Michael K. Kennedy (1950-2021)


Michael K. Kennedy

A co-founding partner, shareholder and member of the board of directors of Gallagher & Kennedy, Mike practiced in general civil litigation and served as local, regional and national counsel to a variety of business clients, including Arizona sports teams, law firms, retailers and energy companies.

A civic-minded Phoenician, Mike was the Arizona Host Committee Chairman for Super Bowl XLII, is a member of the Executive Committee for the Arizona Host Committee for Super Bowl XLIX, is a member of The Thunderbirds, served as Chairman of the Phoenix Open, has been President of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation since its inception, served as President of the Maricopa County Bar Association and the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, and was an inaugural member of the Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame.  Mike has been consecutively recognized as a “Best Lawyer” by Best Lawyers in America from 2005 to the present and by Chambers USA since 2003.  Acknowledged by Southwest Super Lawyers since 2007, Mike was honored as a “Super Lawyer” in 2013 in all of his practice areas: General Commercial Litigation, Professional Liability Litigation and Representation of Professional Sports Teams.

Representative Experience

  • Handled a variety of contested matters for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals
  • Represented several Arizona law firms in legal malpractice actions
  • Served Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. as national coordinating counsel defending asbestos claims and in other matters around the country
  • Represented an international uranium mining company in response to NEPA/NHPA/FLPMA challenges to operation of its mines in northern Arizona
  • Represented an Arizona refinery in litigation involving NEPA/NHPA claims
  • Obtained a $500 million dollar judgment on behalf of a group of California, New Mexico and Arizona electric utility companies challenging the constitutionality of a property tax imposed on the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Arizona, 1975
  • Arizona Supreme Court, 1975
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1975
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1982

Associations & Memberships

  • Maricopa County Bar Association, President, (1986-1987)
  • State Bar of Arizona, Board of Governors, (1987-1989)
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, President, (1985-1986)
  • Sandra Day O'Connor Inn of Court, Founding Member, (1982)
  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Lawyer Delegate, (1991-1994)
  • Commission on Appellate Court Appointments, Member, (1989-1993)
  • Arizona Bar Foundation, Founding Fellow
  • Arizona Superior Court, Judge Pro Tem, (1984-2003)
  • Judicial Performance Review Commission, Member, (2004-2008)
  • Arizona Board of Trial Advocates, Member

Honors & Awards

  • Lawdragon 500, "Leading Lawyers in America", (2006)
  • Southwest Super Lawyers®, General Commercial Litigation, Professional Liability Litigation and Representation of Professional Sports Teams, (2007-2021)
  • Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame, Inaugural Member, (2008)
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, (2005-2021); Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants, (2016-2021); Sports Law (2017-2021)
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Phoenix Lawyer of the Year, Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants, (2021)
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Phoenix Lawyer of the Year, Sports Law, (2019)
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star - Arizona: Professional Liability, (2015-2020); General Commercial (2016-2021)
  • Chambers USA®, (2003-2020)
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Phoenix Business Journal, Most Admired Leader Honors and Lifetime Achievement Award, (2018)
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Phoenix Personal Injury Litigation Lawyer of the Year, (2012)
  • Arizona's Finest Lawyers, (2011)
  • Arizona Business Leaders Magazine, AzBusiness Leaders - Sports, (2018-2020)
  • Arizona Business Magazine, Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona - Business Litigation, (2018-2020); Civil Litigation, (2017); Professional Liability, (2018-2020); Sports Law, (2017-2020); Commercial Litigation (2013)
  • The Phoenix Business Journal, Business Journals’ Influencers: Law, (2019)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, Community Service Award, (2008)
  • American Junior Golf Association, Digger Smith Award, (2010)
  • The Phoenix Business Journal, "Super Bowl Most Valuable Power Player", (2007)
  • Arizona Cardinals, "Honorary Community Captain", (2007)
  • The Phoenix Business Journal, "Power Player", (2006)
  • Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visitor Industry Champion Award, (2008)
  • Arizona Foothills Magazine, "Valley's Most Influential People", (2008)
  • Founder's Society, Duke University
  • Significant Sig Award - Sigma Chi Fraternity, (2012)
  • Oakwood High School, Distinguished Alumni Award, (2011)

Community & Philanthropy

  • Arizona Super Bowl XLII Host Committee, Chairman, (2005-2012)
  • Arizona Super Bowl XLIX Host Committee, Executive Committee, (2012-2021)
  • Phoenix Open, Chairman, (1994)
  • Phoenix Thunderbirds, President (1995) and Member (1984-2021)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, President, (1998-2021)
  • Thunderbird International Junior Golf Tournament, Chairman, (2000-2021)
  • Phoenix Zoo, The Pride Campaign, Capital Campaign Cabinet, (2019)
  • Greater Phoenix Leadership, (1998-2016)
  • Board of Arizona 2016 College Football Championship, (2014-2016)
  • Paradise Valley Country Club Board of Directors (2014-2021), President (2018)
  • Brophy College Preparatory, Board of Regents, (1999-2012)
  • Xavier College Preparatory, Board of Trustees, (1996-1998)
  • Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, (1994-1995)
  • National Minority Golf Foundation, Director, (1996-1997)
  • Arizona Commerce Authority Board, Member, (2010)
  • School of Theology at Claremont, Board of Trustees, (1994-1998)

Press Releases