In her 20 years of practicing law, Ashlee always comes back to something her Civil Procedure professor said during her first year of law school: “Every civil case, no matter how complex, is just people trying to work out the differences between them.” It is a seemingly obvious principle, but one that is easy to forgot when sifting through a mountain of documents or crafting a technical argument about an expert witness. For Ashlee, it means looking at each case first on the macro level and asking: “What is really going on here?” “What interests is the client trying to preserve?” “Is there anything at play for the plaintiff other than money?” The answers to these questions contribute to a sound defense strategy that also respects a client’s corporate personality, business interests and goals.
“Every civil case . . . is just people.” Ashlee is especially skilled at getting to know people and understanding the motivations behind their actions. This skill enables her to bring out the best in defense witnesses, many of whom are emotional and frightened, having been accused of intentionally wrongful conduct. Ashlee is equally skilled at eliciting damaging testimony from her opponents.
“Every civil case [is about] working out difference.” One of Ashlee’s favorite aspects of employment law practice, and one of her strongest skills, is writing, both in motion and appellate practice. She recognizes and can help clients see that sometimes the only way to work out differences is by taking discovery and seeking summary dismissal. When summary judgment is warranted, Ashlee puts her immense experience with drafting – and winning – summary judgment motions to work. On the other hand, Ashlee will frankly advise clients regarding resolution when warranted and is highly skilled at settlement negotiations, especially at finding non-monetary means of bridging the gap between the parties.
Professional & Civic Associations
- American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
- Austin Bar Association
- Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, Volunteer
- Doss Elementary School Parent Teacher Association Volunteer and Committee Chair
- Be The Difference Foundation – Wheel to Survive Committee Chair
- Junior League of Austin
- Little Helping Hands (Generation Serve) Volunteer
- Northwest Austin Youth Basketball Association Board Member
- Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum – Garden Party Committee Chair
Ashlee enjoys travel, tennis, volunteering, running and swimming.
More About Ashlee
Best advice a family member or mentor gave me
Being a zealous advocate does not require a lawyer to leave his or her manners at the door. In heeding this advice, I’ve found that I achieve my client’s goals--and much more efficiently--when I cultivate and maintain cordial relationships with adversaries.
What I would be if I wasn't a lawyer
I would be a college professor. I enjoyed college and would have loved to continue my education further. I am also passionate about research and writing and expect I’d have enjoyed that aspect of the career as much as the teaching.
Something you might be surprised to learn about me
I’m a Harry Potter fanatic.
What I love about my area of practice
Employment law is so much more than merely knowing applicable laws and regulations. It is an ongoing quest to understand people and to use that understanding to help businesses succeed.
- National poultry processing company. USDC, Southern and Western Districts of Texas (2010-2015). Represented large poultry processor in several employment discrimination cases, securing summary judgment in three cases. Two of the cases were appealed: one was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and one was voluntarily dismissed prior to briefing.
- National automotive chain. USDC, Northern District of Oklahoma (2014). Successfully enforced nationwide employment arbitration agreement for national automotive chain.
- Large fraternal organization. Provide employment law advice and representation for various Austin-area branches of non-profit fraternal organization. (2007-present)
News & Analysis
Speaking Engagements & Industry Publications
- “Workplace Investigation Tips for Small Businesses,” Texas Employment Law Letter, August 2017
- “Responding to Employee Strikes Without Violating the NLRA,” Texas Employment Law Letter, April 2017
- “Austin Employers Should Prepare to Comply with DOL’s Revised Overtime Exemption,” Texas Employment Law Letter, September, 2016
- “Austin ‘Bans the Box’,” Texas Employment Law Letter, June 2016
- “New Austin Law Requires Fingerprint Background Checks for Uber, Lyft drivers,” Texas Employment Law Letter, February 2016
- “Tips for Managing Employee Absenteeism,” Texas Employment Law Letter, November 2015
- “Caitlyn Jenner Increases Focus on Transgender Issues in the Workplace,” Texas Employment Law Letter, August 2015
- “Austin Employers Should Ensure Compliance with Texas Payday Law,” Texas Employment Law Letter, April 2015
- “Even in Austin, Employers Should Prepare for Winter Weather,” Texas Employment Law Letter, December 2014
- “Austin Employers Challenged to Retain Good Employees,” Texas Employment Law Letter, June 2014
- “Unpaid Interns Expose Austin Employers to FLSA Liability,” the Texas Employment Law Letter, January 2014
- "Finding a Nexus for Nonperformance of Services: Delegation of Primary Taxation Authority Under the OECD Model," 11 Emory Int’l L. Rev. 111, Spring 1997
- "I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way."
- Thomas Jefferson
- Ashlee represents clients in a wide range of industries, with particular experience in the manufacturing and transportation sectors. Ashlee's practice focuses on counseling and representing clients in all areas of employment law, including race, sex, age and disability discrimination; sexual and racial harassment; denial of employment benefits governed by ERISA; Section 301 "hybrid" actions under the National Labor Relations Act; violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act; common law claims such as wrongful discharge, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress; workplace privacy issues; employment contracts; and employment policies and procedures. Ashlee also speaks and provides training on employment law topics.
Emory University School of Law
- J.D., 1997
University of Virginia
- B.A., 1994
Bar & Court Admissions
- Texas, 2004
- Georgia, 1997
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Georgia Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Georgia Court of Appeals
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas