Ashley Senary Dahlberg
Ashley is a senior associate in our San Antonio office. Her practice covers all aspects of complex disputes, including litigation and regulatory investigations. Ashley also represents businesses and their directors and officers in Texas-based fiduciary litigation, with an emphasis on cases that concern directors and officers of closely held businesses.
While Ashley has represented a diverse mix of commercial entities, her practice concentrates on financial services and securities litigation, including representing US and non-US banks, broker-dealers, municipal advisors, and investment banks in complex disputes. She also represents leading financial institutions in both issue-specific and enterprise-wide regulatory investigations, including enforcement actions brought by the SEC, FINRA and other federal and state regulators. Ashley has worked with a full-service team across our offices on numerous confidential internal investigations for financial firms, and has brought cases to trial and arbitration before Texas state courts, federal courts, and FINRA forums.
Ashley frequently brings her skills as a trial attorney to assist in pro bono matters. Ashley represented a pro bono client in a complex asylum trial related to the persecution of women in northern Africa, resulting in asylum for the client. She also routinely represents pro bono clients in connection with the Community Justice Center in San Antonio.
Ashley is passionate about the advancement of women and mothers in the profession, and was named the 2018 recipient of the Belva Lockwood Award. The highest honor of the Bexar County Women's Bar, it recognizes one lawyer for her reputation, experience, work to improve the status of women in the legal community, and contributions in the form of charitable and volunteer work.
JD, cum laude, University of Wisconsin Law School, 2010
MA, summa cum laude, Political Science, Ohio University, 2007
BA, summa cum laude, Political Science and Women's Studies, Ohio University (Honors Tutorial College), 2007
While in law school, Ashley taught an undergraduate course at the University of Wisconsin - Madison called "The Law in Action," and served as an attorney at the Frank J. Remington Center, one of the oldest, largest, and most diverse clinical programs in American legal education, aimed at producing lawyers who not only know the law and how the legal system operates, but who also have a sense of responsibility toward the client, the profession and the community.
In law school, Ashley was the Articles Editor for the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society and an active member on the Moot Court Board. Ashley was named the 2009 Cardozo BMI Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition's "Best Oralist," and has been recognized for her service and contributions to the Board, having been named Outstanding Coach and having received a Service to the Board commendation. Ashley was also recognized by the State Bar of Wisconsin for receiving the highest grade in a course (Constitutional Law).
Highlights of her practice include:
- Defense of a national bank accused of aiding and abetting securities fraud in the life settlement industry involving tens of millions of dollars of alleged investor losses.
- Defense of financial institutions from claims that they aided and abetted fraudulent securities schemes allegedly perpetrated by their customers.
- Represented numerous broker-dealers and financial advisors in arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
- Handled internal investigations concerning a wide range of topics, including sales practices and regulatory issues.
- Represented clients in investigations and examinations brought by self-regulatory organizations, federal agencies, and state agencies.
Class Action and Commercial Litigation
- Jury trial that resulted in a complete defense verdict for the client, one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit applied scientific research and development organizations in the United States.
- Successfully defeating attempts to certify a class action suit against the client, one of the nation's oldest and most respected national banks.
- Prosecution of a defense contractor's claims for breach of contract against an exclusive teammate related to a bid to obtain a DOD contract for testing laser guided bombs; plaintiff's judgment was obtained following a two week federal jury trial.
- Representation of a leading innovator in the design and manufacture of armored cars and armor for automotive and architectural application.
- Representation of global mobility and personnel services company, specializing in relocation and information technology, and obtaining a complete dismissal of all causes of action in a Texas federal court.
- Successfully excluding experts in full or in part in both state court and bankruptcy litigation, in areas ranging from property valuation to metallurgy.
- Management of complex discovery in multi-district litigation.
Fiduciary and Director/Officer Litigation
- Defense of investment managers from claims of breach of fiduciary duty and usurpation of corporate opportunities arising out of the Eagle Ford Shale (a Texas oil and gas region).
- Defense of precision-engineered lighting manufacturer in fiduciary dispute concerning closely-held business concerning the offer of securities.
- Defense of a drilling contractor accused of tortiously interfering with a preferential right to drill wells in the Republic of Colombia.
- Defense of an aerospace company in multi-million dollar litigation regarding alleged fraud.
Rankings and recognitions
- Belva Lockwood Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, Bexar County Women's Bar Association, 2018
- Leadership San Antonio, Class 40, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Texas Rising Star, civil litigation defense, Thomson Reuters, 2014 - 2018
- Rising Star, S.A. Scene, Scene Monthly LLC, 2012 - 2013, 2017 - 2018
- "Are You My Fiduciary? Informal Fiduciary Litigation in Texas," Texas Lawyer, June 15, 2017
- Co-author, "Fighting Elder Abuse And Defending The Decision To Freeze," Law360, June 21, 2016
- "To Keep a Client, Keep Interests Aligned and Avoid Preference Pitfalls," The Journal of Corporate Renewal, May 2015
- "Managing Complex Commercial Litigation," The San Antonio Lawyer, July-August 2014
- "Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction and Recoupment: Not Just a 'Claim' by Any Other Name," The Journal of Corporate Renewal, July 2011
- "The Matriarchy is Coming: On Mothering and BigLaw," Ohio University Department of Women Gender and Sexuality Studies, Homecoming Keynote Speaker, November 2018
- "Internal Investigations: Best Practices," multiple enagements, including the Association of Corporate Counsel, December 2017
- "What to Expect When You're Expecting Litigation," San Antonio Compliance Roundtable, Austin Compliance Roundtable, November 2016
- "Bad Customer Risk," various San Antonio financial institutions, 2014-2015
- "Law School 101," Ohio University Honors Tutorial College, 2012
Memberships and activities
Ashley is currently the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Clarity Child Guidance Center, the only non-profit mental health treatment center for children and adolescents in South Texas, an organization she has served for many years. Previously, Ashley served on the Board of Trustees of The Public (Formerly the San Antonio Playhouse).
Ashley is a member of the Steering Committee of the Bexar County Women's Bar Association LEAD Academy, a year-long leadership academy devoted to the advancement and development of women in the profession of law. Ashley was a member of the 2017 Inaugural LEAD Academy Class, where she was voted "Most Likely to Change the World for Women" by her peers.
Ashley is also a member of the Texas Bar Association, Bexar County Women's Bar Association, and the San Antonio Bar Association. Ashley is also an active member of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel and the William S. Sessions American Inn of Court.