character for the duration of the
proceedings. In keeping with legal
protocol, the proceedings have judges,
though some are of the “celeb” variety, like
Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell.
The audience stands in for the jury and
votes on the case.
The attorneys do fun things they’d never
get away with in real court. In Othello’s
murder trial, they switched roles in the
middle of the trial. On another occasion,
Ashby proceeded to bribe the “jury”—with
real coins, which people gave back afterward.
“I feel lucky that I get to work with her
and go through the creative process of
developing the mock trial play with her,”
says Cory Taylor, an attorney and member
Ashby likes to switch gears in her off time. Favorite
of the Shakespeare board. “There’s no
doubt that Kim is intelligent, witty, sharp
and a very good attorney, but what
impresses me as we’re preparing for the
mock trial each year is how absolutely
fearless she is. She’s up for just about
anything, as long as it entertains the
audience and maintains the integrity of
“That attitude translates to the rest of
her life—how she runs her legal practice,
how she enjoys her life and relationships,
how she loves her son. Kim has many
talents, many interests and many
relationships, and she devotes herself to
Ashby brings the same concentration
and attention to detail to her volunteer
work with the Legal Aid Society of Orange
County’s Guardian ad Litem program, Baxa
says. As part of GAL, volunteer attorneys
appointed by the court advocate in the
best interests of children who are victims of
abuse, neglect or abandonment.
“She’s very caring, diligent and good at
relating to all parties in her cases,” says
Kavita Sookrajh, a GAL program staff
attorney for Orange County.
The kids get stuck in a system in which
they have no control and don’t know whom
to trust, Ashby says. Trying to find ways to
help sometimes keeps her up at night.
“There is a crying need for more people
to get involved with other people’s kids,”
she says. “We need boots on the ground
yesterday and every day thereafter.”
Shoes, brush and spatula
pastimes are running marathons, painting and cooking.
She’s laced up her running shoes for the biggies—
New York and Boston—seven times and four times,
respectively; as well as San Francisco, the Marine
Corps Marathon in Arlington, Virginia/Washington
D.C.; and the Walt Disney World Marathon. In
summer, she has done cycling tours in Europe.
Her career as a plein air (outdoor nature) artist got its
start in 2008, when she took a class at Crealde School
of Art in Winter Park. The Florida Painters Group grew
out of shared experience in the course.
Ashby is a regular participant on weekends. “The
advantage of group participation is critique,
support and shared knowledge,” says noted Florida
landscape artist and group member Claudia G.
Thomas. “Kim is a gifted artist, has sold work, been
in juried shows and participated in the yearly Florida
Painters Group Exhibition at the Casselberry Art
House since 2011.”
Ashby—who is as likely to give away a painting to
benefit one of her charities as she is to show or sell
it—says her influences include Van Gogh, Gauguin and
Leroy Neiman, the famous contemporary sports artist.
She prefers painting outdoors, though she has a studio
at home—not too far from the kitchen, where she
indulges her love of cooking. In the spirit of the movie
Julie & Julia, in which an aspiring writer sets out to cook
her way through all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s opus,
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Ashby has set her
sights on Martha Stewart’s Vegetables.
Her efforts have paid off: She made Martha’s scalloped
potatoes for her firm’s Thanksgiving celebration and
won the baking award. Her secret: Yukon Gold potatoes.
Only 149 recipes to go.
Still Life by Kimberly Ashby