Edward C. Gillette
Edward C. Gillette is the principal trial attorney and sole partner of the firm, which has an established reputation for effectively representing clients in personal injury, criminal defense, DUI, and domestic relations. Ed has practiced law in the Kansas City and surrounding area for over 30 years, and during that time he has tried well over 75 jury trials and thousands of bench trials.
Ed was born and raised in Wyandotte County and continues to reside in Kansas City, Kansas. He attended the University of Kansas undergraduate and Washburn University School of Law, where he graduated in 1984.
Ed is licensed to practice in the State Courts of Kansas and Missouri, the U.S. District Courts in the District of Kansas, the Western District of Missouri Federal Court, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
In 2013 and 2014, Ed was selected as one of the top 100 trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Organization.
Ed has been active in the community and in politics. He currently sits as Pro Tem Municipal Judge in the City of Kansas City, Kansas. He has served as Chairman of the Wyandotte County Parks and Recreation Board, City Councilman and President of the Edwardsville City Council, Member of the Mid-America Regional Council Board, Member of Governor Kathleen Sebelius’ Transition Team, and Member of the Kansas Gaming Committee.
Ed has appeared and argued cases at all levels, including the Kansas Court of Appeals and the Kansas Supreme Court, experiencing a great deal of success at each level. Ed is one of a very select group of attorneys to win both a civil case and a criminal case in the Kansas Supreme Court.
PERSONAL INJURY/NEGLIGENCE OF OTHERS/WRONGFUL DEATH
Ed has handled or been involved in a number of complex personal injury claims over the past 30 years and has obtained numerous six-figure and seven-figure settlements. In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, Ed's extensive experience as a trial lawyer gives him an advantage in helping you procure the damage award you deserve. At the present time, Ed's caseload is such that he typically divides his time between personal injury litigation and major felony criminal representation.
On September 9, 2011, Ed was successful in petitioning the Kansas Supreme Court to hear a direct appeal from the District Court in Jefferson County, Kansas, on an issue of first impression in the State of Kansas regarding negligent entrustment of an automobile (a civil tort). The issue was briefed by the law firm and filed with the Supreme Court on October 5, 2011, and an additional reply brief was filed on December 14, 2011. Oral arguments were presented on January 30, 2013. On June 7, 2013 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of our client, allowing the claim to proceed, creating new legal precedent in the State of Kansas. (See Martell v. Driscoll, et al., Docket No. 106429)
Ed argued his first civil jury trial in November of 1986 in Wyandotte County. The case involved claims of breach of contract, conversion, lost wages and fraud. After short deliberation, the 6 person jury arrived at a verdict unanimously in favor of Ed's client. The jury specifically awarded $67,000 in actual damages - and finding Ed's argument regarding the defendant's willful breach of contract particularly compelling - the jury awarded an additional $15,000 in punitive damges for a total jury award of $82,000.
Ed is an accomplished trial attorney and his skills have been utilized with great success in the personal injury field involving a wide variety of cases that include, among others, automobile accidents and wrongful death.
In 2008, Ed appeared before the Kansas Supreme Court on a criminal matter involving a former Chief of Police in the metropolitan area and was successful in seeing that case dismissed on speedy trial grounds. See State v. Vaughn, 288 Kan. 140, 200 P.3d 446 (2009).
On February 25, 2011, the Kansas Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision (No. 104,271), affirmed the Douglas County District Court’s decision granting a motion to suppress filed by Ed. The facts involved a DUI stop, which the Court found lacked sufficient evidence to justify the officer’s decision to conduct said stop on public safety grounds and ultimately dismissed the DUI charge against Ed's client.
On January 6, 2012, Ed tried a misdemeanor DUI jury trial in Leavenworth County and the District Judge directed a judgment of acquittal for the defendant and against the State, thus effectively denying the jury the ability to decide the case.
On January 23, 2012, Ed tried a felony DUI jury trial in the District Court of Johnson County, Kansas and the jury, after a little more than an hour of deliberation, found his client not guilty.
On May 4, 2012 the Kansas Court of Appeals reversed the District Court of Douglas County, Kansas and ruled in the Firm's favor in a Fourth Amendment unlawful search and seizure case. For more information, please view the Firm's blog.
Ed tried a misdemeanor DUI case in Shawnee County District on July 9, 2012. Though the District Attorney's office had offered a favorable plea, Ed and his client felt strongly about the facts of the case and opted to put the matter in front of a jury. After only 33 minutes of deliberation, the jury came back with a Not Guilty verdict.
On February 4, 2013, Ed tried an aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer jury trial in the District Court of Leavenworth County, Kansas, in which the defendant was acquitted.
For further information on recent cases and events involving the firm and its members, see our blog.