Aaron defends companies in individual and complex cases, including those involving automobiles, building materials, construction defects, environmental contamination, security alarm systems, data breaches, fire-protection systems, unfair competition, commercial disputes, and exposure to allegedly toxic products.
Aaron manages several dockets of cases spread throughout the country that primarily involve allegations of personal injuries and property damages. In every case, Aaron employs an evaluation process in the early stages of litigation so that he can litigate it in the most efficient manner while also obtaining a favorable outcome. He also works hand-in-hand with his clients on a daily basis to address issues he sees in litigation and in business operations to minimize or even avoid future litigation.
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. In one case, he 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. In addition to his pro bono work, Aaron frequently guest lectures at UMKC School of Law and judges moot-court competitions.
Security Alarm Jurisprudence. Aaron represents security alarm companies and has drafted and argued motions on their behalf. In doing so, Aaron has obtained favorable decisions in courts throughout the country enforcing terms and conditions in his clients’ contracts such as warranty disclaimers, subrogation waivers, exculpatory provisions, limitation-of-damages clauses, and limitations on the time to sue. In addition, Aaron has obtained dismissals of tort and fraud claims premised on alleged breaches of his clients’ contractual obligations. For example, Aaron has obtained the following successful orders for his clients:
- An order dismissing a lawsuit involving a residential fire by enforcing a subrogation waiver and alternatively dismissing claims for negligence, gross negligence, breach of implied warranty, and violations of Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act for failure to state a claim. Allstate Indem. Co. v. ADT LLC, No. 14-9494, 2015 WL 3798715 (N.D. Ill. 2015).
- An order dismissing claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of warranty, negligence, fraud, and violations of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act in a subrogation lawsuit involving alleged property damages because the insurance company failed to (i) file suit within a year, (ii) comply with Rule 9(b) and (iii) adequately allege the breach of a non-contractual duty. Home Owners Ins. Co. v. ADT LLC & ACE Sec. Sys., Inc., No. 15-cv-11262, 2015 WL 3763489 (E.D. Mich. 2015).
- An order reconsidering partial denial of a motion to dismiss and granting the motion to dismiss in its entirety by enforcing the contract’s one-year provision and accordingly dismissing the plaintiff’s personal-injury lawsuit because he failed to file suit within a year as required by the parties’ contract. Nickens v. ADT Sec. Servs., Inc., 2014 WL 6910463 (S.D. Ind. 2014).
- An order in a jewelry store burglary case dismissing claims for negligence, fraudulent inducement and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, ultimately limiting the plaintiff’s recoverable damages to the contractually agreed-upon amount. Shakeri v. ADT Sec. Servs., Inc., 2014 WL 5780955 (N.D. Tex. 2014).
- An order in a personal injury lawsuit dismissing a negligence claim and enforcing a one-year time-to-sue provision despite the plaintiff attempting to void the contract. Parra v. ADT Sec. Servs., Inc., 2014 WL 4926277 (E.D. Cal. 2014).
- An order entering judgment in ADT’s favor on claims for fraud, violations of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, breach of implied and express warranties, negligence, gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, and negligent infliction of emotional distress and limiting the plaintiffs’ recoverable damages to the contractually agreed-upon amount. Jacobsen Diamond Center, LLC v. ADT Security Services, Inc., Order Granting Summary Judgment (N.J. Super. Ct. 2014).
- Orders dismissing a negligence claim without prejudice for failure to state a claim and ultimately entering judgment in ADT’s favor on the negligence claim premised on an alleged failure to adequately monitor and respond to a low-air pressure signal. Brotherhood Mutual Ins. Co. v. ADT LLC, 978 F. Supp. 2d. 1001, 2013 WL 5728211 (D. Minn. 2013); 2014 WL 2993728 (D. Minn. 2014).
- An order in a jewelry store burglary lawsuit affirming a district court’s dismissal of fraud and negligence claims and limiting the plaintiff’s recoverable damages to the contractually agreed-upon amount. Nirvana Int'l v. ADT Sec. Servs., Inc., 881 F. Supp. 2d 556 (S.D.N.Y. 2012),aff’d, 525 F. App’x 12 (2d Cir. 2013).
- An order dismissing a negligence claim and enforcing a limitation-of-damages provision in a lawsuit involving a residential fire. Lawson v. ADT Security Services, Inc., 899 F. Supp. 2d 1335 (M.D. Ga. 2012).
- An order dismissing negligent hiring, fraud and RICO claims and enforcing a limitation-of-damages provision in a lawsuit involving a residential burglary. Travis v. ADT Security Services, Inc., 884 F. Supp. 2d 629 (E.D. Mich. 2012).
- An order affirming a district court’s dismissal of a negligence claim and enforcing a limitation-of-damages provision in a lawsuit involving a residential burglary. Jhaveri v. ADT Sec. Servs., Inc., 2012 WL 843315 (C.D. Cal. 2012), aff’d in part, 2014 WL 3512605 (9th Cir. 2014).
- An order affirming the dismissal of tort and fraud claims and enforcing a limitation-of-damages provision in a lawsuit involving a jewelry store burglary. Ram International, Inc. v. ADT Security Services, Inc., 2011 WL 5244936 (E.D. Mich. 2011), aff’d, 555 Fed. App’x 493 (6th Cir. 2014).
Alleged Environmental Contamination. Aaron has also successfully drafted dispositive motions in cases involving allegations of environmental contamination. Aaron recently obtained a judgment in his client’s favor on a negligence claim because his client, an environmental company that ceased operations decades ago, did not have a common-law duty to prevent mine tailings from migrating onto the plaintiffs’ property between 2009 and 2011. Hartness v. Gold Fields Mining, LLC, No. 2011 L 10 (Ill. Cir. Ct. 2015).
Equitable Relief. Aaron recently assisted in obtaining a preliminary injunction prohibiting one of ADT’s competitors from engaging in certain sales practices with ADT customers. ADT LLC v. Capital Connect, Inc., 2015 WL 6549277 (N.D. Tex. 2015).
Procedural Errors. Not one to rely solely on the merits to obtain favorable outcomes for his clients, Aaron has also taken advantage of plaintiffs’ procedural blunders. For example, Aaron successfully briefed and argued a dispositive motion contending that plaintiffs were precluded from proceeding against his client because they voluntarily dismissed the third-party plaintiff and never asserted a direct claim against his client, a third-party defendant, before discovery closed. Ladyansky v. Cooper Wheelock, Inc., 2012 WL 1071187 (E.D. Penn. 2012).
Publications and Presentations
Aaron Kirkland, Overcoming Tactics Used to Avoid Contractual Promises, ACC Colorado, September 29, 2017.
Aaron Kirkland and Jennifer Cascio, Using Contract Provisions Shortening the Time to Sue, Law360, September 21, 2015.
Kristi Burmeister, Aaron Kirkland and Jason Scott, "Enforcing Exculpatory Provisions in Contract Cases Involving Fraud-Based and Gross-Negligence Claims," Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s 11th Annual Update of the Law (Kansas City, Mo.), June 25, 2014.
Aaron Kirkland and Jason Scott, Enforcing Exculpatory Provisions Against Meritless Claims, Law360, March 17, 2014.
Charlie Eblen and Aaron Kirkland, Maximize Your Contract’s Exculpatory Provisions, Law360, July 15, 2013.
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.
Aaron Kirkland, "You Got Fired? On Your Day Off?!": Challenging Termination of Employees for Personal Blogging Practices, 75 UMKC L. Rev. 545 (2006).