutional cases, criminal appeals, immigration proceedings and civil rights actions.
Pro Bono and Community Involvement
Throughout her time at the firm, Ms. Ellsworth has become deeply involved in numerous pro bono matters. She played a lead role in WilmerHale’s representation as co-counsel with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the Commonwealth’s challenge to the constitutionality of DOMA, leading to the historic Supreme Court ruling favoring marriage equality. Ms. Ellsworth remained involved in the fight for marriage equality after participating in the challenge to DOMA and helped lead the firm's representation of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders in various federal courts of appeals considering marriage equality issues in the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits prior to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision.
In addition to her marriage equality pro bono representations, Ms. Ellsworth has a robust pro bono practice that includes representing individuals seeking asylum based on religious and gender persecution and individuals appealing their criminal convictions and sentences. She is a member of the First Circuit Court of Appeals Criminal Justice Act panel, through which she provides pro bono representation to indigent defendants on appeal.
Ms. Ellsworth is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and before the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Colorado, and Michigan, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Federal Circuits, and the Supreme Court of the United States. In 2017, she was appointed by the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts to the Standing Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure for the Massachusetts Court System. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Bar Foundation and is also a member of the Boston Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association.
Ms. Ellsworth served as a Special District Attorney in the Middlesex District Attorney's Office in 2010 and 2011, where she prosecuted cases involving violent crimes, financial fraud, and many other offenses. Previously, Ms. Ellsworth served as a law clerk to Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States, and Chief Judge Michael Boudin of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. During law school, Ms. Ellsworth served as editor-in-chief of The University of Chicago Law Review and interned with the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts.