1. Rachel M. Smith

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    “I am proud to work at a firm that encourages collaboration and makes client relationships a priority.  As a young attorney, the ability to learn from experienced attorneys and to create strong client relationships is extremely important to me.”

    Rachel attended college at the University of Arkansas where she was a member of the University of Arkansas Pom Squad and Chi Omega Fraternity. After completing her undergraduate studies, Rachel attended the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she served as the Research Editor of the Arkansas Law Review, a teaching assistant for a first-year Legal Researching and Writing class, worked as a research assistant to one of her professors, and was on the leadership board of the Student Bar Association.

    Rachel currently lives in Parkville, MO with her husband, Chris, and their dogs, Caddy and Millie.  In her free time, Rachel enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and being outdoors.

  2. Anne Lindner Saghir

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    One of the most fulfilling aspects of being an attorney is the opportunity to advocate for othersHelping SAKG’s clients navigate difficult legal challenges in our evolving legal landscape is both rewarding and a privilege.

    An experienced litigator, Anne Lindner Saghir 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.  Anne also handles insurance coverage disputes.  

    Anne effectively navigates the legal issues facing her clients with strong communication skills, resourcefulness and consistent attention to detail.  

    Prior to joining Scharnhorst Ast Kennard Griffin P.C., Anne worked at well-respected firms in St. Louis, Missouri; Tampa, Florida; and Madison, Wisconsin. This professional path built a proven track record of practicing in a wide variety of jurisdictions and venues while utilizing traditional and alternative dispute resolution methods to achieve favorable outcomes for clients. 

    In addition to private practice, Anne advocates for foster children as a volunteer attorney and guardian ad litem with CASA of Jackson County. 


  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Sean P. Hamer

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    “Relationships matter. I view my role as a partner with clients to successfully develop strategies for avoiding circumstances likely to result in lawsuits and to aggressively and cost-effectively defend lawsuits when they arise. Whether in the boardroom or the railyard, my focus is on developing an intimate understanding of a client’s business and people in order to be in a position to immediately and effectively assemble the resources necessary to address any issue that may arise in any matter.”

    Sean’s litigation experience includes a record of success in jury verdicts and pre-trial motion practice. He regularly serves on initial response teams for the investigation of grade crossing accidents, occupational injuries and catastrophic incidents involving the National Transportation Safety Board and other federal agencies. Sean has also served as national discovery coordination counsel for a Class I railroad and is often asked to assist counsel in other jurisdictions where the client is concerned about its exposure.


    • Obtained a unanimous defense verdict in an FELA cumulative trauma case brought by a former mechanical department employee who claimed permanent, debilitating injuries from driving a vehicle over rough roads in a railyard.
    • Obtained summary judgment in the defense of litigation arising out of nationally-publicized derailment of a passenger train resulting in over 60 personal injury claims.
    • Obtained summary judgment on the claim of a railroad locomotive shop employee claiming cumulative trauma injuries to multiple parts of his body. The plaintiff’s liability case hinged on the testimony of a well-known plaintiff’s expert. Successfully moved to strike the expert and obtained summary judgment finding that plaintiff lacked evidence of negligence and claims were time barred.
    • Obtained voluntary dismissal of action by intermodal ramp operations employee related to collision of switch engine with standing railroad cars.
    • Litigated multiple foreign fatality grade crossing accidents resulting in involuntary dismissals and favorable resolution of cases.
    • Defended Class I railroad in action arising out of rollover of company vehicle. Plaintiff alleged defective condition with company vehicle caused vehicle hy-rail equipment to drop causing rollover resulting in severe injuries. Successfully defended case demonstrating that vehicle was not defective and incident was caused by Plaintiff’s impaired driving while under the influence of excessive and abusive dosage of medication.
    • Coordinated numerous investigations of grade crossing accidents, occupational injuries and catastrophic incidents involving the National Transportation Safety Board and other federal agencies. Investigations included assembling teams of investigators with varying expertise depending on the particular needs of each incident.
    • Defended ammunition manufacturer in case arising from explosion in construction area of manufacturing facility resulting in six injuries including severe burn injuries to a contractor employee.
    • Defended insurers of a minor league baseball team in coverage and equitable garnishment lawsuit arising out of wrongful death action from death of game patron after falling while climbing a portable rock wall.
    • Defended former executive of video hardware and technology solutions company in action alleging breach of design and manufacturing contracts for company’s products. Secured favorable resolution in favor of executive and voluntary dismissal of claim.
    • Oversaw extensive investigations related to financial institution bond claims including witness interviews, financial record collection and review, bond coverage analysis and claim negotiation.
  6. Paula L. Brown

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    “All cases are ultimately stories to be told. We are passionate about transforming our clients’ stories into winning strategies.”

    After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in broadcast journalism but prior to attending law school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, Paula worked as a news anchor and reporter for KODE-TV in Joplin, Missouri. Unbeknownst to her at the time, Paula’s on-air broadcasting experience would help develop and refine many of the invaluable skills that cause her to excel as a trial lawyer, including the ability to communicate clearly and react quickly on her feet. As one of her former clients stated, Paula has an “honorable presence in the courtroom and a tenacious attention to detail” while also being “quick and agile in dealing with the ebb and flow in the courtroom.”

