Rob Ellman


Former Solicitor General for the State of Arizona, Former General Counsel for the Arizona House of Representatives

Rob Ellman has practiced law since 1985. He earned his J.D. from Cornell Law School and practiced with Hale & Dorr (now Wilmer Hale) before moving to Arizona in 1990. He has 22 years of distinguished state and federal service as a litigator, supervising attorney, and adviser to four Arizona Attorneys General and three United States Attorneys.

Most recently, Rob was General Counsel to the Arizona House of Representatives, where he advised the majority caucus leadership on innumerable legal issues and policy decisions. Before that, he served as Solicitor General for the State of Arizona; as Chief Counsel of the United States Attorney’s Appellate Division for the District of Nevada; and as a Unit Chief in the Arizona Attorney General’s Capital Litigation Section.

He has personally briefed and argued hundreds of appeals in Arizona courts and the Ninth Circuit, and he has trained countless attorneys (mostly prosecutors) in the areas of appellate advocacy, professionalism, and trial practice.

Select Appellate Matters

Gallardo v. State, 336 P.3d 717 (Ariz. 2014) (successfully defending the constitutionality of an Arizona statute that created at-large electoral districts for community college governing boards in larger counties)

Arizona Libertarian Party v. Reagan, 798 F.3d 723 (9th Cir. 2015) (successfully defending statutory amendments to voter registration form requirements against Due Process challenge)

United States v. Newman, 659 F.3d 1235 (9th Cir. 2011) (successfully overturning federal trial judge’s ruling that federal law vested him with discretionary authority to forego criminal forfeiture judgments amounting to millions of dollars)

United States v. SDI Future Health, Inc., 568 F.3d 684 (9th Cir. 2009) (creating a new Fourth Amendment rule to determine whether a business’s managers have standing to challenge execution of a search warrant search at their corporate offices)

White v. Woodall, 134 S.Ct. 1697 (2014) (authored U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of 14 state Attorneys’ General, defending Kentucky’s capital sentencing procedures against a Fifth Amendment challenge)

Select Lower Court Matters

Gallardo v. State, No. CV2013-017137 (Maricopa County Sup. Ct. 2014) (defending multi-plaintiff lawsuit seeking to enjoin election of community college governing board members in at-large electoral districts; prevailed)

United States v. Parker, No. 2:06-CR-00109 (D. Nev. 2011) (obtaining jury verdicts and 15-year prison sentence against defendant who committed aggravated assaults against federal law enforcement officers in violent crime spree)

United States v. Latham, No. 2:06-CR-00379 (D. Nev. 2009) (obtaining jury verdicts and life sentence against defendant who trafficked in child pornography)

Lambright v. Schriro, CV-87-00235 (D. Ariz. 2004) (two-week evidentiary hearing disproving defendant’s claims that his attorney provided ineffective assistance at capital sentencing hearing by failing to develop evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder)

Select Publications

Co-Author and Editor, Arizona Appellate Handbook Ch. 4 (Criminal Appeals), Arizona State Bar (6th ed. 2016)

Author, Justice, Persuasion and Victory on Appeal (instructional material for National Advocacy Center training seminar) (2007-2012)

Principle Draftsman, A.R.S. § 13-4438 (recitation of victims’ rights in open court)

Principle Draftsman, Ariz. Rules of Procedure for Appeals from Public Power Entities

Select Activities and Professional Activities

Faculty, appellate advocacy and writing courses, DOJ National Advocacy Center (2007-2012)

Faculty, Arizona Appellate Practice Institute (1997-2005, 2014)

Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Criminal Attorney of the Year (2004)

Founding Member, Arizona State Bar Appellate Practice Section (Chair, 1997-98)

Director, Public Lawyers Division, Maricopa County Bar Association (2000-2002)

Select Appellate Oral Arguments (audio/video)

Arizona v. Tucson Unified School District

Planned Parenthood of Arizona v. Humble

Arizona v. Tohono O’Odham Nation

United States v. Newman