- University of Texas School of Law (J.D. with honors, 1995)
Associate Editor, Texas Law Review
- Stanford University (A.B. 1990)
- ABA First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee (past Co-Chair)
- ABA Women in Communications Law Committee (past Co-Chair)
- ABA Forum on Communications Law
- International Senior Lawyers Project (pro bono attorney)
- Colorado Bar Association
- Colorado Women's Bar Association
- Trinity College (now known as Trinity Washington University), Adjunct Instructor in Law of Mass Communications (2003)
- Featured in Legal 500 as part of the nation’s top-ranked First Amendment law practice
- Named a Top Lawyer in Media/First Amendment law by 5280 magazine in 2016 and 2017
- Recognized as the 2015 People's Choice for Best Communications/Media Law Attorney by Law Week Colorado
- Internet Law, in Recent Developments in Media, Privacy, Defamation, and Advertising Law, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal (Winter 2016) (with S. Zansberg and M. Kelley)
- 2016 update to “Anonymous Online Speech,” in Communications Law in the Digital Age (Practising Law Institute 2015) (with M. Gassmann and M. Kelley)
- The Internet: Anonymous Speakers to the Single-Publication Rule, Newsletter of the ABA Litigation Section's First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee (Winter 2011) (with S. Zansberg and K. Larsen)
- Shielding Jane and John: Can the Media Protect Anonymous Online Speech?, Communications Lawyer (July 2009) (with K. Larsen)
- Policing Privacy: How U.S. Law Navigates the Boundary Between Free Speech and Private Facts, Media Law Resource Center Bulletin (Sept. 2007) (with D. Schulz)
- Civil Rights and Professional Wrongs: A Female Lawyer’s Dilemma, 73 Texas Law Review 1419 (1995)
Ashley represents content publishers of all kinds, including media companies, journalists, individual authors, and other businesses, in defamation, invasion of privacy, reporter’s privilege, freedom of information, prior restraint, and related First Amendment matters. She has successfully defended website owners against subpoenas seeking to unmask anonymous online speakers and is recognized as a national leader in anonymous speech law. She provides risk management advice to web start-ups, conducts pre-publication review of articles and scripts for clients, and protects clients’ intellectual property rights. Ashley has litigated cases in the trial and appellate courts of over 10 states and the District of Columbia.
According to The Legal 500, clients have described Ashley as “intellectually keen” and “a pleasure to work with.” She has served in leadership positions in the First Amendment bar, and she is regularly asked to speak and write about media law issues.
Ashley has championed the development of a free and independent press in Yemen, Kuwait, and other countries in the Arabian Peninsula. She has drafted proposed amendments to press laws, advised reporters on developing a code of ethics, and taught international free expression law to lawyers, editors, and journalists. She has also presented on United States media law at several conferences in the Middle East.
Ashley began her legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Sam Sparks of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. Before joining LSKS in 1999, she practiced labor and employment law with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP in Austin, Texas.
People v. Collins, 2016 WL 8115706 (Colo. Dist. Ct. 2016). On behalf of a newspaper, Ashley obtained an order denying a motion to seal the entire case file of a juvenile defendant who had been charged as an adult with attempted murder. The court’s ruling recognized, as a matter of first impression in Colorado, a First Amendment right to access court records filed in criminal proceedings, even in cases involving juvenile defendants. Ashley also persuaded the court to vacate an unconstitutional prior restraint order it had entered earlier in the case that would have forbidden the newspaper from publishing information contained in an arrest warrant affidavit.
Larscheid v. Scripps Media, Inc. (Colo. Dist. Ct. 2014). Ashley, with help from Steve Zansberg, successfully defended KMGH-TV, Denver’s ABC affiliate, in a defamation action arising from an investigative news report about hundreds of confidential patient records found scattered near a grocery store dumpster. The court granted the station’s motion to dismiss and awarded its attorneys’ fees, holding that the defamation claim was barred by the statute of limitations and the remaining claims were barred because the broadcast was true.
Hupp v. Freedom Communications, Inc., 221 Cal. App. 4th 398 (2013). Ashley successfully defended the Orange County Register against breach of contract and invasion of privacy claims based on the Register's refusal to remove certain reader comments posted on its website. The trial court dismissed the suit under California’s anti-SLAPP statute and awarded attorneys’ fees to the newspaper. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision on the merits, holding that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act barred the claims.
Webb v. CBS Broadcasting Inc., 2011 WL 4062488 (N.D. Ill. 2011), reconsideration denied, 2011 WL 4916341 (N.D. Ill. 2011). Ashley and other LSKS attorneys successfully defended CBS against claims that it invaded plaintiffs’ privacy and caused emotional distress by filming them in the backyard of a home in connection with a CBS news report. The court granted summary judgment in a decision that constitutes a significant precedent vindicating the news media’s right to photograph persons and activities in “plain view” from a public street.
Rossignol v. Voorhaar, 316 F.3d 516 (4th Cir. 2003). Ashley and Seth Berlin successfully represented a Maryland newspaper publisher in a civil rights action against government officials, securing a landmark ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that the defendants’ off-duty mass purchase of newspapers on the eve of an election, to suppress the newspaper's contents and retaliate against the publisher, violated the publisher’s First Amendment rights. The defendants paid the publisher $435,000 in settlement of the action after this ruling.
- Ashley I. Kissinger
- 1888 Sherman Street
Denver, CO 80203
Bar & Court Admissions
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Tenth, and District of Columbia Circuits
- U.S. District Courts for the Central District of California, the District of Colorado, the District of Columbia, the District of Maryland, and the Northern and Western Districts of Texas