About Attorney Howard Ellzey
I grew up in rural west Tennessee small towns. My parents divorced when I was very young and I moved to Memphis as a young man to finish high school and start Memphis State University. While I initially was an engineering major, I also ended up working in the legal department for an investment and banking firm as a litigation consultant. In conjunction with that experience, I had evolved into becoming a paralegal for different law firms and corporate legal departments. When I experienced the legal system as a party to my own divorce, my dissatisfaction with the family law process, along with my work experience, led me to naturally consider a transition to becoming an attorney. With my being a child of divorced parents and going through my own divorce, I developed a particular empathy for and desire to help people going through those situations. I also answered a patriotic calling to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves. My military service included nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare noncommissioned officer training. I was a squad leader in both boot camp and advanced training, as well as a communications section leader with a top-secret military clearance. After I attending Crichton College where I earned my business degree in Memphis, I moved to St. Petersburg working for the City of Tampa’s legal department, with the hope of attending law school. Very shortly after my arrival, Stetson University College of Law initiated a four-year part-time evening program, of which I was part of the very first evening class. I worked during the day and went to law school at night, often joking that the hard work was like “doing time” that I finished in three and a half years.
I am compassionate and a zealous advocate. I explain to clients what’s going on in their case with good communication. I try to be an example of ethical presence in the legal profession many look down upon. It is up to us, as attorneys, to make a difference in creating trust with the public. I am very honest with people even if that means I tell a potential client what they don’t want to hear but need to hear, so I can help them through the process. Honesty and enthusiasm are what form the strong relationships I have with my clients. The trust that results is rewarding to me and to the client.
What I Find the Most Exciting in Legal Practice
I seek positive outcomes through not only negotiation but also advocating for the client in the courtroom. My practicing statewide in numerous counties, in front of numerous judges, has developed a confidence in me to go into any courtroom and think on my feet and present facts and argument with professionalism and courtesy. I strive to ensure my reputation and the firm’s reputation is one of ethics and professionalism. To succeed in those goals is very gratifying on a personal level.
My Personal Life
I have two adult daughters with their own children and who are making their own lives. They are my greatest passion. I have recently learned to enjoy scuba. I earned my first PADI certification last year and have completed my rescue diver certification and am now on my divemaster certification with a goal of obtaining my instructor certification. Not only does it satisfy a desire for outdoor adventures, but it also creates opportunities for travel and meeting new people.
My list of qualifications will never truly show my personal ambition, drive, and concern for my clients. But for those that insist seeing an exact list – here it is:
- Ayo & Iken Senior Attorney
- Member of the Florida Bar
- Founder of my own legal practice in St. Petersburg 2008 with areas of practice including family law; business law and contracts; real estate and foreclosure defense; probate, wills, and trusts; personal injury; bankruptcy; and criminal defense.
- Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law
- B.S. in Business Organizational Management from Chrichton College
- Past and present volunteer for Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Bahamas Methodist Habitat, Clearwater Marine Aquarium Dive Team