Rex H. Elliott

Rex H. Elliott, 1984

B.A., Denison University
J.D., Syracuse University College of Law

Co-founder, Owner, Trial Lawyer
Cooper Elliott
Columbus, Ohio

Rex H. Elliott ’84, P’23After earning his B.A. in political science at Denison in 1984, Rex Elliott graduated summa cum laude from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1988. At Syracuse, he was an Editor of the Law Review, named to the Order of the Coif upon graduation, and was awarded an exclusive graduate school fellowship for academic excellence.

Rex has devoted the majority of his professional life as a trial lawyer to fighting for the underdog and doing what he can to make the world a safer place. He began his legal career with the Wall Street law firm Sullivan & Cromwell until returning to his hometown of Columbus in 1992 to join Porter Wright Morris & Arthur and to be closer to his family.

In Columbus, Rex co-founded the law firm Cooper Elliott in 1995 and has since had numerous multimillion-dollar jury verdicts representing individuals seeking justice. His legal matters include representing two young victims of harassment in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, leading to the only resignation of an Attorney General in Ohio history. He has represented former Ohio State Football Coach Jim Tressel, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith, former Ohio State President Kristina Johnson, and numerous other high-profile clients. But it is the change he is able to make that drives him to impact our world in a way that protects others. His work has resulted in entire industries being required to change their practices.

Rex has also been on a mission for the past several years to eradicate hazing in high schools and colleges. He has held national fraternity organizations, active fraternity members, and universities accountable for their roles in hazing deaths. But most important to Rex is the effort to work beyond the cases to make sure no other families endure the loss of a son or daughter. He worked to help pass Collin’s Law, Ohio’s 2021 anti-hazing statute that increased criminal penalties for hazing, required colleges to educate students and parents about the perils of hazing and publicly report complaints of hazing in student organizations, and made hazing a mandatory reporting event by anyone that learns of or observes acts of hazing. Rex also persuaded Ohio’s 14 largest public universities to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for acts of hazing, and he has appeared on national programs such as Good Morning America and Dr. Phil, discussing the dangers of hazing. A frequent presenter on hazing at colleges in Ohio and beyond, Rex’s efforts have helped to save lives, and in 2023, for the first time since 1959, there were no deaths on an American college campus due to hazing.

During his time at Denison, Rex was a standout on the Big Red football team, earning first-team All-Conference honors as wide receiver twice and setting the single-season record for pass receptions. He was recognized as Denison’s Most Valuable Offensive Lineman as a senior and was inducted into the Varsity D Association Hall Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. Rex also served as an executive officer of Beta Theta Pi fraternity as an undergrad.

Since graduation, Rex has given much of his time and talent to Denison. He served faithfully as president of the Varsity D Association for more than a decade and was instrumental in developing fundraising programs benefiting Denison athletics. He also created his own fund, which has helped hire and retain assistant coaches and provide other benefits to Denison’s athletics programs.

Rex is married to his soulmate, Samantha, and they have four daughters. Three were college athletes, including Gabby ’23, a starting guard on the Denison basketball team who graduated last year with a B.A. in global health. Rex had the privilege of playing football at Denison with his younger brother David, a 1987 Denison graduate and member of the Varsity D Association Athletic Hall of Fame, who passed away in 2021. Rex’s father, great-grandmother, and two nephews also attended Denison.