Aaron defends companies in individual and complex cases as well as class actions, including those involving automobiles, alleged construction defects, cigarettes, residential and commercial security systems, data breaches, fire-protection systems, and exposure to allegedly toxic products.
Aaron has experience in all stages of litigation, including:
- Drafting dispositive motions, oppositions to class-certification motions, and appellate briefs;
- Preparing witnesses for depositions and trial;
- Taking depositions;
- Arguing dispositive motions in state and federal courts;
- Attending mediations; and
- Negotiating settlements.
Aaron developed a strong interest in writing in college, where he graduated with a degree in English. After college, Aaron was a teaching assistant in UMKC School of Law's Legal Research and Writing Program and editor-in-chief of the UMKC Law Review. Upon joining SHB after law school, Aaron transferred his writing interests to the legal arena, where he has drafted briefs in countless state and federal trial courts.
Aaron has also drafted appellate briefs in numerous jurisdictions, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits as well as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, New Jersey Supreme Court, and the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second and Third Departments.
Most recently, Aaron won an appeal in the Second Circuit. In Nirvana International, Inc. v. ADT Security Services, Inc., the owner of a jewelry store alleged that ADT’s security system failed to detect a burglary that resulted in thieves stealing millions of dollars in jewelry. Plaintiff alleged that ADT forged the customer’s signature on the contract, and, as a result, a provision limiting plaintiff’s recoverable damages to $1,000 did not apply. Both the Southern District of New York and Second Circuit agreed with ADT’s argument that, regardless of whether the signature was forged, plaintiff’s acceptance of ADT’s services meant that plaintiff also accepted the contract’s provisions, including the limitation-of-liability provision.
Aaron also takes an active role in pro bono opportunities. For example, Aaron has represented numerous juveniles at hearings to advocate for the proper placement of a minor following an arrest. He recently defended a juvenile charged with assault in Jackson County Family Court. He has also represented a defendant in a federal mortgage fraud case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. He also frequently guest lectures at UMKC School of Law and judges moot-court competitions.
Aaron serves as a member of SHB's Mentoring Task Force and Professional Development Committee.
Aaron is a member of The Missouri Bar, American Bar Association, Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers and Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.
In addition to being a teaching assistant and editor-in-chief of the UMKC Law Review during law school, Aaron served as a student clerk to Judge Scott O. Wright of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
Matters of Note
Aaron has drafted and often argued numerous successful, dispositive motions in federal courts, including:
- Brotherhood Mutual Ins. Co. v. ADT LLC, __ F. Supp. 2d. __, 2013 WL 5728211 (D. Minn. Oct. 22, 2013);
- Nirvana International, Inc. v. ADT Security Services, Inc., 881 F. Supp. 2d 556 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), aff’d, 2013 WL 1982124 (2d Cir. May 15, 2013);
- Lawson v. ADT Security Services, Inc., 899 F. Supp. 2d 1335 (M.D. Ga. 2012);
- Travis v. ADT Security Services, Inc., 884 F. Supp. 2d 629 (E.D. Mich. 2012);
- Ladyansky v. Cooper Wheelock, Inc., 2012 WL 1071187 (E.D. Penn. Mar. 29, 2012);
- Jhaveri v. ADT Sec. Servs., Inc., 2012 WL 843315 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 6, 2012);
- Ram International, Inc. v. ADT Security Services, Inc., 2011 WL 5244936 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 3, 2011).
Charlie Eblen and Aaron Kirkland, Maximize Your Contract’s Exculpatory Provisions, Law360, July 15, 2013 View
Scott Kaiser and Aaron Kirkland, Federal Courts Retain Jurisdiction over Individual Claims after Removal of Mass Action, Mass Torts Litigation (ABA Section of Litig., Chicago, Ill.), Fall/Winter 2009, at 26 View
Aaron Kirkland, "You Got Fired? On Your Day Off?!": Challenging Termination of Employees for Personal Blogging Practices, 75 UMKC L. Rev. 545 (2006)
Aaron is admitted to practice before the state courts of Missouri, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Michigan, Western District of Missouri, and Western District of New York.
2008 J.D., summa cum laude, University of Missouri-Kansas City
2004 B.A., University of Nevada-Las Vegas