Ethan Vessels

Life Member – The Million Dollar Advocates Forum
NBTA – Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate                                 
Location: Marietta, Ohio
Phone: (740) 374-5346
Fax: (740) 374-5349
E-mail Me

Ethan is a trial lawyer.

No client wants to go to court. Yet, the surest way to ensure a fair settlement is to prepare as though there will be no settlement at all. You must have an advocate who has stood and argued in court many times—and do it well.

Ethan is one of fewer than 100 National Board of Trial Advocacy board-certified civil trial advocates in Ohio, and the only one within 80 miles of Marietta, Ohio. This board certification involves strict requirements to establish courtroom experience, background checks, confirmation from judges and fellow lawyers, along with passing a rigorous written examination. This certification applies only to civil trial lawyers, not divorce attorneys or criminal defense lawyers.

Ethan has also been recognized in 2016 and 2017 for inclusion in the Thomson Reuters SuperLawyers list, which annually recognizes no more than the top 5 percent of practicing attorneys in Ohio. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews.

He is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an organization of trial lawyers whose membership is limited to attorneys who have won verdicts or negotiated settlements of $1 million or greater.

Ethan limits his practice exclusively to civil cases involving significant damage: primarily cases involving serious personal injury, wrongful death, insurance disputes, employee benefits litigation, oil & gas litigation, and business litigation. He usually represents the little guy against the big guy. In most cases, he prefers to work on a contingent fee, sharing the financial risks of litigation with his clients.

Ethan regularly tries cases throughout Southeast Ohio, West Virginia, and the Mid-Ohio Valley. He has secured several large verdicts in recent years:

  • $600,000 judgment after a bench trial against perpetrator of a fraudulent health plan re-insurance scheme.
  • $516,000 jury verdict in Ironton, Ohio; the largest-ever personal injury verdict in Lawrence County.
  • $389,000 jury verdict in Marietta, Ohio on behalf of a commercial landowner whose property had been taken by the state.
  • $287,500 jury verdict in Marietta, Ohio on behalf of a client who has suffered a mild brain injury.

As an Ohio oil and gas attorney, Ethan has the experience and knowledge needed to navigate this growing and evolving industry. Ethan is licensed to practice in Ohio and West Virginia, including all of the federal district courts in each state, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He regularly practices in the various state and federal appellate courts, including the Ohio Supreme Court.


The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Columbus, Ohio, J.D. with honors (2003) J.D. – 2003, with Honors

      • Judge Joseph Harter Award for Excellence in Trial Practice, 2003.
      • TYLA National Trial Competition, Regional Finalist, 2003.
      • Law Journal: Ohio State Law Journal, Member, 2002 – 2003.

United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, B.S. (1995)

      • Four-year Dean’s List
      • Cadet Captain (1994)

Published Works:

“The Lessor of Two Evils: Presumption of Responsibility for Motor Carrier Lessees or Common Law Respondeat Superior,” Transportation Law Journal, 30 Transp. L.J. 213, Spring – Summer, 2003

I have been injured. What are my legal rights? July 2009

Oil and Gas Leasing. What landowners need to know. May 2015.

Honors and Awards:

      • Life Member, Million Dollar Advocates Forum
      • Thomson West SuperLawyers honoree, 2016 and 2017
      • Certified Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships:

      • Washington County Bar Association, President, 2006 – 2008
      • American Bar Association
      • Ohio Association for Justice
      • National Association of Royalty Owners

Military and Service:

      • United States Army, Military Intelligence, Captain, 1995 – 2000
      • Editor in Chief, Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, 1999-2000

Pro Bono Activities:

    • Chairman, Board of Directors, American Red Cross, Washington County Chapter 2008-2009