Philip L. Ellison, MBA, JD, Esq

Attorney at Law & Business Counselor

Dedicated. Experienced. Educated. Prepared. Respected.
These are all terms used to describe attorney Philip L. Ellison. Philip's experience as a managing member of a Michigan communications and media company, a tough litigator, and an adjunct professor of law fits this modern legal environment perfectly, combining experience with law, strategic decision-making, and communications. As a law and business professional, Philip has extensive personal experience with class actions, business law, government malfeasance, and public relations that goes beyond what might be available at today's average law firm.

License to Practice

  • Michigan Circuit and District Courts
  • Michigan Court of Appeals
  • Michigan Supreme Court
  • US Districts Courts - Eastern and Western Districts
  • US Banktuptcy Courts - Eastern and Western Districts
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • US Supreme Court



  • Michigan State University College of Law - Juris Doctor (JD) (cum laude)
  • Central Michigan University - Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Lake Superior State Univ - Bachelor of Science - Business Admin/Public Relations (minor)
  • Lake Superior State Univ - Associates Degree - Personal Computer Specialist

Representative Work

  • General counsel to small and family-based businesses in Michigan
  • Reversals at the Michigan Supreme Court & Court of Appeals
  • Filed accepted amicus brief before the Michigan Supreme Court
  • Obtain court order shutting down an entire police department
  • Numerous 4-figure and 5-figure judgments
  • Numerous successful decisions for Open Meetings Act and FOIA lawsuits
  • Protected property owners from government takings without compensation
  • Invalidated decades old deed conveying lake to home owners association
  • Represent minor LLC member's interests against majority owners
  • Protect six-figure state court judgments from bankruptcy discharge
  • Resolved various contract disputes between conflicting parties
  • Lead counsel in favorable riparian property trial with dozens of parties
  • Serving as lead counsel or research counsel on cases before various state and federal courts in Michigan

Court Successes

  • LaFave v Ionia County Rd Comm'n - Michigan Supreme Court [Link]
    Vacated portion of Court of Appeals decision wrongly applying law of abandonment
    [Practice Area: Property Rights]

  • Porter v Hill - Michigan Supreme Court [Link]
    Reversal which resulted in standing for grandparenting rights in Michigan
    [Practice Area: Appeals]

  • Wenners v Chisolm - Michigan Supreme Court [Link] [Link]
    Lake access case success with use of unique procedural solution
    [Practice Area: Riparian Rights]

  • Studley v Twp of Hill - Michigan Court of Appeals [Link]
    Defended against improper Land Division Act lawsuit; affirmed on appeal
    [Practice Area: Riparian Rights]

  • Jones Family Trust v Land Bank - Court of Appeals [Link]
    Prevented appeal based on claim of governmental immunity
    [Practice Area: Property Rights]

  • Zoran v Twp of Cottrellville - Court of Appeals [Link]
    Reversal of dismissal of two claims regarding illegal actions of township supervisor
    [Practice Area: Open Meetings Act]

  • Bitterman v Village of Oakley - Court of Appeals [Link]
    High profile reversal finding secret donors info subject to public disclosure
    [Practice Area: FOIA]

  • Arabo v Michigan Gaming Control Board - Court of Appeals [Link]
    Reversed lower court's dismissal of excessive fee claim
    [Practice Area: FOIA]

  • In re Strozewski - Federal Courts [Link]
    Protected high six-figure judgment from discharge in bankruptcy (on behalf of another attorney)
    [Practice Area: Appeals]

  • In re Bitterman (3) - Liquor Ctrl Comm'n [Link]
    Obtained reversals in three case series before Liquor Control Commission
    [Practice Area: Business & Civil Litigation]


Born and raised in Hemlock, Philip graduated from Lake Superior State University with degrees in Business Administration, Public Relations, and Personal Computer Specialist as a Senator Philip A. Hart Scholar. He earned numerous awards and honors as well served as Student Respondent speaker at graduation.

Philip then attended Central Michigan University on a full scholarship where he earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA). While at CMU, Philip worked on a federally-funded grant that helped small and medium-sized businesses with export awareness and capacity in partnership with various economic development agencies in Michigan.

Following graduate school, Philip attended Michigan State University College of Law where he focused on business and corporate law, municipal law, and federal court practice. He served as Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Business & Securities Law. He was also an extern at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan.

Prior to his legal career, Philip operated Quagmire Solutions, LLC, a web design and communications firm. He served a variety of clients including various local merchants, Internet service companies, and a major regional newspaper owned by an international outfit. Philip is currently an adjunct professor of law at Saginaw Valley State University and has also previously been an adjunct professor of business management at a community college in Mid-Michigan.