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

You cannot afford to hire the wrong lawyer. The stakes are too high.

Most cases settle. No client wants to go to court, but to get a fair settlement, your lawyer must prepare as though there will be no settlement. You must have an advocate who has stood and argued in court many times – and does it well. A trial lawyer.

Ethan is a trial lawyer. He has recovered over $80 million for his clients in the last decade.

Ethan is one of only 76 National Board of Trial Advocacy board-certified civil trial specialists recognized by the Ohio Supreme Court. 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. In 2018, Ethan was also inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates, one of 125 in Ohio.

Ethan regularly defends trial court victories on appeal. He has argued twice in the Ohio Supreme Court, once before the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and dozens of times in the various Ohio appellate courts. He has also defended a Wood County jury verdict in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Ethan has also been recognized in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 for inclusion in the Thomson Reuters SuperLawyers list, which annually recognizes no more than the top 5% of practicing attorneys in Ohio.

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.

In 2018, Ethan was recognized by America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators for Ohio. To be selected, an attorney must have litigated a matter with at least $2 million in alleged damages or involved in the fate of a company worth at least $2 million.

Ethan limits his practice exclusively to high-stakes civil cases with significant damage, primarily cases involving: serious personal injury, wrongful death, insurance disputes, employee benefits litigation, oil and 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 suffered a mild brain injury
  • Jury verdict in Wood County, West Virginia recovering a financial account worth over $240,000

Ethan is licensed to practice in Ohio and West Virginia, including all of the federal district courts in each state, and 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 and West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.


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

  • 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)

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
  • Certified Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 2013
  • Thomson Reuters SuperLawyers honoree, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, 2018
  • America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators, 2018

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