James M. Kirkland

  • Bio

    James Kirkland began his career gathering up wins in the courtroom. Over the last several years, he brought that experience and results-driven attitude to the boardroom and to KTK.


    As a young trial lawyer at the Kansas City law firm Husch Blackwell, James brought his enthusiastic and practical approach to cases involving commercial litigation, construction litigation, medical malpractice defense, and general insurance defense.


    In 2001, he moved on to join the Kansas City firm Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, now SNR Dentons, where he made partner in 2005. During the course of his time at SNR Dentons, James successfully tried several cases across multiple jurisdictions for various Fortune 500 companies, nationally known insurance companies, and family-owned businesses. He also focused on complex commercial litigation while leading numerous construction litigation matters and insurance coverage cases.


    In 2007, James seized a valuable opportunity to become Associate General Counsel of RED Development – a retail shopping center development company based in Kansas City and Phoenix, Arizona. In this role, James learned to be flexible and purposeful, working within a tight budget and demanding timelines. He provided counsel on a wide variety of legal issues, financing transactions, contracts, tenant disputes, defaults and collections, trademark and intellectual property issues, litigation matters, liability insurance, risk management programs, and more.


    James went on to become General Counsel for RED Development and currently serves as outside general counsel for other developers.  In the role of outside general counsel, James is responsible for all legal issues in connection with the development, construction, and leasing of various types of retail and mixed-use developments. James has extensive experience in drafting, negotiating, and securing executed leases with local, regional, and national tenants on behalf of regional and national developers. 


    Civic & Philanthropic Involvement:

    • Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Centurions Leadership Development Program, graduate
    • Community LINC, Board Member, 2006-2010
    • United Methodist Church of the Resurrection
    • Youth and Sunday School Leader
    • Board of Trustees, 2007-2010
    • Committee on Lay Leadership, 2004-2007
    • United Methodist Church, East Annual Conference
    • Board of Professional Ministry
    • KEEN Kansas City, founding Board member
    • Committee for the Kansas City Free Health Clinic’s annual Bloom fundraising event
    • Salvation Army, Revolution fundraising event committee
  • Experience
    • Complex construction cases
    • Technology licensing disputes
    • Medical malpractice
    • Nursing home negligence
    • Grain elevators
    • Business disputes
    • Insurance disputes
    • Property insurance disputes
    • Franchise disputes
    • Consumer Protection Act claims
    • Fraud claims
    • Products liability claims
    • Enforcement and defense of non-competition agreements and claims of trade secret misappropriation
    • CERCLA and common law environmental claims
    • Trademark disputes
    • Trademark licensing
    • Real estate transactions
    • Leasing
    • Construction contract issues
    • Insurance and risk management
    • Property management
    • Collections and debt recovery
  • Professional

    Awards & Recognition:

    • Kansas City 40 Under 40, 2009


    Bar admissions:

    • Kansas, 1998
    • Missouri, 1999
    • United States District Court for the District of Kansas
    • United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri


    Associations & Memberships:

    • International Conference of Shopping Centers
    • Association of Corporate Counsel
    • Kansas Bar Association
    • The Missouri Bar
    • Johnson County Bar Association
  • Education


    Iowa State University, BS 1995

    • With distinction


    Law School:

    Drake University School of Law, 1998

    • With High Honors
    • Order of the Coif
    • Drake Law Review, Member
    • ATLA Mock Trial Team, National Finals team member