About

We are a full-service law firm committed to providing thoughtful, aggressive, cost-effective representation. We can guide you through transactions, provide legally-informed problem-solving, and represent you in lawsuits, mediation, administrative proceedings, and appeals. Our firm is well-known to Alaska’s courts, administrative bodies, businesses, and practitioners statewide; and our attorneys have a reputation for being smart, strategic, and ethical.

Clients

We represent a wide range of individuals, businesses, public institutions, and public utilities. We care about our clients, and work collaboratively with you to tailor our services to meet your needs and budget. We value our relationships with established clients and welcome the opportunity to work with new ones.

History

For over 50 years, Ashburn & Mason has been one of the top law firms in Alaska. Originally founded in 1969 as Matthews & Dunn, the firm’s current name—in place since 1988--recognizes the contributions of Mark Ashburn (1946-2015) and Julian Mason, true models of how to blend courtesy with aggressive advocacy.

Practice Areas

We have skilled mediators and arbitrators on staff, with experience in complex industry cases. Julian Mason’s dispute resolution practice involves primarily large commercial cases that necessitate sophisticated financial arrangements, including North Slope oil royalty and tax issues. Don McClintock regularly arbitrates commercial cases involving real estate issues and serves as a court-appointed master in eminent domain cases.

We offer a full-service administrative and regulatory law practice and have extensive experience negotiating with and appearing in front of numerous state and federal agencies including:

  • Federal agencies, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Interior
  • State agencies and tribunals, including the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, Alaska State Commission on Human Rights, Alaska Labor Relations Agency, Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Municipal and local boards and commissions across the State of Alaska

We are one of the preeminent appellate firms in Alaska, with extensive experience handling appeals in state and federal court as well as before numerous state and federal administrative agencies, both in cases where we represented a party in the lower court and in cases where we were brought in specifically for our appellate expertise. We have briefed and argued numerous cases before the Alaska Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Our experience is broad and includes administrative appeals, oil and gas, family law, land use, commercial disputes, utilities, worker’s compensation, constitutional issues, and state and federal jurisdictional disputes over lands and resources in Alaska. Matt Findley, who has argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court, leads our appellate practice.

Notable cases include:

  • Sturgeon v. Frost, 139 S.Ct. 1066 (2019)
  • Sturgeon v. Frost, 136 S.Ct. 1061 (2016)
  • Sturgeon v. Frost, 872 F.3d 927 (9th Cir. 2017)
  • Kenai Landing, Inc. v. Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska, LLC, 441 P.3d 954 (Alaska 2019)
  • City of Kenai v. Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska, LLC, 73 P.3d 473 (Alaska 2016)
  • Mun v. University of Alaska, 2008 WL 3925858 (9th. Cir. 2008)

We assist large and small businesses and their owners in matters including business formation, corporate compliance, and commercial transactions, including:

  • business acquisitions and asset purchases
  • negotiating shareholder agreements and LLC operating agreements
  • executive employment agreements
  • joint venture and independent contractor agreements
  • corporate ownership, dissolution, and withdrawal from a closely held company
  • shareholder proxy compliance disputes

We have a proven track record of successfully resolving complex commercial issues through negotiation, but will aggressively pursue matters in court if needed.

We have a wide breadth of experience in First Amendment matters and media litigation. Our team has successfully represented media clients in state and federal court, and counseled publishers, filmmakers, and journalists regarding access to constitutionally protected materials.

We have extensive experience representing clients who are under federal or state investigation, as well as individual and corporate clients charged with a variety of crimes, particularly regulatory and environmental offenses, white collar crimes, and other serious federal and state cases.

We represent individuals and organizations involved in all aspects of Alaska’s fisheries, including commercial permit holders, processors, guides and lodge owners, hatcheries, and fishing organizations. We were actively involved in the litigation over the Exxon Valdez oil spill and have represented the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation, Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association, and Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association for many years.

Alaska Municipalities, school districts, and the University of Alaska have long turned to us for representation. We understand the unique challenges facing Alaska’s communities and the constraints faced by public entities. Specific matters handled include:

  • Open Meetings Act litigation
  • Board governance issues
  • Assisting with public records requests
  • Construction issues
  • Superintendent and City Manager contracts
  • Collective bargaining, unfair labor practices, and grievance adjudication

We represent employers and employees in every aspect of the employment relationship, including:

  • Defending employers against discrimination, retaliation, and wage and hour claims before administrative bodies, in arbitration, and in state and federal court
  • Representing individual employees in matters involving claims of wrongful termination and workplace discrimination
  • Preparing and enforcing sound non-solicitation agreements
  • Managing employee problems, legal compliance, discipline, and termination
  • Collective bargaining and grievance processing

Litigation is a cornerstone of the firm’s practice. We have represented clients in hundreds of cases in state and federal court as well as before multiple state and federal administrative agencies. Our attorneys have obtained numerous jury verdicts and have handled bench trials, administrative hearings, arbitrations, and mediations. We litigate cases in virtually every practice area, including complex commercial disputes, construction, employment, land use, eminent domain, criminal, family law, procurement, oil & gas, fisheries, timber, and intellectual property. Our recent victories include favorable jury verdicts in a sophisticated contract case, a complex commercial lease dispute, and a real estate trespass case; a defense verdict in a wrongful death case; and successful summary judgment motion practice and a favorable bench verdict in an eminent domain case, upheld on appeal.

We have a wide-ranging oil and gas practice, including expertise in gas sales agreements, oil and gas leasing, unitization, and oil and gas royalty law. We represent the State of Alaska in a number of oil and gas matters, including the Point Thomson litigation and settlement. We have also negotiated numerous gas sales agreements and other contracts with producers on behalf of major public utility clients.

We represent a wide range of companies in various stages of the procurement process, including assisting government contractors in preparing contract bids and providing other procurement guidance, and litigating appeals, contract cost disputes, and debarment proceedings.

We have a long history of representing regulated utilities throughout the State of Alaska, including Alaska’s largest long-distance telephone, natural gas distribution, and natural gas storage utilities. Our experience includes electric power, water, sewer, district heat, cellular telephone, and solid waste utilities. Our attorneys regularly appear before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska in matters varying from utility rate cases, to pipeline tariffs, to general permitting matters.

We maintain a distinguished real estate practice. Our clients include developers, commercial landlords, design professionals, real estate brokers, landowners, real estate appraisers, contractors, subcontractors, and agencies with the power of condemnation. We have assisted real estate interest holders in litigation in a broad range of related areas, including eminent domain, leasing disputes, partnership dissolutions, debt restructuring, and commercial FED actions. Our real estate practice includes experience in:

  • Land use and zoning
  • Real estate purchase agreements
  • Real estate development projects
  • Commercial leasing and evictions
  • Construction litigation
  • Preparing and enforcing easements and restrictive covenants
  • Eminent domain negotiation, litigation, and appeals

We have substantial experience litigating on behalf of trust beneficiaries, as well as defending trust fiduciaries. We have represented clients in various types of trust actions, including breach of fiduciary duty and trust misappropriation cases.