The designation is a first by the national publication, Best Lawyers, which selected a single top lawyer in several practice areas in large cities across the country. The areas included: Banking Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Corporate Law, Family Law, Personal Injury Litigation, and Real Estate Law.
Best Lawyers compiles its lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. The current, 15th edition of The Best Lawyers in America (2009), is based on more than 2.5 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.
The lawyers being honored as "Lawyers of the Year" have received particularly high ratings in the surveys by earning a high level of respect among their peers for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.
"We continue to believe - as we have believed for more than 25 years - that recognition by one's peers is the most meaningful form of praise in the legal profession," said Steven Naifeh, Managing Editor of Best Lawyers. "We would like to congratulate Gary L. Birnbaum on being selected as the 'Phoenix Best Lawyers Bet-the-Company Litigator of the Year' for 2009."Birnbaum is a senior litigation attorney at Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander, P.A., and has significant experience in all aspects of complex commercial, real estate, insurance and eminent domain litigation.
He has served as the 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. He is also an experienced arbitrator and mediator of commercial disputes and has been a member of the National Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association for more than 20 years.Birnbaum graduated summa cum laude (B.A. with highest honors) from the State University of New York at Binghamton and obtained his law degree (magna cum laude) from Indiana University, where he served as Articles Editor of the Indiana Law Journal. Birnbaum has been elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif. He is a well-known lecturer on business and real estate valuation topics and has been a contributor to the Commercial Real Estate Transactions Practices Manual, published by the State Bar of Arizona, and to Nichols on Eminent Domain, published by Matthew Bender.At the College of Law, he teaches an advanced course on Private Property Rights. Among his civic activities, Birnbaum has also served as president of the Phoenix Theatre, one of the country's oldest continuously operating theaters.