Ellie’s practice focuses on construction law, litigation, and employment disputes. Ellie has experience handling multi-million dollar complex construction disputes including terminations; differing site conditions, delay, and change order claims; GC/CM alternative procurement disputes; construction defect litigation; and lien claims. She has argued cases in Washington and Oregon state courts, federal court, the Board of Contract Appeals, and in private arbitration. In addition, she has successfully negotiated multiple seven-figure settlements.
Before focusing on construction law at Ahlers Cressman & Sleight, Ellie clerked for the Honorable Joel M. Penoyar at the Washington State Court of Appeals and litigated at one of Seattle’s premier boutique trial firms.
Ellie has been named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers® magazine, an award limited to the top 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40.
Ellie is a Barrister Member of the William L. Dwyer Inn of Court and active in the legal community. She was on the Board of Directors for the Washington Women Lawyers; has presented at the WSBA Construction Law Annual Seminar and to numerous industry groups (the National Association of Women in Construction, National Electrical Contractors Association, etc.); and she is a co-author of the Washington Lawyers Practice Manual, Construction Law Chapter.
In addition to her construction law practice, Ellie is committed to social justice and advocating for the rights of women and children.
Ellie’s recent clients and cases have included representation of:
Joint venture of international construction companies after termination for convenience during preconstruction phase of $1.4 billion GC/CM alternative public works project. Court granted injunctive relief in favor of joint venture, barring public owner’s re-procurement of GC/CM selection.
Top executives of international construction company in high-profile anti-harassment lawsuits in both Washington and Oregon that required complex constitutional analysis. After extensive motions practice and presentation of live testimony, successfully obtained injunctive relief and stipulated Consent Decree.
National geotechnical design and construction company in $7.3 million-dollar dispute with GC/CM contractor involving Seattle’s Seawall Project. After winning a motion to dismiss in Court, obtained favorable settlement on behalf of client.
General contractor in federal lien foreclosure lawsuit for owner delays concerning a hydroelectric retrofit of a US Army Corps of Engineers flood control dam. Successfully argued default motion that resulted in award of $1.9 million.
Design-build general contractor in appeal to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals for $2 million delay claim and Eichleay damages. After a two-day ADR proceeding with Board Judge, settled dispute.
Celebrity owners of luxury home in Sun Valley, Idaho in arbitration against general contractor for $2 million in construction defects.
Electrical contractor against claims for employment discrimination, wrongful termination, and hostile work environment by former employee. Case settled with nominal payment on eve of jury trial.
Coalition of multiple Washington-based M/WBE and DBEs in declaratory judgment lawsuit against the State of Washington for violations of the APA’s rule-making requirements.
Co-Author of the Washington Lawyers Practice Manual, Construction Law Chapter, 2014
Author, “Alternative Delivery Systems,” Construction Law Deskbook, WSBA Construction Section, 2017
Author, “Damages”, Construction Law Deskbook, WSBA Construction Section, 2017
“Employment Law Basics,” National Electrical Contractors Association, Superintendents Course at the University of Washington, November 2015, 2016, 2017
“Employment Updates in the Construction Setting: Hot Topics and Emerging Issues,” The Seminar Group’s 24th Annual Washington Construction Law Seminar, Seattle, Washington, September 2017
“M/W/DBE Certification Overview and Updates,” Construction Law Section Annual Seminar, Seattle, Washington, May 2015
“Proposed Changes to the Disadvantaged Enterprise (“DBE”) Program in Washington State,” National Association of Women in Construction, Seattle, WA, December 2014
“The Pros and Cons of SDI Policies,” The Seminar Group, Seattle, Washington, September 2014
“The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) Program in Washington State,” National Association of Women in Construction, Seattle, Washington, September 2014
“WSDOT’s Drastic Move to Exclude Women-Owned Businesses from DBE Program” NAWIC Puget Sound Chapter #60 Membership Meeting and South Sound Chapter #187 Membership Meeting, Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, February 2014
“Contracts for General Contractors,” Department of Labor & Industries, Spokane, Washington, October 2013
“Contracting on Public Projects,” Department of Labor & Industries, Spokane, Washington, October 2013
“Expert Witness Skills Workshop,” American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, September 2013