Ashley W. French

Biography

Ms. French is a Partner in the firm’s Charleston office. She advises employers as to the implementation of employment policies, provides training to employees, and conducts internal investigations on employee complaints. She has a particular focus on discrimination claims, sexual harassment claims, and claims for wrongful discharge and retaliation. Ms. French also regularly handles transportation and trucking accidents and is experienced in handling class actions.

As part of her work with employers, Ms. French has an active practice in construction litigation and claims for deliberate intent. Throughout her legal career, she has consistently practiced in the field of insurance defense litigation, including bad faith. Ms. French has also assisted employers with audits conducted by the Department of Labor and Wage and Hour Division.

She has focused a considerable part of her practice on assisting employers and credit unions with various employment issues and litigation arising under the Federal Credit Union Act and the West Virginia Consumer Credit Protection Act.

Ms. French has trial experience in both state and federal courts involving: workers’ compensation discrimination claims, deliberate intent, wage payment and collection cases, public policy claims, retaliatory discharge, trade secret protection, RIFs, restrictive covenants, transportation and trucking, and personal injury.

Specific examples of her work include: representing various trucking companies at trial throughout southern West Virginia; representing a multi-national media and information firm at trial in a retaliatory discharge and wage payment and collection case; defending at trial a Forbes 200 Global Company specializing in robotics, and power and automation technology; defending companies at trial in cases involving allegations of OSHA and MSHA violations; and representing companies at trial in workers’ compensation discrimination and deliberate intent cases. In addition, Ms. French has handled trucking accidents and blasting cases.

She also routinely represents clients in cases involving allegations of harassment and discrimination cases in both circuit court, federal court, and administrative agencies, and in cases involving the Fair Labor Standards Act and audits by the Department of Labor. Her trial experience includes wage payment and collection cases, public policy claims, retaliatory discharge, trade secret protection, RIFs, and restrictive covenants.

Ms. French is a contributor to international legal publications and the firm’s employment law blog, Rules of Engagement, and a frequent guest speaker at various seminars.

Education

  • University of Virginia  (2007)
    • Trial Advocacy College
  • West Virginia University College of Law  (J.D., 2002)
  • West Virginia University  (1996)

Bar Admissions

  • West Virginia

Court Admissions

  • Southern District of West Virginia
  • Northern District of West Virginia
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Affiliations/Memberships

  • Kanawha County Bar Association, Board Member, 2004-2008
  • President of the Kanawha County Bar Association, 2009
  • Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia, Chair - Labor & Employment Substantive Law Group (2016-2017)
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Executive Council for the West Virginia Bar Association
  • National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association
  • Friends of Clay Center, past Board of Directors
  • Bob Burdette Center, past Board of Directors
  • Junior League of Charleston, past member
  • West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources
  • Pollen8, Inc., Board Member

Distinctions

  • Recipient of the 2010 Generation Next 40 Under 40 award by The State Journal
  • Selected for the West Virginia Super Lawyers®, Rising Stars List