Michael L. Gallagher (1944- 2022)

Michael L. Gallagher

A co-founding partner of Gallagher & Kennedy, Mike practiced in a wide variety of litigation matters.  Since 1995, he was consecutively recognized as a Best Lawyer  by Best Lawyers of America.  In 2015, he was awarded the “Phoenix Sports Law Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers.  Mike was recognized as a Southwest Super Lawyer from 2007-2018.

Over Mike’s career, he represented national and local airlines, physicians and healthcare providers, insurance companies, attorneys and law firms, architects, engineers, manufacturers of numerous products (including automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, farm, heavy duty construction and sports equipment), municipalities, public utilities, and other Arizona and national clients on litigation matters. In the area of professional sports, he represented athletes, franchises, leagues, and cities.

Mike co-founded Gallagher & Kennedy with Mike Kennedy in 1978, when he was 34 years old.

Mike was a former professional athlete and major league baseball scout. He attended ASU on a baseball scholarship, graduating in 1966 with a bachelor’s in history. He played for the Kansas City Athletics and was a scout for the New York Mets before returning to ASU to earn his law degree in 1970.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Arizona, 1970
  • Montana (inactive), 1992
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1970
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1982
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, 1989

Associations & Memberships

  • State Bar of Arizona, Member
  • State Bar of Arizona Foundation, Founding Fellow
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Founding Fellow
  • Arizona Court of Appeals, Judge Pro Tem
  • Maricopa County Superior Court, Judge Pro Tem
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Past President
  • Maricopa County Bar Association, Founding Benefactor
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Phoenix Chapter, Past President
  • Defense Research Institute, Past State Chairman
  • Federation of Insurance and Corporate Counsel, Past Member
  • Arizona State University Law Society, Past President and Member
  • Arizona State University, College of Law, Board of Visitors, Member
  • Arizona Trial College, Faculty Member
  • Pinnacle West Capital Corporation, Director
  • Arizona Public Service Company, Director
  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Western Regional Medical Center, Director
  • Werner Enterprises, Inc., Director
  • Arizona State University Law & Business Program, National Advisory Board, Member
  • Amerco (Parent Company of U-Haul), Past Director
  • Action Performance Companies, Inc., Past Director
  • AMEC Inc., North American Advisory Board, Past Director
  • Omaha World-Herald Company, Past Director
  • First Solar, L.L.C., Past Manager
  • SunCor Development Company, Past Director
  • El Dorado Investment Company, Past Director
  • Phoenix Roadrunners, World Hockey Association, Past Officer
  • Arizona State University, Sun Angel Foundation, Past Chairman
  • Governor's Advisory Committee on Professional Football, Past Chairman
  • Mayor's Advisory Committee on Professional Sports, Past Chairman
  • Arizona State Chamber of Commerce, Past Director
  • Maricopa County Sports Authority, Founding Director
  • Phoenix Metropolitan Sports Foundation, Founding Director
  • Maricopa Mounted Sheriff's Posse, Past President and Member
  • Governor's Special Task Force on Cactus League Baseball, Past Member
  • Phoenix Grand Prix, Charter Committee, Past Charter Member
  • Arizona State University Athletic Directors Search Committees, Past Member
  • Arizona State University Head Football Coach Search Committee, Past Member
  • Arizona State University, Varsity A Club, Member
  • Legislative Committee Studying Tort Reform, Member
  • National Association of Corporate Directors, Member
  • Arizona Baseball Commission, Member
  • Association of Professional Ballplayers, Life Member
  • World Hockey Association Legal Committee, Past Chairman
  • Stanford, Wharton, University of Chicago Directors' Consortium, Participant, 2003
  • Columbia University, Accounting Essentials for Corporate Directors, Participant, 2005
  • Emory University, Goizueta Directors Institute on Nuclear Energy, Participant, 2006, 2017
  • Arizona State Bar Convention, Past Chairman

Honors & Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television and Sports Law, 1995-2023
  • Arizona Business Leaders Magazine, AzBusiness Leaders - Sports Law, 2022
  • Arizona Business Magazine, Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona: Sports Law, Products Liability, Litigation, 2019
  • Marquis Who's Who, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2019
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Phoenix Lawyer of the Year, Sports Law, 2013, 2015
  • Southwest Super Lawyers®, General Litigation, 2007-2018
  • ASU Gold 'n Gavel Award for Public Service, 2016
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star - Arizona: Sports Law, 2015-2016; General Commercial, 2016-2021
  • Phoenix Business Journal, Phoenix's "Legendary Leaders", 2015
  • Arizona's Finest Lawyers, 2011
  • Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame, 2009
  • Champion of the Year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, 2008
  • State Bar of Arizona President's Award, 2007
  • Phoenix Business Journal Top Ten Phoenix Lawyers, 2006
  • Phoenix Business Journal Honor Roll for 25 Years of Contributions to Business Community, 2005
  • Arizona State University College of Law Distinguished Alumni Award, 2005
  • Arizona State University Law School Exceptional Alumni Award, 2004
  • Phoenix Business Journal Valley Influential: Law, 1999
  • YMCA Distinguished Service Award, 1995
  • Mayor Terry Goddard's Citation for Exceptional Performance of Public Service, 1987
  • Governor Bruce Babbitt's Citation for Exceptional Performance of Public Service, 1982

Community & Philanthropy

  • Charlie Russell Riders, 2022 President
  • Rancheros Visitadores, Member
  • Phoenix Thunderbirds, Life Member
  • Verde Vaqueros, Director Emeritus
  • Peter Kiewit Foundation, Past Trustee
  • Phoenix Suns Charities, Past Director
  • YMCA Metro, Board of Directors, Past Chair
  • 1986 Phoenix Memorial Hospital Dream Game, Past Chairman

Press Releases


  • Graduate, The Missouri Auction School, 2000