Cooper S. Ashley
Partner
Member of Firm Governance Committee since 2003

Cooper Ashley is a partner in Maslon's Litigation Group. Since 2003, he has served on the firm's Governance Committee and served as Chair from 2007-2011.

Cooper's practice is focused primarily on product liability matters on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants and complex class action and tort cases, including environmental toxic tort and fire/explosion cases. He has first-chaired numerous jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, argued appeals before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (en banc), the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and conducted all manner of related fact and expert discovery and motion practice. Cooper has appeared on behalf of clients in multiple state and federal jurisdictions.

Selected Experience

  • State of Minnesota et al. v. 3M Company, 27-CV-10-28862 (Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota). Defending 3M in a pending natural resources damages claim brought by State of Minnesota relating to presence of perfluorinated chemicals in certain environmental media.
  • Braswell v. Polaris Industries, No. 09-02919 (D. Colo.). Worked in conjunction with Colorado counsel to obtain early resolution of a nationwide putative class action where it was alleged that Polaris overstated snowmobile engine horsepower and durability; participated in case and settlement strategy and was charged with the management of Polaris documents and e-discovery.
  • In re American Medical Systems, Inc., CV-11-3933 (Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota). Defending pending consolidated state court actions alleging multiple tort theories against American Medical Systems related to female mesh products.
  • Paulson et al. v. 3M Company, C2-04-6309 (Washington County District Court, Minnesota). Defeated motion seeking class certification of a 67,000 member putative class claiming chemical exposure via drinking water contamination (2007) and obtained a defense verdict on the merits after a seven-week jury trial (2009).
  • G&K Services, Inc. v. Syswa, Inc., et al. (D. Minn. 2006). Obtained multi-million dollar jury verdict in favor of plaintiff uniform supplier against defective industrial detergent supplier.
  • Brooks v. Howmedica, 273 F.3d 785 (8th Cir. 2002). Obtained summary judgment for defendant medical device manufacturer in precedent-setting Eighth Circuit federal preemption case after en banc argument.
  • In re St. Cloud Gas Explosion Cases, C3-99-2293, et al. (Stearns County District Court, Minnesota). Defended and successfully mediated multiple death, burn, injury and property damage claims against cable company arising from natural gas explosion.
  • In re 3rd and Maria Gas Explosion Cases, C9-95-6556 (Ramsey County District Court, Minnesota). Defended and successfully mediated multiple death, burn, injury and property damage claims against local utility arising from natural gas explosion.
  • Association for Better Living v. Federal Reserve Bank, 1994 WL 323412 (Minn. Ct. App. 1994). Obtained defense verdict for the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank against organization seeking to block construction of new bank facility in Minneapolis.
  • GT & MC, Inc. v. Texas City Refining, Inc., 822 S.W.2d 252 (Tex. 1991). Obtained seven-figure verdict for plaintiff refinery in a crude oil storage tank design defect case.

Professional Activities

Minnesota State Bar Association
Hennepin County Bar Association
Fund for Legal Aid Society: Board Member
Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) Minnesota: Board Member

Recognition

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, 2013-2014

Fellow, International Society of Barristers

Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2009

Recognized on Minnesota Super Lawyers® list, 2007-2013 (Minnesota Super Lawyers® is a designation given to only 5 percent of Minnesota attorneys each year.)

AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell® (AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.)

p 612.672.8363   f 612.642.8363
3300 Wells Fargo Center, 90 South Seventh Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Bar Admissions
Minnesota, 1980
U.S. District Court
  • Minnesota, 1980
U.S. Court of Appeals
  • Eighth Circuit, 1989
U.S. Supreme Court, 2001
Education
Northwestern University School of Law
J.D., 1980
Colorado College
B.A., 1976
Notable
COOPER WAS SELECTED FOR INCLUSION IN THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA® 2014 AND THE 2013 MINNESOTA SUPER LAWYERS® LIST, AND HONORED AS A MINNESOTA LAWYER ATTORNEY OF THE YEAR IN 2009.
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