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Border Wars: An Introduction to the Series By Casey Tourtillott


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The line separating Kansas from Missouri has long been a source of conflict. Whether it be the historic battles between the Jayhawkers and the Bushwhackers, or the once-annual NCAA showdowns between the University of Missouri Tigers and the University of Kansas Jayhawks, the rivalry runs deep.

Geographically, the Kansas City metropolitan area touches both states. And for attorneys practicing law in the greater Kansas City area, the state line still carries heavy significance. It matters whether a case is filed in Missouri or Kansas, in either federal court or state court. It matters a great deal. In the state arena, the laws of the states differ at varying levels. In the federal arena, practitioners face not only distinct district courts, but also different federal circuits: the Missouri federal courts lie in the Eighth Circuit while the Kansas federal court lies in the Tenth. Each court has in place its own policies, procedures, and rules.

Are these differences important? Absolutely. They are critical. Plaintiffs’ counsel must recognize which state’s law is more beneficial for their clients so that if they have a choice, they can file in the more favorable court. And defense counsel should recognize that unique defenses may be … Read the full text …