|Affiliation|| Project Innocence|
New York Center for Civil Liberties
|Family|| Unnamed father (deceased)|
|First Appearance||"True Believers"|
|Last Appearance||"Perverted Justice"|
Bayard Ellis is a defense attorney. He used to represent drug dealers until he won a big civil suit in 2004. After that, he founded the New York Center for Civil Liberties and became an advocate for fighting the judicial system.
Ellis is calm, smooth, charming, and even charismatic. He is very passionate when it comes to racial profiling, bias, or prejudice, and is devoted to equal rights amongst the people. He is not afraid to speak his mind and enjoys a good round about debate, especially with Detectives Munch and Benson.
While he is famous for defending African Americans, Ellis will stand up for every person's rights and will put his foot down if there is the slightest hint of racial injustice.
Ellis believes in both the letter and spirit of the law, though he also believes those who work together should not be together. Though they are friendly enemies, Ellis cares for Olivia and would hate to see her jeopardize her position. He displays this concern when he learns Olivia is dating Executive Assistant District Attorney David Haden, and encourages that they end their relationship.
Ellis is aware that he can be harsh, although as long as it preserves the law he so passionately believes in, he'll do whatever it takes to ensure others value it just as he does.
- Acquitted - Represents Michael Wedmore when he is accused of raping Sarah Walsh. He claims that the girl had a prejudice towards him after having sex with an African American bartender the night before. Michael is eventually found not guilty through reasonable doubt.
- Acquitted - Retained by Georgia Stanton to defend her husband, a famous football player named Jake Stanton accused of being a John to a pimp at Benson's insistence. Bayard pleads him not guilty by metal disease or defect by claiming he is so brain damaged that he didn't know what he was doing. Jake is eventually found not guilty but Jake commits suicide by shooting himself in the chest when his dementia came to light during the trial.
- Took a plea - Retained by Olivia Benson to represent her half-brother, Simon Marsden and his fiancee Tracy, in both a possession of marijuana charge and a child custody case involving his daughter and step-son. The criminal case against Marsden was dismissed as it was based on racial profiling, but was unable to get the couple custody of their kids. Ellis tried to appeal the ruling on the grounds that the judge typically displayed racial bias. After Simon kidnapped his children with Tracy's help, Ellis represented them in their new criminal trial. He worked out a deal with Tracy's new attorney where Tracy would regain custody of their children so long as Simon isn't living with them and the kidnapping charge is reduced to custodial interference Simon only serving sixty days. He has a chance of regaining custody in three years.
- Released from death row. Serving the rest of his prison time.