1. Michele F. Sutton

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    With a M.B.A. in Operations and Quantitative Analysis, Michele synthesizes keen analytical skills with her legal experience to assist the firm’s clients reach resolution of their commercial disputes.

    “Whether working through the legal and factual aspects of a case with my client or explaining a complex legal issue to the Court, I love being a problem solver.  The satisfaction of helping my client reach a desired resolution is magnified by the privilege of doing so with a team of attorneys I both like and respect.”

    Prior to joining the firm, Michele clerked for the Honorable Harold Lowenstein at the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals. In addition to honing her research and writing skills, Michele gained valuable insight into both trial and appellate practice. Michele has put her appellate experience to work, briefing cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Missouri Court of Appeals.


    • Member of team that represented regional grocery retailer in putative class action brought on behalf of Missouri consumers.  Putative class sought more than $7 million in damages arising from alleged mislabeling of nutritional contents of food supplement.  Obtained dismissal of action with prejudice prior to commencement of discovery.
    • Member of team that achieved Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversal of an award against a medical care services company in long-running dispute with the Department of Labor, in which the Eighth Circuit found the Department overstepped its authority by initiating a company-wide investigation despite only finding reasonable cause to investigate one specific (and limited) issue for one employee.
    • Member of team that successfully prosecuted claims of breach of contract and fraud on behalf of bank after it successfully foreclosed on collateral pledged by debtor which included a minority stake in a privately held family business.
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    • Member of team that obtained temporary restraining order in Alabama on behalf of chemical manufacturer and against key employee of distributor who had taken a position with competitor, resolving the litigation by agreement to prevent misappropriation and dissemination of manufacturer’s trade secrets.
    • Member of team that obtained summary judgment in federal court for manufacturer in breach of contract claims brought by a supplier involving issues of executory contracts in bankruptcy. See Permacel Automotive, Inc. v. Kohler, No. 08-00804-cv-W-FJG, 2010 WL 2516924 (W.D.Mo. June 14, 2010).
    • Assisted in defense of insurer after close of discovery in commercial litigation brought by finance company, obtaining successful outcome at trial.
    • Part of team defending financial institutions in consumer class actions pending in federal and state court in Missouri arising from residential second mortgage loans and alleged violations of the Missouri Second Mortgage Loan Act.
    • Member of team that successfully defended EPC contractor in JAMS arbitration arising from design and construction of an oil-gas hydrocracker refinery in Utah. Mechanical subcontractor sought $12 million in damages for alleged delays, disruptions, and productivity losses. Participated in expedited arbitration and two-week evidentiary hearing that resulted in an arbitration award less than client’s final settlement offer.
    • Member of the team that achieved summary judgment against employee on behalf of energy provider. The former employee alleged disability discrimination and retaliation under the ADA, as well as off-the-clock work.
    • Assisted in defense of manufacturer’s transportation department and driver in personal injury and death claims arising out of collision on an interstate between tractor trailer and minivan. The representation included the trial of minor child’s claims for traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in significant permanent injury.
    • Member of team that successfully defended computer manufacturer in suit alleging the manufacturer’s monitor caused a commercial fire after our investigation demonstrated that the product at issue was not, in fact, manufactured by our client.
    • Obtained summary judgment in contract dispute between retail business owners arising out of a terminable-at-will royalty agreement.
  2. Alex A. McKenna

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    “It is a privilege to begin my legal career with so many talented and well-respected attorneys here at SAKG. I look forward to working with them to achieve the results our clients desire.”

    Twice a Jayhawk, Alex is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law. Prior to graduation, he served on the Editorial Board of the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy and worked in-house for both a university and a Kansas City-based biotechnology company. Alex has experience in a wide variety of commercial litigation matters, including trade secret misappropriation, contract disputes, employment disputes, and many other issues arising from business operations.

    Alex lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife, Addyson, and their chocolate Labrador Retriever, Hershey. Outside of the firm, Alex enjoys traveling, various outdoor pursuits, and rooting on his Kansas Jayhawks.

