V. John Ella

Firm: Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A.
Location: Minneapolis - MN

  • 8000 Flour Exchange Building
    310 Fourth Avenue South
    Minneapolis, MN 55415
  • Tel : 612.455.6237
  • Fax : 612.455.0501

V. John Ella has handled dozens of appeals before the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the Minnesota Supreme Court, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. He also has obtained successful verdicts in jury trials and court trials in federal and state district courts in both Minnesota and Iowa and litigated or arbitrated non-compete disputes in Iowa, Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota, New York, and Wisconsin.

Mr. Ella has been named as a Minnesota “Super Lawyer” in the area of appellate law.  He is a member of the Appellate Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Mr. Ella clerked for judges in both state court and federal court.

Mr. Ella has represented clients with appeals involving claims of breach of contract, business licensing, civil service rules, constitutional law, claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the corporate practice of medicine doctrine, defamation, denial of benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), employment law, the employee duty of loyalty, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), immigration, marital status discrimination, non-competes, professional negligence and malpractice, retaliation, sexual harassment, unemployment benefits, and whistleblowing, among other issues.  Mr. Ella’s experience includes bringing and defending appeals and cross-appeals, filing petitions for writs of certiorari, petitions for interlocutory appeals, appellate motion practice, oral argument, and settlement of cases on appeal. Mr. Ella offers competitive flat fee rates for most appeals.

Mr. Ella practices in all aspects of commercial litigation, employment law, and business law, with an emphasis on unfair competition and defending employment claims. Mr. Ella is the author of Executive Employment Law – A Handbook for Minnesota Executives published in 2018 by Mill City Press as well as over one hundred articles or book chapters for various legal publications. He frequently lectures on the topic of workplace privacy and employee monitoring. He also speaks on common law fraud and was co-author of the Summary Guide to Fraud, Misrepresentation and Deceptive Trade Practices. Mr. Ella also taught legal writing at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Mr. Ella is certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a Labor and Employment Law Specialist. He is also certified as an Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). He served as a public member of the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice from 2010 to 2018 and served as Chair of the Minnesota State Board of Legal Certification.

Mr. Ella was a Law Clerk for Judge Carol B. Amon, Eastern District of New York from 1996-1997 and for Judge William E. Kalar, Ninth Judicial District of Minnesota from 1994-1995. After ten years as an attorney at a local general practice firm he spent almost ten years at the nation’s second-largest labor and employment defense firm as a partner where he represented many Fortune 500 and large global corporations in all aspects of employment law. He joined Trepanier MacGillis Battina in 2016.


  • Tufts University, B.A. (1990)
  • University of Minnesota Law School, J.D. (1994) cum laude


  • Minnesota Top 100 Super Lawyer (2014)
  • Minnesota Law and Politics “Top 40” Employment Law Attorney (2006-2008)
  • Super Lawyer (2002-2020)
  • AV rated by Martindale Hubbell
  • Named to “Best Lawyers” in 2019 and 2020
  • Named to “POWER 30” list of employment law attorneys by Minnesota Lawyer (2021)
  • Premier Appellate Lawyers, Exclusive Featured Attorney for Minneapolis (2021)

Jurisdictions Admitted:

  • Minnesota Supreme Court (1994)
  • District of Minnesota (1995)
  • Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (1996)
  • U.S. Court of International Trade (1995)
  • U.S. Court of Veteran’s Appeals (1996)
  • Western District of Wisconsin (1999)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (2000)
  • State of New York (2005)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (2006)
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin (2007)
  • Iowa Supreme Court (2008)
  • Southern District of Iowa (2009)
  • Northern District of Iowa (2009)

Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A.

Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A. is a full-service business and litigation firm that provides creative solutions and top-notch courtroom representation for corporations and individuals in a wide array of business and employment law matters. In addition to representing established corporations, the Firm thrives on representing startups, entrepreneurs, shareholders of closely held companies, professionals, corporate executives, and sales reps. TMB provides a broad range of services including advice and counseling, contract drafting, dispute resolution, and litigation.