Luke Ellis represents property owners when private property is taken by the government and other condemning authorities. Texas Super Lawyers (a Thompson Rueters service) has recognized Luke as one of Texas’s top trial lawyers concentrating on eminent domain and condemnation. He teaches the course on eminent domain and land takings at the University of Texas School of Law and has testified before the Texas Legislature to promote eminent domain reform.
Luke concentrates his practice on representing clients against new highway and roadway-widening projects, particularly properties with commercial, retail, industrial, and special uses. His practice also concentrates on representing clients whose property has been negatively impacted by high-voltage electric-transmission lines, pipelines, high-speed rail, and other public-infrastructure projects. Luke’s cases have involved takings of office buildings, restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, gas stations, shopping centers, industrial properties, mines, quarries, existing and developing residential subdivisions, ranches, recreational tracts, and vacant land. Luke only represents property owners facing condemnation and eminent domain proceedings, not the governmental or private entities that take property.
Luke is a trial lawyer with experience—having led trial teams and personally conducted voir dires, opening arguments, witness examinations, and closing arguments. In addition to his trial work, Luke has personally handled countless special commissioners’ hearings and contested hearings. Luke has obtained successful results in complex condemnation and eminent domain cases across major metropolitan areas of Texas, including greater Houston, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, Rio Grande Valley (McAllen/Brownsville/Harlingen), Waco, and Wichita Falls. Luke has offices in Austin and Houston (by appointment only).
Luke is committed to defending property owners’ constitutional rights in condemnation matters. Additional communities where Luke has defended property owners against land takings include Addison, Baytown, Bastrop, Bellmead, Belton, Bruceville-Eddy, Brenham, Bryan, Burton, Cleburne, College Station, Corpus Christi, Cotulla, Denton, Decatur, Georgetown, Elm Mott, Fredericksburg, Hewitt, Hillsboro, Lampasas, Leander, Mansfield, McKinney, Mount Pleasant, McKinney, New Braunfels, Pflugerville, Richland Hills, Round Rock, Robinson, San Marcos, Seguin, Shenandoah, and Tyler, Texas. Luke has appeared in condemnation and eminent domain lawsuits in Bastrop County, Bell County, Bexar County, Brazoria County, Cameron County, Collin County, Comanche County, Dallas County, Denton County, Ellis County, El Paso County, Erath County, Freestone County, Hays County, Hidalgo County, Gillespie County, Grayson County, Guadalupe County, Grimes County, Harris County, Hill County, La Salle County, Lampasas County, Leon County, Kerr County, Mills County, Montague County, Montgomery County, McLennan County, Nueces County, Tarrant County, Travis County, Van Zandt County, Wise County, Wood County, and Williamson County.
Luke is an honors graduate of both the University of Texas and the University of Texas School of Law, where he was a member of the Texas Law Review. Following graduation, he served as a law clerk on the Texas Supreme Court. He is admitted to practice in Texas, New York, and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, Western, and Eastern Districts of Texas.
Luke has actively contributed to his community during his years as a lawyer. He served on the board of directors for Austin Habitat for Humanity for seven years (2006-2012) and served two terms as board president. He participated in a post-tsunami home building project in Sri Lanka with Habitat for Humanity International and is a founding member, former chair, and advisory board member of Austin Habitat Young Professionals. He previously served as a co-chair and guest lecturer for the People’s Law School, an annual Austin Bar Association event designed to teach people about their legal rights. A 2007 graduate of Leadership Austin, Luke served on the advisory committee for the first ever Leadership Austin Emerge class. Luke is the author of the Austin Chronicle’s “The Common Law,” an informational monthly column about everyday legal issues, and for five years he hosted News8Austin’s weekly television news segment of the same name.
Mr. Ellis has received several awards recognizing both his exceptional abilities as an eminent domain lawyer and his substantial contributions to the community.