James B. Ellington

James B. Ellington

Representative Experience

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for defendant hospital in Title VII (Civil Rights Act of 1964) race discrimination case brought by physician, which was later affirmed on appeal (372 Fed. Appx. 51 (11th Cir. 2010)).
  • Obtained reversal on appeal of trial court’s order denying a public entity defendant’s motion for summary judgment in an action alleging death from police pursuit when a shoplifter fled a scene and caused a traffic accident (304 Ga. App. 149 (2010)).
  • Obtained summary judgment for a newspaper and reporter sued for defamation by an oral surgeon. Later affirmed by Georgia Court of Appeals. Newspaper and reporter were awarded recovery of attorney’s fees (278 Ga. App. 539 (2006)).
  • Obtained determination from Georgia Supreme Court that a county’s storm water utility charge was a constitutional fee, rather than an unconstitutional tax, under Georgia Constitution. This case established the right of governments to impose charges to recover for the environmental impact of development (278 Ga. 242 (2004)).
  • Obtained jury verdict of $1.45 million dollars in favor of manufacturer in international business dispute after one-week trial in federal court, which was later affirmed on appeal (362 F.3d 775 (11th Cir. 2004)).
  • Successfully defended employer in claim of discrimination by dismissed employee under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), obtaining summary judgment (301 F.Supp. 2d 1333 (S.D. Ga. 2003)).
  • Successfully defended newspaper sued for invasion of privacy by obtaining summary judgment, which was affirmed by Georgia Supreme Court in case declaring the Georgia Rape Confidentiality Statute unconstitutional (274 Ga. 257 (2001)).
  • Successfully defended employer in Title VII case alleging hostile work environment and gender discrimination (102 F.Supp. 2d 1364 (S.D. Ga. 2000)).
  • Successfully defended public sector hospital in case brought by four former employees who alleged violation of free speech rights under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and unpaid overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), by obtaining summary judgment, which was later affirmed on appeal (86 F.Supp. 2d 1214 (S.D. Ga. 1998), aff’d, 202 F.3d 288 (11th Cir. 1999)).
  • Obtained a reversal on appeal in case of reporter who had conducted a jailhouse interview with an accused under arrest for murder. The Georgia Supreme Court held that reporter did not have to testify and disclose confidential sources or unpublished newsgathering material. This case established a newsgatherer’s right of direct appeal of a lower court’s ruling denying application of a reporter’s privilege not to disclose such information (270 Ga. 680 (1999)).
  • Obtained summary judgment for manufacturer employer in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) case brought in federal court alleging unpaid meal breaks (19 F.Supp. 2d 1375 (S.D. Ga. 1997)).
  • Represented numerous employers before EEOC in responding to charges of discrimination including claims of sexual harassment, retaliation, age, race, and gender discrimination.
  • Counseled employers in various areas of labor and employment law, including creation of employee handbooks and compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employment discrimination law, and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Background Information

Jim has handled cases involving virtually every aspect of labor and employment law and is the senior member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Group. His commitment to clients transcends current cases, as he frequently counsels clients on new changes in the law and how they will affect clients' employee relations. Jim’s general civil litigation practice emphasizes employment litigation, governmental liability and public employment litigation, civil rights litigation and media and communications law. Jim has tried cases in federal and state courts in the areas of employment discrimination, liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act, civil rights, defamation, invasion of privacy, media access, commercial disputes and products liability. He has extensive federal and state appellate experience.

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America®2019 - Litigation: First Amendment Law, Litigation: Labor & Employment, and Employment Law (since 2007)
  • Georgia Super Lawyers - Employment & Labor (2010-2013, 2015-2018)
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated (since 1996)
  • University of Georgia Blue Key Young Alumnus Award