Ashlea’s practice is driven by the complexity of matters and spans numerous practice areas. Her cases involve multi-faceted commercial litigation—most often with multiple parties. Ashlea excels at fact-intensive, meaningful cases, such as:
– mass actions, where hundreds and thousands of people band together against large corporations to recover for personal injuries, property damage, or financial losses;
– business disputes, such as claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, intellectual property and trade secrets, fraud, and misrepresentation;
– large-scale wage and hour collective and class actions on behalf of groups of thousands of employees against some of the largest Fortune 500 companies;
– adversary actions to recover money for bankruptcy estates to pay back creditors after corporate malfeasance has defrauded the masses, including claims for fraudulent transfers, aiding and abetting, breach of fiduciary duties, conspiracy, re-characterizing debt instruments as equity, equitable subordination, products liability, and director/officer liability; and
– Wrongful death actions caused by negligence, complacency, and a failure to care; often times the victims of these atrocious acts are those most in need of our protection, including the mentally ill, low income, and elderly.
Many of Ashlea’s cases are nation-wide litigations where she works with teams of highly regarded co-counsel in multi-district litigations in both state and federal court. Ashlea has managed the day-to-day responsibilities of over 60 class and mass actions.
Recently, Ashlea was part of the leadership teams in mass and class actions against Syngenta Seeds, one of the world’s largest seed manufacturers pending in both the United States District Court for the District of Kansas and Minnesota State Court in Hennepin County. Ashlea represents over 1,000 individual corn farmers and rural elevators who were harmed when the price of corn plummeted after Syngenta released a corn seed that was not approved for export to one of the US’s largest markets—China. In response, China banned all U.S. corn from future import, causing the price of corn to plummet, and injured every corn farmer in America. In addition to her own clients, Ashlea, along with her partner, Rick Paul, oversaw the prosecution of some 50,000 other cases on behalf of farmers, elevators, and exporters pending in Kansas and Minnesota. In September 2017, Paul LLP, along with other leadership firms, settled the claims of all farmers and elevators against Syngenta.
Ashlea has an AV-preeminent rating with Martindale-Hubbell and in 2014 Ashlea was named one of Missouri Lawyers’ Weekly’s Up and Coming Lawyers, an award recognizing litigators under age 40 who demonstrate excellence in the legal profession and in their commitment to their communities. In 2015 and 2016, Ashlea was named a Rising Star by the Kansas City Business Journal. Ashlea has been named as a Kansas and Missouri Super Lawyer in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Wirth, et al. v. Phillips 66, Southwest Aviation, Ascent Aviation, and Amigos Aviation. Ashlea represented the family of a flight nurse who lost her life when an air ambulance crashed after it was mis-fueled with jet fuel instead of aviation gas. A confidential settlement was reached.
Chubb Engineering, LLC v. USA Tank Sales and Erection Company and Cameron Holdings Corp. Ashlea represented Chubb Engineering against the defendants for misappropriation of trade secrets as it relates to tank fabrication and manufacturing. A confidential settlement was reached.
Malloy v. Commerce Bank, N.A. and Bruce Humphrey. Ashlea represented the trustee for the bankruptcy estate of G. David Gordon—the mastermind behind a massive securities fraud that robbed thousands of investors of more than $40 million. Suit was filed against Commerce Bank to recover fraudulent transfers as well as claims for aiding and abetting Gordon’s fraudulent scheme, conspiracy, and violations of Oklahoma’s state securities laws. The case recently resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement.
De La Cruz, et al. v. Masco Retail Cabinet Group LLC. Ashlea represented Account Representatives in a wage and hour collective action arbitration against Masco Retail Cabinet Group. The arbitration alleged that Masco consistently violated federal wage and hour laws by misclassifying its Account Representatives exempt from federal overtime laws and thus depriving them of all the wages they were owed. After a two-week arbitration, the arbitrator ruled in favor of Ashlea’s clients, the class members.
Sanchez and Poland, et al. v. Echosphere LLC and Dish Network LLC. This case was filed on behalf of customer service representatives and other telephone-dedicated employees for unpaid wages and overtime worked at call centers operated by Echosphere and Dish Network. The Arbitrator issued a Final Award finding that Dish failed to pay its employees overtime and awarded the class members damages in the amount of $2.9 million.
Malloy v. Transportation Alliance Bank. Ashlea represented the bankruptcy trustee overseeing the Arrow Trucking Bankruptcy in an action to recover fraudulent transfers and claims for breach of fiduciary duty to Arrow Trucking. A settlement was reached in favor of the trustee.
Tenant Development Association v. Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurant. Ashlea’s client sued for tortuous interference, business disparagement, and civil conspiracy against the Dallas, Texas based defendants. TDA offers franchisees construction management services and Defendants have allegedly interfered with TDA’s contractual and future business relations resulting in significant past and future damage to TDA. The case was successfully resolved with a confidential settlement.
Nicholson, et al. v. UTi Worldwide, Inc. and UTi Integrated Logistics, Inc. Ashlea represented forklift drivers at warehouse and shipping facilities operated by UTi Integrated Logistics and UTi Worldwide. The lawsuit alleged that federal and state wage and hour laws had been violated by failing to pay forklift drivers all earned wages and overtime due for worked performed pre-shift and post-shift. The case was settled in favor of the class members.
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Overtime Litigation. Ashlea prosecuted this FLSA case on behalf of Home Mortgage Consultants who worked for Wells Fargo. A $20 million settlement in the case was reached.
Cabreros and Refuerzo et al. v. Spansion, LLC and Spansion, Inc. A settlement was reached in this bankruptcy case in favor of all Spansion employees who suffered an employment loss as a consequence of a mass layoff, plant closing, and/or termination that occurred at Spansion’s Sunnyvale, California site and who received less than 60 days advance notice of such actions. This is in direct violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.
U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Missouri Lawyers’ Weekly Up and Coming Lawyers (2014)
Kansas City Business Journal Rising Star (2015 and 2016)
Super Lawyers’ Missouri and Kansas Rising Star (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018)
Kansas City Business Journal Best of the Bar (2016)
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating (2017)
EducationUniversity of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, Kansas, 2007
J.D., Clerked for the Honorable Judge Julie Robinson, United States District for the District of Kansas, 2005-2006.
Honors: P. Mize Award for Trial Advocacy
Honors: Robert F. Bennett Award for Public Service
Kansas State University, 2004
B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications, minors in English and German
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key
Honors: Journalism and Mass Communication Ambassador
Honors: K-State Student Foundation Board Member
Honors: University Ambassador
ABA FLSA Midwinter Report, Contributing Author (2015 – 2018)
FLSA Arbitration Strategies, Trial Magazine, Employment Law (April 2013).
From Cooperative to Inoperative Federalism: The Perverse Mutation of Environmental Law and Policy, Wake Forest Law Review, Fall 2006
Nothing is Real: Protecting the Regulatory Void Through Federal Preemption by Inaction, Virginia Environmental Law Journal, 2008
LAKC – Member
Association for Women Lawyers (AWL) – Member; Co-chair – annual golf tournament
KCMBA – Member; Young Lawyers Section; Commercial and Bankruptcy Committee; Federal Courts Advocates Section, Board Member and co-chair of the Kansas CLE committee
Missouri Bar Association – Member
Kansas Bar Association – Member
American Bar Association – Member