Mark E. Ashburn (1946-2015)

Mark E. Ashburn passed away on June 3, 2015. Though he is no longer with us, the Firm has chosen to keep its name unchanged in honor of Mark’s contributions to his colleagues, clients, and the community. Throughout his career, Mark provided mentorship, guidance, and wisdom to several generations of attorneys at Ashburn & Mason. He was a true model of how to blend courtesy and good humor with effective advocacy; the Firm strives to maintain that legacy.

Mark first came to Alaska in 1973 to clerk for Alaska Supreme Court Justice Jay Rabinowitz. That clerkship led to a job with the Fairbanks Public Defender Agency where he developed a reputation as a skilled trial lawyer. He later became the chief of the Anchorage civil section of the Attorney General’s office and served there until he joined the firm of Baily & Mason, later renamed Ashburn & Mason. Mark practiced with the firm until his retirement in 2014. To the surprise of no one who practiced with him or against him during his career, Mark was awarded the Alaska Bar Association’s Professionalism award in 2010.

Mark tried over 75 cases and litigated more than 25 reported cases before the Alaska Supreme Court, the Alaska Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He loved to be in the courtroom where his meticulous preparation (briefs always prepared at least a week before they were due) and his natural ability served his clients extremely well.

All who knew him know that Mark’s first love was family - his wife, his son, and his sister. In addition to his immediate family, Mark’s family extends to a network of friends and colleagues with whom he has kept in close contact with over the many years of his life. He will be missed by many, but always remembered.

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  • J.D., Harvard Law School (1980)
  • B.A., Stanford University, Political Science (1976)


  • Alaska (1981)
  • California (1981)
  • Federal District Court of Alaska (1981)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1984)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (1988)