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Spencer Fane Welcomes Two More Associates with Product Liability Practices

April 15, 2024

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce associates Ashley R. Dickerson and Dontan (Don) K. Hart joined the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group in the Phoenix office, rounding out a powerful new team of 11 litigators with national product liability practices led by partner William Purnell.

Ashley and Don expand the firm’s product liability team and general business litigation practice with diverse experience defending clients against product liability and tort claims. An agile pair of litigators with markedly strong attention to detail, Ashley brings an all-encompassing approach to case analysis, investigation, and review while Don taps into intricate technical education and experience to reinforce robust defense strategies.

With a specific focus on defending asbestos and product liability litigation matters, Ashley mitigates risk and maximizes value for her clients while managing cases from inception to conclusion. Within her day-to-day practice, she conducts legal research and develops and executes impactful litigation strategies, with a high aptitude for drafting a wide range of legal documents and conducting meticulous civil discovery. Ashley has worked extensively with Purnell on national asbestos litigation and previously served as National Discovery Coordination Counsel for one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers.

Impressively, Don represents some of the world’s largest manufacturers of automotive vehicles, recreational vehicles, heavy equipment, and consumer and industrial products in multiple jurisdictions in state and federal courts. An experienced litigator, he has defended multinational clients in technical and complex matters involving catastrophic injury and wrongful death. Don upholds a comprehensive understanding of product design and manufacturing and is highly skilled in pre-suit investigation and consultation, discovery, motion practice, and trial preparation.

“Ashley and Don meet the firm’s goals for expansion on multiple levels,” said David Funkhouser, Office Managing Partner for Spencer Fane in Phoenix. “The pair boasts specific experience in a niche area of litigation, contributing to a more comprehensive, effective practice group, while also joining their team of 11 in uplifting cultural values and diversity efforts. We are so excited for the impact they’ll have on the firm both locally and nationally.”

Ashley and Don reinforce their team and the firm in actively pursuing diversity initiatives, with Ashley selected to participate in the 2023 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s Pathfinders Program. There, she expanded on her leadership skills, promoted the interests of attorneys from underrepresented backgrounds, and fostered diverse connections within the legal community.

Ashley received her undergraduate degree from Salisbury University and earned her Juris Doctor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, where she primarily focused on environmental, energy, water, natural resources, and Federal Indian law and obtained a Law and Sustainability Certificate. Don completed his undergraduate studies at California State University, Northridge, then later earned his Juris Doctor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law following a career in the property and casualty insurance industry.