  3. Andrew J. Lewis

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    “I am honored to have the opportunity to practice with the talented lawyers at SAKG, who share my passion for seeking creative solutions to our clients’ complex problems.”

    Outside the office, Drew serves as a mentor to students at Kansas State University and the University of Illinois. Drew lives in Kansas City and enjoys going to concerts, playing the piano, and rooting on the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, and K-State Wildcats.


    • Achieved summary judgment in Missouri state court personal injury case where damages were alleged to be in excess of $1 million.
    • Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of janitorial company on eve of trial where alleged damages were claimed to be in excess of $2 million.
    • Won $6 million verdict for small Kansas City awards company whose general sales manager began working for a large competitor before quitting his job and secretly misappropriating sales orders and confidential client information to benefit the competitor.
    • Extensive experience serving as lead counsel on a variety of personal injury matters.
    • Served as second chair in a bench trial that spanned 18 months and involved the prosecution of an energy developer’s claims against former employees for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of confidentiality agreements, civil conspiracy, unfair competition, and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
  4. Jeffrey A. Kennard

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    Although Jeff advises clients at all phases of a construction project, the principal focus of his practice is dispute resolution.  For more than two decades, he has been privileged to advise EPC contractors, general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, design professionals, and owners concerning disputes arising from a wide variety of construction projects, including: petroleum and biofuel refineries; food processing facilities; military facilities and government housing; earthen dams; sports stadiums; commercial office buildings and high-rise towers; heavy highway, transportation, and civil; distribution facilities; and condominium, apartment, retail, and mixed-use developments.

    “The key is not the ‘will to win’ . . . everybody has that.  It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” — Bobby Knight

    In addition to trying and arbitrating a wide variety of construction disputes, Jeff has also tried several commercial, professional liability, and premises cases to verdict or award.  These matters included: successfully prosecuting a claim in bankruptcy court to assume executory supply contracts worth more than $500 million, obtaining a complete defense verdict for a publicly-traded mortgage company in a $50 million breach of contract action, and successfully defending an international hotel franchisor in a premises liability action in which the plaintiff sought more than $1 million in damages.

    Jeff serves as a mediator and arbitrator and is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s National Panel of Construction Arbitrators.


    • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended international EPC contractor in arbitration arising from design and construction of Pennsylvania biodiesel facility under cost-plus contract. Owner of facility sought $18.8 million in damages arising from alleged design defects and alleged “mismangement” of project. Asserted counterclaim on behalf of client to recover unpaid fees.  Following three-week evidentiary hearing, arbitrators awarded client entire amount of counterclaim and awarded owner less than one percent of its claimed damages.
    • Represented regional grocery retailer and served as lead defense counsel in putative class action brought on behalf of Missouri consumers.  Putative class sought more than $7 million in damages arising from alleged mislabeling of nutritional contents of food supplement.  Obtained dismissal of action with prejudice prior to commencement of discovery.
    • Served as lead counsel for EPC contractor and surety in Miller Act action brought by excavation subcontractor seeking additional compensation for work performed on project at military base in Georgia.  After completing targeted discovery and defeating claimant’s motion for summary judgment, successfully negotiated nominal settlement.
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    • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended architect and engineers in arbitration arising from roof renovation of domed sports arena in South Dakota. Design-builder sued clients and sought $1.2 million in damages arising from alleged design errors. Design-builder dismissed all claims and paid clients’ fees after third day of hearing.
    • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended EPC contractor in arbitration arising from design and construction of oil-gas hydrocracker at Utah refinery. Mechanical subcontractor sought $12 million in damages for alleged delays, disruptions, and productivity losses. Initially obtained dismissal of suit, which was filed in Utah federal court, based on venue-selection clause in subcontract notwithstanding Utah statute that invalidated such clauses.  Then, pursuant to parties’ agreement to resolve dispute via expedited arbitration and two-week evidentiary hearing, subcontractor obtained $3.6 million award, which was within range of acknowledged liability and less than final settlement offer.
    • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended design-builder in lawsuit arising from construction of Oklahoma food processing facility. Owner sought $850,000 in damages for alleged design and construction defects. Client was awarded summary judgment on all claims, plus its attorney’s fees and costs.
    • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended EPC contractor in action brought by mechanical subcontractor in Texas state court seeking damages for disruptions and productivity losses on refinery project in Oklahoma.  After completing investigation and case analysis, successfully negotiated nominal settlement at mediation.
    • Represented ammonium nitrate producer in AAA arbitration against supplier of anhydrous ammonia seeking refund of portion of tariff reparations that supplier recovered from pipeline operator in action before Surface Transportation Board.  Overcame supplier’s legal defenses, including the parties’ prior execution of a release that arguably barred claims, and successfully obtained award for full amount of client’s claim.
    • Served as lead counsel and defended lawsuit brought by residential homeowner against multiple parties, including our client, which manufactured windows, alleging more than $2.2 million in damages due to alleged construction defects and failure of building envelope.  After developing evidence that performance of windows exceeded specifications and contractor did not properly install windows in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines, successfully negotiated favorable settlement at mediation.
    • Served as lead counsel and represented Canadian manufacturing company in commercial arbitration before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution.  Client asserted claims against Global 500 international company for wrongful termination of distributorship agreement. Following seven-day evidentiary hearing, client was awarded all claimed damages, plus reimbursement of all administrative expenses and costs.
    • Served as lead counsel and defended engineering firm in multi-defendant personal injury action arising from collapse of dust collector system in industrial facility in St. Louis. Upon completing investigation and early assessment, successfully negotiated settlement of claims against client for nominal amount.  Plaintiff later obtained jury verdicts against remaining defendants that collectively exceeded $2.5 million.
    • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended regional grocery store chain in several jury trials throughout greater Kansas City area.
    • Successfully litigated a variety of matters before state and federal courts throughout the United States. Hall v. BNSF Railway Company, 958 F.3d 672 (8th Cir. 2020); Beumer Corp. v. ProEnergy Servs., LLC, 899 F.3d 564 (8th Cir. 2018); Oyler v. Hy-Vee, Inc., 539 S.W.3d 742 (Mo. Ct. App. 2017); Baker v. NNW, LLC, 2015 WL 12843831 (W.D. Mo. 2015); U.S. ex rel. Trinity Indus. Servs., LLC v. Federal Ins. Co., 2014 WL 794000 (M.D. Ga. 2014); CMH Mfg., Inc. v. Hensel Phelps Constr. Co., 2014 WL 897341 (W.D. Tex. 2014); U.S. ex rel. Nowak Constr. Co. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 2013 WL 6017154 (D. Kan. 2013); Brahma Group, Inc. v. Benham Constructors, LLC, 2009 WL 1065419 (D. Utah 2009); Cargill, Inc. v. LGX LLC, 2007 WL 527725 (E.D. Penn. 2007); Hills Pet Nutrition, Inc. v. Nutro Products, Inc., 2005 WL 5932647 (C.D. Cal. 2005); Ellefson Plumbing Co. v. Holmes & Narver Constructors, Inc., 143 F. Supp. 2d 652 (N.D. Miss. 2000); In re Fleming Cos., Inc., 2004 WL 385517 (Bankr. D. Del. 2004); Hernandez v. Hardage Hotels I, LLC, 1999 WL 233323 (D. Kan. 1999).
  5. Taylor J. Jurgens

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    “It is an honor to work with a group of professionals that work collaboratively as a team in order to understand our clients’ objectives and strive to achieve the best possible outcomes.”

    Taylor received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and his juris doctorate degree from Creighton University in 2016 and 2019, respectively.  Prior to moving to Kansas City and joining SAKG, he was a litigation associate with a full-service law firm in Omaha, Nebraska.

    Taylor is currently admitted to practice in Iowa and Nebraska.  He is in the process of obtaining licensure in Missouri and Kansas.

    In his free time, Taylor enjoys golfing, road trips, cheering on the Chiefs and Royals, and spending time with his three dogs, Cooper, Chloe, and Howie.

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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