Judge Ronald L. Ellis was appointed Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York in November 1993.
After a brief stint as a patent attorney, Ellis joined the staff at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. in early 1976, where he specialized in fair employment class action litigation. In 1984, Judge Ellis assumed the directorship of the fund’s national litigation program in fair employment and held that post until 1990, when he became the director of the fund’s poverty and justice program.
During his tenure at the fund, Ellis participated in numerous federal cases at the trial level in more than a dozen states. This included cases in voting rights, health care, housing, education, and environmental justice, as well as his work in fair employment. In addition to his admission to the bar of New York, Ellis practiced in six federal circuits, arguing eight appeals to the Courts of Appeal in three of the circuits, and participated in significant fund cases before the Supreme Court, arguing the case of University of Tennessee v. Elliott, which established that state administrative proceedings could not bar subsequent Title VII action.
He has also lectured and written on topics, such as trial techniques, examination of expert witnesses, and statistical proof. He co-authored the chapter on “Achieving Race and Gender Fairness in the Courtroom” in The Judge’s Book, 1994.
Ellis has served as an adjunct professor of law at New York University, where he taught employment law for two years at the graduate level and racism and American law for ten years at the undergraduate level. At the law school, he taught a course on blacks and the law for three years.
Ellis received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1975 and his B.A. from Manhattan College in 1972.