State University of New York (Binghamton)

B.A., Political Science, 1973
  • summa cum laude
  • Phi Beta Kappa (1973)
  • Pi Sigma Alpha (1973)
  • University and New York State Regents Scholarships
  • Rischel-Searles Memorial Award (1973)


Indiana University School of Law (Bloomington)

J.D., 1976
  • magna cum laude
  • Articles and Book Review Editor, Indiana Law Journal
  • Order of the Coif
  • Indiana University Foundation and James Calamaras Fellowships



Bar Admission


Gary L. Birnbaum


Prominent Assignments

Lead trial counsel in state court cases in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and California and in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Lead appellate counsel in federal and state (Arizona and California) appellate proceedings.

Experienced arbitrator and mediator of commercial disputes and member of the National Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association for more than thirty years.

Served as leader of transaction teams involved in the acquisition and sale of major hospital facilities, the purchase and financing of a national sports franchise and many other significant business and real estate transactions.

Recognized by "The Best Lawyers in America" as the Phoenix, Arizona "Lawyer of the Year" in "Bet the Company Litigation" (2009), "Alternative Dispute Resolution" (2010), "Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law" (2012), and "Legal Malpractice-Defense" (2013)

Professional Involvement

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (Member, Arizona State Committee) 
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Member, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
  • Fellow, College of Law Practice Management
  • American Bar Association (Sections on Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Law Practice Management)
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar Association
  • American Judicature Society
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association
  • Association of Justice (formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association)
  • Fellow, Arizona Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Maricopa County Bar Foundation
  • Member, American Society of Counsellors of Real Estate (CRE)
  • Member, Lambda Alpha International (Land Economics Society)
  • Member, National Panel of Commercial Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association
  • Member, Panel of Mediators, American Arbitration Association
  • Member, Panel of Mediators and Arbitrators, The Counsellors of Real Estate

Community Involvement

  • Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Program Development, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (July 2006-June 2012). Founder of the "Trial Advocacy" Program
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona) (2001-Present)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, James E. Rogers School of Law at the University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona) (2012)
  • Professor and Co-Founder, Arizona State University Master of Real Estate Development Program (2006-2011)
  • Membership on the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Theatre (1980-1986; 2006-2012) and service for two terms as President of the Theatre


  • Contributing Author, The Law of Eminent Domain - 50 State Survey (Arizona Section) (American Bar Association, 2012)
  • Author, Nichols on Eminent Domain (Chapter 6) (Takings and Damages) (Matthew Bender 1994)
  • Contributing Editor, Commercial Real Estate Transactions Practice Manual (State Bar of Arizona 1989)
  • Author of various articles in Arizona Attorney, Arizona Law Review and Indiana Law Journal 
  • Chairman, speaker and/or panelist at more than 50 seminars sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers, State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, Arizona State University, Law Seminars International, Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, International Right of Way Association, CLE West, CLE International, National Business Institute and other organizations. Topics have included Business and Real Estate Valuation, Eminent Domain, ADR, Negotiations, Title Insurance, Ethics and other litigation-related subjects.


  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating: AV
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (1997-Present)
    • Lawyer of the Year 2016, Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Listed in "Best of the Bar" (Real Estate) (The Business Journal)
  • Listed in American Lawyer- Litigation, Best Lawyers- Commercial Litigation (2004-Present)
  • Listed in The Legal 500- United States (Real Estate) (2007-Present)
  • Listed First Tier in Chambers USA- America's Leading Lawyers for Business (Commercial Litigation) (2004-Present)
  • Listed in Top 50, Southwest Super Lawyers (Business Litigation) (2007-Present)
  • Listed in Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Stars (Commercial Litigation, Eminent Domain, Legal Malpractice) (2012)
  • Selected by "Best Lawyers in America" as Phoenix, Arizona's "Condemnation Eminent Domain Law" Lawyer of the Year (2012 and 2015)
  • Selected by "Best Lawyers in America" as Phoenix, Arizona's "Bet-the-Company" Litigator of the Year (2009)
  • Selected by "Best Lawyers in America" as Phoenix, Arizona's "Alternative Dispute Resolution" Lawyer of the Year (2010)
  • Selected by "Best Lawyers in America" as Phoenix, Arizona's "Legal Malpractice-Defense" Lawyer of the Year (2013)