Practice Areas

  • Complex Business Litigation
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Entertainment and Recreation Law
  • Probate and Trust Litigation
  • Advice and Counsel for Businesses and Individuals



Southern Methodist University

  • J.D. 2006

University of Southern California

  • B.A. 1999

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

  • California Court of Appeals

Elizabeth A. Ernster

Elizabeth Ernster is an experienced trial lawyer with a broad-based practice emphasizing litigation.  Elizabeth’s litigation experience includes representing private clients in real estate development disputes, contract disputes, UCC disputes, employment lawsuits, probate and trust matters, trade secrets disputes, entertainment law issues, complex personal injury defense matters, construction defect lawsuits, food industry matters, and arts and antiquities matters, among others.  Elizabeth has also litigated proprietary information cases involving governmental agencies and contractors and represents corporate and individual clients in state and federal criminal matters, from misdemeanors related to violations of county agency regulations to federal fraud, conspiracy and embezzlement charges.  Elizabeth has also argued appellate matters before the California Court of Appeals. Elizabeth further advises clients on a range of matters as an “outside general counsel,” covering all aspects of business.  In addition, she has experience drafting and negotiating contracts, including for reproduction of artwork agreements, copyright protections and related intellectual properties matters.  Her clients include high-profile public figures, the estates of well-known entertainment industry figures, engineering firms, public relations agencies, manufacturers, businesses in multiple areas of the construction industry, real estate developers, artists and creators, and family offices, and small, mid-sized and large businesses, as well as individual litigants, across multiple industries.

Elizabeth sits on the Board of Directors for a sustainable yield tree farm in California, as well as serving as its Secretary and General Counsel.  These positions necessitate ongoing work with state and federal agencies regarding such diverse subjects as water rights, forest fire prevention practices and management, studies and protection of endangered species, Native American heritage site rights and responsible forest management practices.  She recently completed two terms as a Trustee of her high school alma mater, Mayfield Senior School, and continues as a member of its Risk Management Committee, which deals with, among other things, the complexities of a religious-affiliated educational institution.

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Print Journalism.  She then obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, where she received accolades in oral advocacy, and was actively involved with the Criminal Defense Clinic.

  • Won complete defense verdict for transportation and storage company in a lawsuit involving the alleged misappropriation of arts and antiquities.
  • Represented the estate of a well-known entertainment industry figure in probate and trust litigation involving a challenge to the trust by an allegedly omitted beneficiary.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for a technology company which suffered misappropriation of trade secrets and embezzlement by a high-level company executive, resulting in, among other things, the complete recovery of its intellectual property.
  • Obtained favorable resolution for an alternative energy company in a class-action litigation involving wage and hour issues for off-site installers classified as independent contractors.
  • Successfully eliminated all but one cause of action in an employment complaint through law and motion practice, leading to a favorable settlement for the employer produce wholesaler.
  • Obtained very favorable settlement for client staffing agency in joint employment matter alleging gender discrimination.
  • Obtained dismissal of misclassified misdemeanor criminal charges against well-known entertainment figure.
  • Favorable resolution for a technology start-up facing claims of age discrimination, where the overwhelming majority of its employees were below the age of 35, and most were under the age of 30.
  • Favorable settlement for real estate developer in a breach of contract lawsuit alleging multiple issues including failure to fund and misrepresentation.
  • Negotiated licensing agreement for limited-run lithographs of a particular artwork with an artist who had never previously authorized such reproduction of his work.
  • Negotiated favorable indemnity agreement with governmental agencies related to entry onto private premises for monitoring of endangered species candidate.
  • Advised small national employer on employment policies and personnel decisions, including employee handbooks, social media policies, and noncompete agreements based on multi-state employment rules.
  • Member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association