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 who does it well. Seasoned trial lawyers are few in number.

Ethan is one of only 83 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. 

In 2018, Ethan was inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates, one of 125 in Ohio. This invitation-only organization is comprised of experienced trial lawyers, both plaintiff and defense, dedicated to the preservation of our jury trial system.

Ethan has also been recognized in 2016, 2017, and 2018 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 multi-phase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews. He was one of only four Energy and Natural Resources lawyers recognized in 2018.

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. The screening further includes the criteria of professional experience, significant case results, and representative high-stakes matters.

Ethan limits his practice exclusively to 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 and 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

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.


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)

      • 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
      • American Board of Trial Advocates, 2018
      • America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators, 2018
      • Thomson West SuperLawyers honoree, 2016, 2017, and 2018
      • 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