Phil is a Senior Member of The Cavanagh Law Firm, practicing in the area of family law, which includes divorces with substantial assets, property characterization and complex financial issues, as well as preparation of pre- and post-marital agreements. He is a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers, has been listed in Best Lawyers of America since 1987, and is certified by the Arizona State Bar as a Family Law Specialist.
Phil was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but at an early age, his family moved to Iowa. He attended Iowa State University and Coe College, receiving his B.A. from Coe College in 1968 and his J.D. from Drake University in 1973.
Phil’s litigation experience in family law matters includes the analysis and trial presentation of separate and community property issues, business valuations, the community or separate property characterization of retirement plans, stock options, restricted stock, and other management level compensation plans, spousal maintenance claims and various tax aspects of these financial issues. These issues frequently involve working with forensic experts, including accountants and valuation experts.
Although Phil’s litigation experience has been almost exclusively family law matters since 2000, in the earlier years of his practice, he also had extensive involvement in commercial and/or business litigation, in both federal and Arizona state courts, including anti-trust litigation and securities class actions, as well as other types of business disputes.
In addition to his above-referenced memberships, Phil served as a member of the Arizona Family Law Advisory Commission for Certification of Family Law Specialists, and was a member of the Arizona Revised Jury Instruction Committee, including the original subcommittee on jury instructions in contract cases. He has been a speaker for numerous CLE presentations for the Arizona and Maricopa County CLE programs, as well as Law Education Institute’s national seminars, with an emphasis on business, property and tax aspects of family law litigation.
Associations & Activities
- American College of Trial Lawyers
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Certified Specialist Domestic Relations, Arizona Board of Legal Specialization
- State Bar of Arizona
- American Bar Association
- Maricopa County Bar Association
Awards & Recognition
- Southwest Super Lawyers, Arizona Top 50 Attorneys, 2007 – present
- America’s Best Lawyers, Family Law, 1987 – present
- Martindale Hubbell AV rating
- Arizona, 1973
- Drake University (J.D., 1973)
- Coe College (B.A., 1968)
News & Publications
Top Arizona Attorneys Every year the best of the best lawyers get recognized by their peers for their professional achievements in law. The Super Lawyers Top 50 Lawyers for Arizona has been announced and The Cavanagh Law Firm attorneys have made the grade. Super...
The Cavanagh Law Firm is an outstanding and distinguished law firm in Arizona that covers a variety of practices. The Firm’s exceptional lawyers have an impressive history litigating complex and sophisticated cases. The firm has been recognized by U.S. News - Best...
The Cavanagh Law Firm was selected as one of the "10 Best Law Firms" for Arizona Client Satisfaction in the practice area of Family Law.
Named for this honor are Helen R. Davis, Philip C. Gerard, William M. Demlong, Timothy R. Hyland, Steven Plitt, Scott A. Rose and Terry L Rakow.
U. S. News 2nd World Report and Best Lawyers Recognizes the Cavanagh Law Firm With Tier 1 Rankings in the Following Practice Areas:
Family Law Insurance Law Litigation - Real Estate Litigation - Tax Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants Real Estate Law
Philip Gerard (Domestic Relations), and Timothy Hyland, Steven Plitt and Richard Woods (Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith, Insurance Defense) have been honored ten or more years by Super Lawyers.
Southwest Super Lawyers selected 12 senior attorneys for its 2017 honor. Named for this honor are Helen R. Davis, William M. Demlong, Philip C. Gerard, Connie T. Gould, Christina S. Hamilton, Ralph E. Hunsaker, Timothy R. Hyland, Steven Plitt, Elliot H. Wernick, Richard J. Woods and Jerry D. Worsham II. Steven J. Gross, Jordan R. Plitt and John K. Wittwer were named as up-and-coming, Rising Stars.
Ten lawyers from the Firm were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017 (Copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). Helen Davis – Family Law; Philip Gerard – Family Law; Terry Rakow – Litigation – Real Estate, Real Estate Law; Scott Rose – Land Use & Zoning Law, Real Estate Law; Richard Woods – Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Ralph Hunsaker – Litigation – Insurance; Scott Salmon – Product Liability Litigation; Timothy Hyland – Insurance Law; Steven Plitt – Insurance Law; William Demlong – Insurance Law, Litigation – Insurance.
Ten senior attorneys were named as 2016 Southwest Super Lawyers. In the practice area of Family Law, Christina Hamilton, Helen Davis and Philip Gerard were honored; Richard Woods and Ralph Hunsaker were named in the Personal Injury Defense–General category; Kerry Griggs was listed in the Personal Injury Products – Defense category; Timothy Hyland and Steve Plitt were named in the Insurance Coverage category; and William Demlong and Elliot Wernick were honored in the Civil Litigation: Defense category.
Ten lawyers from the Firm were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 (Copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). Helen Davis – Family Law; Philip Gerard – Family Law; Terry Rakow – Litigation – Real Estate, Real Estate Law; Scott Rose – Land Use & Zoning Law, Real Estate Law; Jeffrey Smith – Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Construction, Litigation – Real Estate, Litigation & Controversy – Tax; Richard Woods – Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Ralph Hunsaker – Litigation – Insurance; Scott Salmon – Product Liability Litigation; Timothy Hyland – Insurance; Steven Plitt – Insurance