Mary Ellis LaGarde attended Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland, and graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. degree in Economics. She obtained her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law, Florida’s first law school, which was established in St. Petersburg in 1900. Ms. LaGarde credits Stetson for providing her with practical pre-trial, trial and appellate experience through clinics and internships.
Ms. LaGarde has practiced law in Southwest Florida since 1998. She established a secondary trial practice in Houston, Texas in 2001. She gained a great deal of experience on both sides of the docket by handling jury trials, arbitrations, and mediations in both Florida and Texas. Her clients have included a Fortune 500 company, numerous small business owners, and thousands of individual consumers. She has represented clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims, general civil litigation matters, contract disputes, sexual harassment cases, construction disputes, securities litigation, products liability cases, labor disputes, class actions, mass actions, and multi-district litigation proceedings.
Ms. LaGarde has been featured as a legal commentator on CNN, Good Morning America, Dateline, Nightline, MSNBC and various local news stations in Southwest Florida.
In addition to being a trial lawyer and ADR specialist, Ms. LaGarde is a talented and classically-trained painter and sculptor. She often donates pieces of her art to ArtAidNaples for auctions benefitting Legal Aid Service of Collier County. Her art can be seen online at her art website.
In Her Own Words
“In my role as an advocate, I bring all my energy and experience to fight for my clients in trials, mediations, and arbitrations.
In my role as an arbitrator, my job is to administer justice in a fast, affordable, fair, and impartial manner.
As a mediator my job is to use my litigation experience and legal skills to serve as a neutral and to help parties achieve a fair and just resolution of their legal disputes.”
– Mary Ellis LaGarde