Category Archive: Results

  1. Missouri Lawyers Weekly names Jim Griffin to its 2024 POWER list of business defense attorneys

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    SAKG is pleased to announce that Missouri Lawyers Media has named Jim Griffin to its 2024 POWER list of business defense attorneys in Missouri.

    Jim Griffin has more than 40 years of litigation experience on both the plaintiff and defense side, giving him a broad perspective and skill set. This versatility in a wide variety of industries including financial institutions, health care, agriculture, real estate and manufacturing, helps to provide insight and a unique evaluation approach to any case.

    Jim is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has received the prestigious ranking as a “Band 1” trial lawyer by Chambers USA, and has been consistently recognized in Best Lawyers in America in several areas, including bet-the-company litigation. Chambers USA aptly noted that clients prize Jim “for his determination to win cases as well as his excellent trial presence.”

    Jim has been the lead lawyer in more than 40 jury trials, many bench trials, and several multi-week arbitrations in Missouri, Kansas, and other states. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1983. He spent the first 30 years of his career with a local AmLaw 200 firm, Husch Blackwell LLP, where he served as its head of litigation and mentored young trial lawyers.

    The full Missouri Lawyers Media POWER list, which profiles the state’s most powerful business defense attorneys, is available here: The POWER List: Business Defense 2024 (log-in required).

    Jim Griffin


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    Less than two weeks after SAKG obtained a unanimous defense verdict for a local law enforcement agency in an employment discrimination case,  SAKG obtained another unanimous defense verdict for a regional grocery retailer in a premises liability case. Both cases were tried to juries in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.

    The case arose from a slip and fall incident in the parking lot of one of our client’s local stores in late February 2022. The weather that day was dank and dreary; the ambient temperature had dropped from 70 degrees to 24 degrees over the previous 12 hours and the air was misty and foggy. Although the plaintiff admitted no ice was present in the parking lot when she entered the store at approximately 7:15 a.m., she contended the parking lot suddenly became icy – which caused her to slip and fall and sustain various injuries – when she exited the store roughly 15 minutes later. Our client disputed its parking lot was icy and contended the plaintiff slipped because the pavement was damp and she failed to exercise reasonable caution under the circumstances. Our client also disputed the severity of the plaintiff’s alleged injuries and the amount of her claimed medical expenses.

    The jury unanimously agreed with our client and assessed no fault to either party, thus resulting in a complete defense verdict.

    The case was tried by the SAKG team of Jeff Kennard, Greg Frias, and Faith Collins.


  3. Defense Verdict for KCPD

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    A Jackson County jury sided with the Kansas City Police Department on a claim it discriminated and retaliated against an employee based on his religion. SAKG attorneys Brent Coverdale, Andrew Lewis, and Paula Brown showed that the police did not discriminate against the 20-year employee because he was a Jehovah’s Witness. Rather, his 14-day suspension was the result of an 800-page Internal Affairs Unit investigation unearthing multiple instances of misconduct by the employee.  SAKG also proved the timing of the discipline had nothing to do with the employee’s filing an EEOC charge of discrimination and, therefore, was not retaliation.  The trial team received valuable assistance by paralegal Barbara Steele.


  4. SAKG’s Jim Griffin Receives Dean of the Trial Bar Award

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    The KCMBA presented Jim Griffin with the Dean of the Trial Bar Award at their 51st Annual Bench-Bar & Board Room Conference back in May.

    Jim’s trial skills, professionalism, and mentorship are a large part of SAKG’s success. Jim models and mentors clear, concise, and effective case presentation – zealously advocating while remaining professional and often befriending attorneys on both sides of the “v.”

    On behalf of SAKG, congratulations, Jim, on your Dean of the Trial Bar award. Thank you for all you’ve done for the firm, and your continued work and support. We will forever treasure your definition of the word “retirement.”


  5. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment Achieved by SAKG Team

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    The Tenth Circuit recently affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of an SAKG hospital client.  The medical malpractice case was originally brought in the United States District Court of Kansas. The SAKG team of Michele L. Sutton and Todd A. Scharnhorst obtained summary judgment on all claims in the underlying medical negligence suit.   In affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment, the Tenth Circuit agreed the appellant’s state law medical negligence claims were barred by the doctrine of claim preclusion.  The appellate court also affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s federal law claims for lack of personal jurisdiction over the hospital and improper venue, fully resolving the appeal in favor of SAKG’s client.

  6. SAKG Sponsors CCVI’s 36th Annual Trolley Run

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    SAKG was honored to sponsor the Annual CCVI Trolley Run for the second year in a row! Over 3,500 people participated in this year’s Trolley Run, raising over $55,000 to benefit the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. This year they had over 60 family teams, a new record for CCVI, and over 1,700 new participants. In addition to sponsoring, several members of the SAKG team participated in this 4-mile race and crossed the finish line at the Country Club Plaza.

    Read more about CCVI and their mission here.

  7. SAKG Sponsors CPR-AED Certification for Scouts Troop 86

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    SAKG sponsored Boy Scouts Troop 86 from Olathe, KS in earning their CPR-AED certification this past Friday. The firm is happy to support these Boy Scouts in expanding their knowledge and developing skills that help our community. The troop and members of our SAKG team took the course and are now officially certified!


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    SAKG is pleased to announce the newest members of our team, Associate Kathleen Meara and Of Counsel Anne Lindner Saghir.

    Kathleen joined our firm as an associate in January 2024. Kathleen spent the first seven years of her legal career defending doctors, hospitals, and practice groups against medical malpractice claims venued in New York City’s five boroughs as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. Since returning to Kansas City to be closer to her family, Kathleen has expanded her expertise to other personal injury matters including motor vehicle, trucking, and wrongful death.

    Anne joined our firm as of counsel in February 2024. Prior to joining SAKG, Anne worked at well-respected firms in St. Louis, Missouri; Tampa, Florida; and Madison, Wisconsin. She focuses her practice on personal injury claims and commercial litigation.  Anne represented defendants and plaintiffs in a variety and types of lawsuits at every stage of litigation from claim investigation through trial and appeal, and also handles insurance coverage disputes.

    We are thrilled to have them as additions to the SAKG team.


  9. SAKG Team Achieves Summary Judgment for Local Hospital

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    A Kansas district court judge recently granted summary judgment to a hospital defendant in a wrongful death case based on alleged medical negligence. Attorneys Todd Scharnhorst, Steve Brown, and paralegal Karil Watkins were all involved in representing the hospital.

    In its summary judgment motion, the hospital alleged plaintiffs’ case failed as a matter of law because plaintiffs lacked the medical expert support Kansas law requires in a medical negligence case. Plaintiffs argued that they met the “common knowledge exception” to the medical expert support requirement, but the Court disagreed.

    In addition to granting the hospital’s motion, the judge dismissed the hospital from the case with prejudice.


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    Steve is an experienced first-chair trial lawyer who joined the firm in 2014, after twenty years in civil litigation. He focuses his practice in the areas of medical malpractice litigation, professional liability litigation, long-term care litigation, and commercial litigation. We are excited to have Steve join as a SAKG Partner in 2024.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

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Kansas City, MO 64106-2197
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