Leslie Ellis, Ph.D.


Northeast Division

Dr. Leslie Ellis is a Director in DecisionQuest’s Washington, D.C. office. She has conducted research on legal decision making for over 25 years and has consulted on hundreds of cases. She works with attorneys on high-risk and complex civil cases to develop themes and storylines, settlement and trial strategies, witness preparation, voir dire and jury selection. She assists clients in jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations and regulatory hearings.

Utilizing her strong research background and many years of investigating legal decision making, Dr. Ellis provides quantitative and qualitative analysis through initial case assessments, focus groups, mock trials, issues analyses, damages assessments, large scale surveys and venue analyses. Her research interests include the dynamics of jury, judge and arbitrator decision making, the relationship between juries’ liability and damages decisions, how juries decide damage awards, jury reform and minority representation on juries.

Dr. Ellis has been involved in a wide range of high-stakes and high-profile cases, including securities fraud, accounting/auditing fraud, False Claims Act, antitrust, intellectual property, insurance, mortgage fraud, white collar crime, contract, toxic tort, products liability, class action and employment matters. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of juror, judge and arbitrator decision making.



  • American Society of Trial Consultants (Current President)
  • American Bar Association
  • Women’s Bar Association of D.C.
  • American Psychology-Law Society
  • American Psychological Association
  • University Club of D.C.

Select Media Appearances: 

Select Speaking Engagements:

  • Ellis, L. (March 2019). Inside the Black Box: How Psychology Informs the Arbitration. Keynote Speech for the Istanbul Arbitration Center Psychology of International Arbitration Conference in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Ellis, L. (November 2016). Effective Voir Dire. Guest Lecture to the National Institute of Trial Advocacy in Washington, D.C.
  • Ellis, L. (May 2016). Wild Card Judges: Cognitive Error and Bias in Judicial Decision Making. CLE for the DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar in Chicago, IL.
  • Ellis, L. (May 2015). Effective Presentation of Expert Witness Testimony. CLE for the SEAK Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
  • Ellis, L, et al. (April 2015). Jurors and Social Media. CLE for the ABA Litigation Section Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

Select Publications: 

  • Ellis, L. (in publication). Inside the Black Box: How Psychology Informs the Arbitration Hearing.
  • Ellis, L. and Schwartz, S. (March 2017). The Rising Importance of Social Media in the Courtroom. For the Defense. Page 16-21.
  • Ellis, L. (Summer 2015). Are Juries Really Such a Wildcard Compared with Judges? American Bar Association Mass Torts Litigation Newsletter.
  • McAuliffe, B.D., Ellis, L. & Phillips, M (2011). May It Please the Court: A social-cognitive primer on persuasion in legal contexts. Chapter in Handbook on Trial Consulting. (Eds. Richard L. Weiner and Brian H. Bornstein). Pages 33-62.
  • L., Diamond, S.S., Vidmar, N., Rose, M., Ellis, L. & Murphy, B. (2003). Jury Discussions During Civil Trials: Studying an Arizona Innovation. Arizona Law Review, Vol. 45, Page 1-81.


University of Illinois, Chicago
Ph.D., Social Psychology

University of Illinois, Chicago
M.A., Social Psychology

Northwestern University
B.A., Psychology

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