Kara L. Ellsbury


(T) 307.632.0541
(F) 307.632.4999


Norma J. Hubka


Kara L. Ellsbury’s love of the law began early, when she was nine years old and began “practicing” as an attorney by trying and convicting her sister for minor crimes.  Since the early days, Ms. Ellsbury’s practice has shifted focus to civil and commercial litigation and employment law and litigation.  Kara is an enthusiastic learner and talented researcher and writer.  Combined with her strong analytical capabilities, these skills enable her to identify issues and problems and resolve them for her clients.  Kara builds strong relationships with her clients by listening and getting to know them and their businesses.  She assists them in not only resolving problems, but also by providing them with advice to avoid future issues.  As a litigator, Ms. Ellsbury is confident and persuasive.  She is recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.


January 2018 to present – Partner, Hirst Applegate, LLP

  • Practice areas include: Civil Litigation,  Employment Litigation, Professional Licensing, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation, Wrongful Death Defense, and Public Utilities Law.
  • Also provides Employment Law counselling and training.

June 2015 to December 2017 – Associate, Hirst Applegate, LLP

November 2013 to May 2015 – Associate, Hughes Law Office

2010 to June 2013 – Associate, Hirst Applegate, LLP

Spring of 2010 – Student Intern, UW Domestic Violence Legal Assistance Project

Summer of 2009 – Law Clerk, Hirst Applegate, LLP

Summer of 2008 – Law Clerk, Hirst Applegate, LLP

Summer of 2006 – Legislative Intern for United States Senator Michael B. Enzi


  • University of Wyoming, J.D., (Order of the Coif, with honors), 2010
  • University of Wyoming, B.S. Accounting, (cum laude), 2007


  • Davis v. Harmony Development, LLC, 2020 WY 39, 460 P.3d 230 (Wyo. 2020)
  • In re Application of Powder River Energy Corp., Docket No. 10014-202-CR-19, Record No. 15372, Memo. Opinion, Findings & Order (Wyo. Pub. Serv. Comm’n Aug. 13 2020) 
  • Williams v. State of Wyoming ex.rel., University of Wyoming Board of Trustees, 2019 WY 90, 448 P.3d 222 (Wyo. 2019)
  • In re Application of Powder River Energy Corp, Docket No. 10014-175-CT-16, Record No. 14561, Memo Opinion, Finding & Order (Wyo. Pub. Serv. Comm’n July 23, 2017)
  • In re Application of Powder River Energy Corp., Docket No. 10014-172-CP-16, Record No. 14441, Memo. Opinion, Findings & Order (Wyo. Pub, Serv. Comm’n Feb. 28, 2017)
  • In re Application of Powder River Energy Corp., Docket No. 10014-168-CR-16, Record No. 14314, Memo. Opinion, Findings & Order Approving Rate Increase (Wyo. Pub, Serv. Comm’n Nov. 23, 2016)
  • Campbell County Memorial Hospital v. Pfeifle, 2014 WY 3, 317 P.3d 573 (Wyo. 2014)


  • How to Get in Trouble with Hiring, Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, July 2021.
  • Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress in an Era of Instantly Accessible Live Media, 2019 Transportation Seminar, The Harmonie Group
  • Risky Business or Business Risk?  Risk Management for the Law Office, presented with Mark Gifford, Wyoming State Bar Counsel, September 19, 2018 at the 2018 Wyoming State Bar Annual Meeting & Judicial Conference
  • Workplace Investigations: Lessons Learned from Litigation,  August, 2018
  • “Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress in an Era of Inescapable, Instantly Accessible, Live Media”,   co-author, published in the Wyoming Lawyer
  • Re-writing Wyoming’s Co-employee Liability Statute, 9 Wyo. L. Rev. 645 (2009)


  • 2022 to Present: VP of Programs, Defense Lawyers Association of Wyoming
  • 2021 to 2022: President, DLAW
  • 2022: Recognized by Best Lawyers in America (28th Edition)
  • 2020 Mountain States Rising Star, Civil Litigation Defense – Super Lawyers
  • 2019 to 2021: President-Elect, DLAW
  • 2019 to Present: Chairperson Wyoming State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee
  • 2017 to 2019: Secretary, DLAW
  • 2015 to August 2017: Vice President of Programs for the DLAW
  • 2014 to 2018: Vice President of Kid Prints, Inc.
  • 2010: Excellence in Advocacy Award, University of Wyoming College of Law
  • 2009 to 2010: Rothgerber Mock Trial Competition Championship Team
  • 2009 to 2010: Wyoming Law Review, Comment Editor
  • 2008 to 2009: Wyoming Law Review, Staff


  • Wyoming Bar Association
  • Defense Lawyers Association of Wyoming, DLAW
  • Electric Cooperative Bar Association, ECBA


Kara Ellsbury, her husband, and their two children live near Sundance, Wyoming, where her husband grew up cattle ranching.  After practicing with the firm in Cheyenne for several years, Kara and her husband decided to move to the Sundance area.  Kara and her family enjoy the outdoors and spend their time hiking, boating, camping, and skiing.  They also enjoy travelling and new adventures.  


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