Mary Ellis LaGarde was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Early in life, she was inspired to pursue a legal career by a defining family event. Her father, a career car inspector at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, was severely injured at work. His company did little to compensate the family financially — that is, until her father retained an attorney. Mrs. LaGarde saw the importance of legal representation for injured workers first-hand.
Mrs. 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. Mrs. LaGarde credits Stetson for providing her with practical pre-trial, trial and appellate experience through clinics and internships.
Before establishing a practice in Houston, Texas, Mrs. LaGarde practiced law in Southwest Florida. She joined Viles and Ellis, P.A., in Florida in 1998. There, she gained experience through cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, civil litigation, product liability, class action, multi-district litigation proceedings, trial, arbitration and mediation. She served as legal counsel during Congressional hearings investigating the Firestone tire tread separation controversy.
Currently working in Houston, Texas and Naples, Florida, Mrs. LaGarde handles business and contract disputes, personal injury and wrongful death matters, and a wide assortment of civil lawsuits. She represents corporate and individual clients in general civil litigation, trials, commercial/contractual arbitrations and FINRA arbitrations. She has successfully represented victims of catastrophic injuries in Florida and Texas state and federal courts, and she has recovered tens of millions of dollars for victims of negligence and product defects.
Mrs. LaGarde has been featured as a legal commentator on CNN, Good Morning America, Dateline, Nightline, MSNBC and various local news stations.
Mary Ellis married Richard LaGarde on March 16, 2004. Mr. LaGarde proposed to her in the garden of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles immediately after the two of them spent 14 hours deposing a Korean automobile engineer. The LaGardes are not only a successful pair of trial attorneys, but also a devoted couple. They enjoy working together alongside their legal team and, most importantly, their clients. Both their personal and in trial synergy is undeniable.
In Her Own Words
I know only too well how a distressing event — such as a car wreck with severe injuries — can overwhelm life, disrupt work and leave you financially and emotionally lost. There is a better path.
“First, it is vitally important to take the correct actions. It can be daunting to find a way of coping with your immediate circumstances after a traumatic event. That is where I come in. I can help guide you through for a long-term, positive outcome.
No two cases are the same, just as no two lawyers handle cases in the same way. Important facts and details are often overlooked early on, so it is extremely important to get the correct, professional legal help you need as soon as possible.
I am proud to say that throughout my legal career, I have personally assembled a uniquely qualified and trained legal team designed to focus on your legal needs in such personal injury and wrongful death matters. Throughout my practice, I have worked with victims, mothers, children, fathers, loved ones and families who have suffered tragic losses through no fault of their own. Hiring our family may be the best decision you make.
We are proud to have successfully served and helped thousands of clients. Let me help you find the right path too.”
– Mary Ellis LaGarde