John P. Ashton, Esq.

John AshtonExperience

With over 44 years of experience as a trial lawyer representing both large and small plaintiffs and defendants in various jurisdictions around the country, John Ashton has a unique perspective on the concerns of parties in a mediation and arbitration setting. He has been a member of the Federal Mediation panel since it was organized in 1993. His vast experience gives him the ability to synthesize complex cases and provide unbiased impressions and input to the parties involved in mediation and to the parties he has represented. These qualities are essential for an effective mediator or arbitrator.

Mr. Ashton has been actively involved in the process of evaluating the
performance of the state’s judges for more than 25 years. He was the Chairman of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee acting on behalf of the Utah State Judiciary from 1995 to 2007. He was appointed by the Utah Supreme Court as one of the original members of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission created by the Utah State Legislature in 2008 and has served on the Commission since that time. He currently serves as the Chairman of the
Commission. His experience in evaluating a judge’s performance lends itself to the mediation and arbitration process.

Mr. Ashton has tried numerous cases in a multitude of settings with success reflected in favorable jury trial verdicts and judgments in such diverse areas as products liability claims, trade secret and intellectual property litigation and complex commercial, real estate, and contract litigation.

As a reflection of the diversity of his experience, he has been trial counsel in a major mine disaster, a devastating roof collapse of a large shopping center, the Utah state tobacco litigation, a class action involving a major national financial institution, a significant contract dispute involving a large Utah ski resortand several lawsuits between oil field service companies involving assertions of theft of trade secrets and other intellectual properties.

Mr. Ashton has been consistently ranked at the highest levels of such peer ranking organizations as Chambers, Best Lawyers in America, Mountain States Super Lawyers, Martindale Hubbell, and other similar ranking organizations. Mr. Ashton is qualified and interested in mediating and arbitrating the following types of cases:

  • Intellectual property disputes including patent, trademark and trade secret matters
  • Complex commercial disputes
  • Complex real estate disputes
  • Construction litigation
  • Environmental disputes
  • Product liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Legal malpractice.

Background and Education

  •  Shareholder and chairman of the Litigation Department Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy (2005-2015)
  • Shareholder and chairman of the Litigation Department Prince Yeates & Geldzahler (1978-2005)
  • Associate Prince Yeates & Geldzahler (1974-1978)
  • Assistant United States Attorney with United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (1971-1974)
  • Admitted to practice by the Bars of the State of Utah (1971) and the District of Columbia (1972)
  • A member in good standing of the United States Supreme Court (1988), six United States Courts of Appeal (1st Circuit 2000, 3rd Circuit 1984, 10th Circuit 1975, 11th Circuit 1987, D.C. Circuit 1972 and Federal Circuit 2000), as well as United States District Courts in the states of Utah, D.C., Illinois, Georgia, Colorado, Ohio, Idaho, Minnesota and Michigan
  • JD University of Utah and Utah Law Review (1971)
  • BA Stanford University (1967)

Other Professional Experience

  • Utah State Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, Commissioner (2008-Present); Chairman (2015-Present)
  • Utah State Judiciary, Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee, Chairman (1995-2007)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation (2006-Present)
  • Sutherland Inns of Court, Barrister & Emeritus (1988-present), President (1993-94)

Representative Litigation

  • Mr. Ashton has over 40 reported cases covering a spectrum of matters for both plaintiffs and defendants spanning his 44 years of experience. Those matters cover a breadth of clients from large Fortune 100 corporations to individuals with problems based in their own neighborhood. He has handled numerous intellectual property lawsuits for both plaintiffs and defendants involving patent infringement, trademark violations and/or trade secret disputes. He has handled class action litigation and successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation with jury trials lasting for many months. He has tried lawsuits in various state and federal courts throughout the country.


  • Listed in Chambers (2009-present) in commercial litigation
  • Listed in the Best Lawyers in America (2007-present) in commercial litigation, litigation – intellectual property, and litigation – real estate
  • Utah Legal Elite
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers (2007, 2009-present) in commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation)
  • Martindale Hubbell (AV Rating Since 1986)

Mr. Ashton’s litigation experience as well as his long term participation in the evaluation of the administration of justice and delivery of those services gives him a unique perspective which can be brought to the mediation and arbitration process.