I am a former client, and Dianne worked with me on several very complex Family law cases. I feel the need to put some of these bitter reviews in realistic context..
Firstly, she is truly tireless, and *relentless*. I observed her frequently working not only long hours during the week, but regularly into weekends to make sure both myself and other clients had the best possible chances. That aside from taking 'panicked texts and calls' at odd hours, and compassionately responding.
Secondly, she truly does care, and if you want some specific examples that just about no other attorney would do.. she briefly loaned me a vehicle, and found me a space to work when my normal office was unavailable. Additionally, I also regularly observed her going above and beyond for other clients.. for example, in more than one case helping single parents get their children clothes and shelter when they had been forced to flee from spouses.
Thirdly, while she is fierce and feared to the point, I saw her referred to as a 'Pitbull' by someone up against her, she is ethically beyond reproach. It is clear for example, that in her family law practice, she genuinely cares about achieving the best and right outcome for the family, not just clients. She will not engage in 'revenge', and will not tolerate clients that are expecting her to provide that or otherwise unethical behavior.
As regards the 'animals'. I have been to two of her offices, and they have always been completely clean and professional. Yes, there are a few animals, but having a cat nearby when you are recounting a traumatic experience, or considering potentially life-changing options for your family, can be incredibly comforting. All I would add there, is it perhaps speaks to the client and their motives if they are cold and apparently not in need of any emotional support. Frankly, if that is the case, it probably is not the law practice for you, and you probably need to find one of the many unscrupulous attorneys that neither cares about you nor the collateral damage of any litigation.
I have nothing but complete admiration for Ms Ellis, but it is well-founded from her legal ability and compassion. I received a good outcome, completely against the odds in my legal battles. No attorney can guarantee a good outcome, but if you want one of the best legal minds around on your case, I strongly recommend her.
There are always going to be either bitter clients that did not get an outcome they hoped for but was unlikely even with a team of attorneys on the case, bitter 'would-be' clients that either expect pro-bono work, bitter 'would-be' clients that want something unethical or not feasible, and of course bitter opponents and their friends and family. Unfortunately, the very best attorneys often get a disproportionate amount of this. Please consider that when reading some of these reviews!!