Elijah M. Watkins


Elijah Watkins is an attorney in the Trial section of the firm's Litigation practice group. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including contract disputes, product liability, antitrust, labor and employment, intellectual property defense, and securities litigation, with a particular focus on outdoor industry companies. Elijah has experience in both state and federal court litigation and appeals, as well as alternative forms of dispute resolution.  In addition to his extensive client work, Elijah regularly provides pro bono counseling to domestic violence victims, political asylees and endangered children.

Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Elijah was an associate in the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins LLP (2009-2012), a summer associate at Latham & Watkins LLP (2008), and a summer associate at Vedder Price P.C. (2007, 2008).

Representative Work

  • Defending Las Vegas surety in litigation involving a multi-million dollar housing project on tribal lands.
  • Representing renowned Michigan golf course in federal litigation involving trademark claims under the Lanham Act, including trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution, cybersquatting, and various state law claims.
  • Defending Silicon Valley green tech building supplier against various state-based defect and warranty claims.
  • Representing plaintiffs’ class action against the State of Idaho arising from various health care, security and constitutional violations.
  • Negotiated on behalf of financial advisor defending against ERISA claims before the Department of Labor.
  • Obtained favorable result on behalf of international telematics corporation during a week-long arbitration against its competitor for breach of contract claims. 
  • Represented and advised crash pad bouldering company regarding liability waivers and general risk assumptions between manufacturers and end-users in the rec tech space.
  • Represented a Utah-based manufacturer during litigation in the Northern District of Illinois involving millions of dollars in fitness equipment.   
  • Part of the litigation team that obtained full dismissal of all claims through summary judgment on behalf of an international retailer faced with legal challenges to its Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace Policy.  
  • Second-chaired a three day federal bench trial involving alleged wrongful termination and secured full dismissal of all claims on behalf of a national consumer satellite entertainment company.
  • Represented ski resort, condominium association, and management company during all-day mediation with commercial tenant for remunerations with favorable results.
  • Part of the litigation team that obtained summary judgment for one of the largest regional hospitals in an antitrust suit brought by a former physician.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of tactical outdoor clothing and equipment company regarding complex contract disputes arising from defective products designed for first responders.
  • Part of the trial team which secured a stipulated dismissal with prejudice for a South American mobile phone network provider in a multimillion-dollar action involving director and officer equity options.
  • Assisted in defending helicopter parts manufacturer in products liability suit arising from crash involving multiple manufactures and cross-claimants nationwide.

Pro Bono Activities 

  • Representing the guardian ad litem during custody proceedings for siblings suffering from physical abuse.
  • Represented death row inmate seeking testing of various pieces of crime scene evidence under the Utah Post-Conviction DNA Testing Statute.
  • Represented the guardian ad litem during custody proceedings for infant twins testing positive for methamphetamines, resulting in successful adoption.
  • Counseled numerous domestic violence victims, attended multiple emergency hearings, and secured several orders of protection on behalf of the same.* 
  • Secured the largest award of attorneys' fees to date in the Seventh Circuit on behalf of a political asylee from China under the Equal Access to Justice Act.*
  • Achieved political asylum on behalf of a homosexual man from Colombia suffering abuse exclusively from his family members—a case of near first impression in Illinois.*

*This work was performed prior to joining Stoel Rives LLP

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Recipient, Idaho Business Review's Accomplished Under 40, 2015
  • Member, American Inns of Court, 2014-present
  • Recipient, Stoel Rives LLP Pro Bono Recognition, 2014
  • Member, J. Reuben Clark Law Society, 2012-present
  • Member, Idaho State Bar, Litigation Section, 2012-present
  • Treasurer, Kickstand Board of Directors, 2012-present
  • Recipient, Latham & Watkins LLP Pro Bono Challenge, 2010, 2011
  • Member, Illinois State Bar, Litigation Section,  2009-present
  • Charitable contribution of $25,000 donated to the Moffitt Cancer Center in recognition of pro bono services rendered to a non-profit South American housing developer.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, "We've Been Hacked! What Should We Have Done? What Should We Do?," Zasio 2015 Information Governance Road Show, Boise, Idaho, Aug. 27, 2015; Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 16, 2015; Portland, Oregon, Nov. 11, 2015; Seattle, Washington, Nov. 12, 2015 
  • Panelist, "How Not to Get Sued: IP, Products Liability, and Picking the Right Business Formation," StartupTV, Boise, Idaho, Apr. 2014
  • Moderator, "From Garage to Warehouse," Kickstand, Boise, Idaho, June, 2013
  • "Enter the 'B' Corp.," Idaho Business Review, Dec. 2012 

Civic Activities

  • Precinct Committeeman, Precinct 1901, 2014-present
  • Scoutmaster, Boy Scouts of America, 2013-2014
  • Staff Attorney, Land of Lincoln Legal Services, 2008-2009 


  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2009, magna cum laude
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho, Organizational Communications, B.S., 2006
    Student Body President


  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Nez Perce Indian Reservation Tribal Court

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