Denise Ashbaugh

Denise Ashbaugh


About Denise

A persuasive and successful trial lawyer, Denise captures the respect of clients and jurors alike. Denise has practiced law for over twenty years, focusing on labor & employment, environmental and commercial litigation. She is honored to work with clients from a wide variety of municipalities, industries and organizations. She conducts personnel investigations and regularly advises employers on compliance with legal obligations, training, and drafting policies and agreements. Denise’s goal is to help clients minimize or avoid the risk of litigation but when litigation proves necessary, she has extensive experience in state and federal trial and appellate courts, bench and jury trials, arbitration proceedings, administrative matters, and governmental and other investigations. Denise also uses her knowledge of policies, procedures and employment agreements in assisting high-level employees in negotiations with past, current, and future employers.

Denise takes the time to know her clients’ businesses and regularly strategizes with them regarding what is the best result of a legal matter for their specific circumstance. In some cases, the best result is taking a matter and winning at trial. For other matters, it is creative, negotiated resolution or hard-fought motion practice. No matter what result is desired, Denise stands with the client at every step and delivers results.

Outside of her professional life, Denise enjoys competing in almost any sport and spending time with her family. You can also find Denise cheering on her two boys in their various activities as well as her beloved Huskies.

More about Denise

  • University of Washington School of Law (J.D., 1998)
  • University of Washington (B.S., economics, 1995; B.S., political science, 1995)

  • The Sophia Way, Past Board Member and Governance Committee Chair
  • Alliance for International Women’s Rights, Board Member/Vice President
  • Big “W” Club, Past Board Member and Vice President
  • Casa Latina, Past Volunteer
  • Washington State Bar Association Community Legal Clinics, Past Volunteer
Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker, “Costing Contract: A Primer on Practices,” May 3, 2019
  • Speaker, “Employment Law Issues for New Supervisors,” 2015-Present
  • Speaker, “Strategic Trial Techniques: Successfully Litigating Employment Discrimination,” National Business Institute, June 11, 2014
  • Speaker, “Conducting Employment Investigations & Just Cause,” State of Washington, January 28, 2014
  • Speaker, “Overview of Discrimination Title VII, WLAD, ADA & the Equal Pay Act: Labor and Employment Law Boot Camp Seminar”, Washington State Bar Association, July 11, 2012
  • Speaker, “Weathering the Storm: Leadership Strategies for Surviving the Current Economic Climate,” Skagit-Island Human Resources Management Association 2009 Fall Seminar, October 16, 2009
  • Speaker, “Harassment and Retaliation Claims from Investigations to Litigation,” Human Resources Law Update, June 3, 2009
  • Speaker, “Current Wage & Hour and Leave Time Laws,” Human Resources Law Update, June 3, 2009
  • Speaker, “Washington’s Industrial Stormwater Permit Plans,” Lorman Education, November 21, 2008
  • Speaker, “Performance Monitoring, Coaching & Corrective Measures,” Human Resources Law Update, November 18, 2008
  • Co-author, “Levying on the Opponent’s Claim Against Your Client,” Washington State Bar News, Volume 62, No. 10 (October 2008)
  • Speaker, “Hearsay or Not Hearsay…That Is the Question,” National Business Institute, November 13, 2007
  • Speaker, “Just Cause and Grievance Arbitration,” State of Washington Training, numerous presentations since 2007
  • Speaker, “FLSA & WMWA – Updates for Public Employers,” February 7, 2005
  • Speaker, “Start Your Day with the FLSA,” In-house Employment Seminar, November 19, 2004
  • Speaker, “Discrimination in Pay,” Lorman Education, June 3, 2003
  • Speaker, “Proper Classification of Employees to Comply with Overtime Laws,” In-house Employment Seminar, December 17, 2001
  • Yarmuth Wilsdon PLLC, 2015-2018
  • Summit Law Group, 2002-2015
  • Stokes Lawrence, 1999-2002
  • Betts Patterson Mines, 1998-1999

Awards & Recognition
  • Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Firms and Attorneys – “Super Lawyer,” 2015, 2016, 2018
  • Washington Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2014, 2016
  • Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Firms and Attorneys – “Future Star,” 2009–2013
  • Named Washington “Rising Star” and “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law & Politics magazine, 2001 to present
  • David and Ruth Cohn Alumni Merit Award, 2009

Representative Matters

  • Successful resolution for environmental client during 2-week bench trial.
  • Counsel for company and individuals in wrongful discharge, age discrimination, and retaliation case. Favorable settlement for dismissal of all claims achieved.
  • Representation of entities through litigation (include first-chair at trial) in defense of claims of gender, race, and disability discrimination and retaliation claims – after EEOC dismissal of claim.
  • Representation of employers in bargaining sessions.
  • Counsel for multiple companies on numerous non-compete matters. Successfully obtained relief sought or successful in opposing injunctive relief following in-court hearings.
  • Counsel for company in discrimination and retaliation action. Obtained dismissal on summary judgment.
  • Provided ongoing labor and employment advice to numerous companies regarding all aspects of employment and labor related matters.
  • Successfully represented numerous employers in grievance arbitrations and unfair labor practice hearings.
  • Counsel for multiple companies in U.S. Department of Labor investigations. Successful resolutions obtained.
  • Counsel for company and individuals in wrongful discharge and retaliation case. Settlement for voluntary dismissal of all claims without any payment achieved.
  • Counsel for employer in discrimination, retaliation and FMLA case. Obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims. Decision affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.
  • Counsel for company and individual in civil case. After a three-week jury trial, obtained a verdict awarding client ownership of business and over $1.2 million in damages.
  • Counsel for large company in multi-plaintiff wage and hour case. After a three-week jury trial, obtained a complete defense verdict.