“My proudest result was for a family that lost a loved one in a plane crash. As part of the settlement, the company instituted random, on-site inspections and year FAA training for all employees across hundreds of gas stations.”
Ashlea’s practice is driven by the complexity of matters and a rigorous devotion to detail. Spanning numerous practice areas, her cases involve multi-faceted, multi-jurisdictional commercial litigation—most often with multiple parties. Ashlea excels at fact-intensive, meaningful cases, such as:
– toxic tort actions arising out of community chemical exposure, particularly those involving migrant farmworkers, agricultural laborers, and other vulnerable populations;
– large-scale products liability litigation, representing hundreds and thousands of people against multi-national corporations to recover for personal injuries, property damage, or financial losses;
– high-stakes business disputes, such as claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, intellectual property and trade secrets, fraud, and misrepresentation;
– adversary actions to recover money for bankruptcy estates to pay back creditors after corporate malfeasance has defrauded a mass group of individuals, including claims for fraudulent transfers, aiding and abetting, breach of fiduciary duties, conspiracy, re-characterizing debt instruments as equity, equitable subordination, and director/officer liability;
– wrongful death actions caused by negligence, complacency, and a failure to care; often the victims of these atrocious acts are those most in need of our protection.
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 specializes in cases involving highly complex, often novel scientific and medical issues. She has managed the day-to-day responsibilities of over 60 mass action suits
In 2014 Ashlea was named one of Missouri Lawyers’ Weekly’s Up and Coming Lawyers, an award that recognizes litigators under age 40 who demonstrate excellence in the legal profession and in their commitment to their communities. Ashlea has been named a Rising Star by the Kansas City Business Journal every year since 2015.
In re Syngenta MIR162 Corn Litigation (District of Kansas, MDL 2591) and In re Syngenta Litigation (Minnesota Fourth Judicial District). Ashlea represented corn farmers who were financially impacted by Syngenta’s decision to release a new corn variety before it had the permissions necessary to ship it to the US’s largest export partners. This lead to a $1.5 billion settlement on behalf of hundreds of thousands of farmers.
In re Dicamba Herbicides Litigation. Ashlea represented a group of farmers who had massive crop damage due to dicamba drift from neighboring farms, decimating their soybean crops. After the first trial in this multi-district litigation, Monsanto agreed to a $400 million settlement that would make every farmer whole from the yield losses.
In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation. Ashlea represents individuals that developed Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after their use or exposure to the herbicide Roundup. The litigations allege that Monsanto knew of the potential risks and failed to warn the public. Ashlea has worked diligently to seek relief for her clients and their families.
Hernandez v. Wells Fargo. A class action lawsuit was filed against Wells Fargo Home Mortgage for wrongfully denying mortgage modifications to homeowners in need. Ashlea represented hundreds of homeowners who were wrongfully denied a mortgage modification. This resulted in settlements totally more than $18.5 million.
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.
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 through 2021)
Super Lawyer Missouri (2022)
Missouri Lawyers’ Weekly Women’s Justice Award Litigation Practitioner
Kansas City Business Journal Best of the Bar (2016)
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating (2017 – present)
University 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 of the Board of Directors; Young Lawyers Section; Commercial and Bankruptcy Committee; President of the Federal Courts Advocates Section
Missouri Bar Association – Member
Kansas Bar Association – Member
American Bar Association – Member
Active member in community services at Church of the Resurrection West