    Paula has substantial first-chair trial experience, achieving favorable defense verdicts in high-exposure medical malpractice and railroad injury trials. She has also secured significant plaintiff’s verdicts and settlements in personal injury and employment cases.


    • Negotiated $14 million settlement for woman against apartment management company following her sexual assault by the building maintenance technician who entered her apartment at 3:45 a.m. using a key.
    • Won verdicts in favor of police department in claims by supervisor that department’s decisions regarding his paid time off and discipline were religious discrimination and retaliation.
    • $11.1 million verdict for mother in wrongful death action against landlord for failing to inspect and install adequate smoke alarms in a rental home.
    • Won verdict in favor of railroad against injured driver who claimed grade crossing was “abnormally dangerous” and should have had lights and gates.
    • Secured verdict for railroad in wrongful death action alleging inadequate warnings by conductor during shove of railcars across street.
    • 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 misappropriated sales orders and confidential client information to benefit the competitor.
    • Achieved unanimous defense verdict in railroad worker’s claim of head strike leading to neck fusion and loss of employment. Verdict returned by jury in under 20 minutes.
    • Defended and obtained defense verdict in Buchanan County, Missouri, for surgeon from whom plaintiff sought significant damages, alleging her ureter was crushed during surgery on ovaries. Obtained unanimous defense verdict following jury trial.
    • Obtained favorable result for insurance company in action brought by Attorney General of Pennsylvania seeking more than $3 million in damages and penalties for alleged consumer protection violations.
    • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended gynecologist who allegedly burned patient with heat-sterilized speculum during gynecological surgery.
    • Obtained entry of directed verdict after close of plaintiff’s evidence in jury trial of premises liability action against hospital.
    • Obtained substantial confidential settlement for client who sustained injuries to testicle after physical therapy incident and wheelchair fall in transport van.
    • Appellate briefing and oral argument before Missouri Court of Appeals and Missouri Supreme Court.
    • Representation of licensee before Missouri State Board of Nursing.
  7. Scott R. Ast

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    Scott leverages his firsthand insight and business acumen to provide practical advice that puts each client’s business goals front and center. He has significant first chair jury trial experience in the state and federal courts. Scott’s experience includes multi-week trials of high exposure business disputes and personal injury claims. Scott has successfully litigated commercial disputes involving mergers and acquisitions, lending transactions, trade secrets, product liability and transportation cases.

    “The firm’s success is driven by superior client service. This focus has created a workplace culture of respect, civility and productivity.”

    Scott has also acted as national counsel in the investigation and defense of claims involving fires and alleged product failures.


    • $11.1 million verdict for mother in wrongful death fire case against landlord for failing to provide adequate smoke alarms and failing to inspect rental home.
    • Won defense verdict in Oregon federal court in case involving claims of misappropriated trade secrets and tortious interference.
    • Prevailed with defense verdict in Wyandotte County in case alleging brain injury and permanent disability from head strike.
    • Successfully defended railroad against wrongful death claim by trespassers and motorists at grade crossings.
    • Navigated claims of trade secret misappropriation against manufacturer which had contracted with former employee of competitor, and avoided prolonged litigation
    • Participated in numerous fire origin and cause investigations arising from events that resulted in catastrophic injuries, death and millions of dollars in damage.
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    • Defend manufacturers against product liability claims involving consumer products and components parts.
    • Defended 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.
    • 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. The majority owners had attempted to block the redemption of the stock at the fair and agreed value.
    • Secured voluntary dismissal for defendant after plaintiff’s expert admitted his opinion – that the cause of a house fire was our client’s component part – was unsupported by the evidence.
    • Represented recreational boat component part manufacturer in wrongful death action tried out of state which arose from carbon monoxide poisonings allegedly caused by defects in design in which jury was asked to award over $200 million.
    • Achieved a unanimous defense verdict for manufacturer of exercise equipment in product liability action arising out of commercial structure fire.
    • Defended product liability cases involving battery technologies such as lithium-ion, lead-acid and nickel–cadmium (NiCd) in which products were alleged causes of fires and acid burns.
    • Obtained a defense verdict for medical device manufacturer in jury trial in Kansas City, Missouri, against allegations of design and warnings defects leading to permanent injuries.
    • Achieved dismissal of tractor manufacturer in wrongful death claims allegedly caused by failure of equipment to include roll over protection system (ROPS).
    • Extensive defending manufacturers and sellers in cases involving toxic exposures to acids, benzene, asbestos, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and other chemicals.
    • Recovered nearly all amounts claimed in breach of contract claim arising out of an asset sale in which the buyer failed to pay the agreed purchase price for the assets of a chemical manufacturer.
    • Obtained summary judgment in contract dispute between retail business owners arising out of a terminable-at-will royalty agreement.
    • Obtained temporary restraining order on behalf of chemical manufacturer and against key employee of distributor resulting in prompt resolution of misappropriation of trade secrets case.
    • Obtained summary judgment in federal court for manufacturer sued by supplier alleging breach of a requirements contract for component parts and damages exceeding $1 million.
    • Represented conveyor manufacturer in multimillion dollar contractual indemnity claim arising out of failure of material handling equipment.

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.

1100 Walnut Street, Suite 1950
Kansas City, MO 64106-2197
P: 816.268.9400  F: 816.268.9409

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