Snell & Wilmer Elects 15 New Partners including 7 in Arizona

Snell & Wilmer is pleased to announce 15 attorneys have been elected to join the firm’s partnership, effective January 1, 2014. New partners here in Arizona include: William F. Mulholland, II, David G. Barker, Manuel H. Cairo, Robert F. Kethcart, Kelly A. Kszywienski, Michael T. Liburdi, and Amelie Bredas Messingham.


“We are extremely proud to welcome this group of very talented attorneys into our partnership,” said Chairman John Bouma. “Their exceptional legal skills, leadership, achievements and commitment to client service set them apart.”

William Mulholland

William Mulholland

Snell & Wilmer’s new partners in Arizona are:

William F. Mulholland, II (Phoenix) 

– Mulholland’s practice is concentrated in intellectual property law, including patent, copyright, and trademark licensing, litigation and procurement. His past experience includes serving as in-house counsel for pharmaceutical and agribusiness-based industries.  A substantial portion of Mulholland’s practice involves strategic counseling for these industries, including all IP-related aspects of discovery, development and commercialization activities. He has extensive transactional experience and has successfully negotiated a wide range of licenses and other agreements in support of various industry and university alliances. His patent procurement practice includes comprehensive life-cycle management planning, from emerging technologies to post-patent expiry of commercial products.  His practice also includes U.S. interferences and European oppositions as well as matters before the USPTO Board of Appeals and the Federal Courts. Mulholland earned his J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School and his master’s degree in Molecular Biology from Brown University. He received his B.S., cum laude, from the University of Arizona.

David G. Barker (Phoenix) – Barker is an intellectual property litigator with experience in patent infringement, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, trade secret, and trademark opposition and cancellation cases. He has trial experience in federal and state court. Barker also is a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and has prosecuted patent, trademark and copyright applications. He has experience counseling clients regarding intellectual property portfolio development and strategy, and in licensing, business transactions, due diligence, and clearance, infringement and patentability searches. Barker’s technical and case experience includes computer, Internet, mechanical, electrical, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, communications, financial and power systems, as well as software, firearms, food processing devices and medical devices. Barker earned his J.D. from Duke University School of Law and both his B.S. and M.S. from Brigham Young University.

Manuel H. Cairo (Phoenix) – Cairo’s practice is concentrated on labor and employment, and immigration law matters. He represents employers in single and multi-plaintiff disputes in federal and state courts regarding discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, wage and hour, trade secret, wrongful termination, business torts, and other types of employment matters. He has experience representing employers regarding occupational safety and health, and workers’ compensation matters before the Industrial Commission of Arizona. His practice also focuses on counseling employers on worksite enforcement and corporate compliance strategies. Cairo regularly advises employers in developing comprehensive best practices designed to avoid employer liability under both federal and state immigration laws. Cairo earned his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law and his B.A. from the University of California Los Angeles.

Robert F. Kethcart (Phoenix) – Kethcart is a business attorney and litigator whose practice focuses on insurance coverage, real estate litigation, and medical and dental liability defense. In the insurance arena, he advises carriers and policyholders with a wide range of issues, including policy development, policy interpretation and coverage analyses, and compliance, and he litigates coverage disputes and bad faith claims. He represents businesses and individuals in complex business litigation involving real estate title and lending disputes, contract-based claims, and business torts such as fraud, misrepresentation, and intentional interference with contract. In his healthcare practice, Kethcart represents healthcare providers in litigation and before state licensing boards. He also advises dentists in connection with the sale and purchase of dental practices, and he provides ongoing legal counsel to dental practices regarding various issues that arise in the day-to-day operation of their businesses. Kethcart earned his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law and his B.S. from the University of Colorado.

Kelly A. Kszywienski (Phoenix) – Kszywienski assists clients in resolving complex commercial disputes, disputes involving governmental entities and appeals. In her commercial practice, she has represented individuals, financial institutions, and business entities in disputes involving commercial contracts, business torts, and various state and federal statutory schemes. Her governmental practice has included disputes regarding the validity and construction of state and federal statutes and claims arising under the Arizona and U.S. Constitutions. In her appellate practice, she has been involved in numerous appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, state courts of appeal and state supreme courts. She has also represented the interests of amici curiae and participated in a merits case before the United States Supreme Court. Kszywienski earned her J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Toledo College of Law where she was valedictorian, and her B.A. from the University of Connecticut.

Michael T. Liburdi (Phoenix) – Liburdi focuses his practice on healthcare litigation, commercial litigation, government relations and election law. He has extensive experience in complex commercial litigation disputes that includes antitrust, securities, breach of contract and professional negligence actions. His election law practice includes advising candidates and initiative committees on matters ranging from constitutional law, campaign finance law compliance, election law complaints and initiative drafting. Liburdi received both his J.D. and B.S. from Arizona State University and clerked for the Hon. Ruth V. McGregor on the Supreme Court of Arizona.

Amelie Bredas Messingham (Tucson) – Messingham’s practice is concentrated in commercial finance and real estate. She regularly represents financial institutions on a wide range of matters, including real estate secured lending transactions, construction loans, hotel loans, loan sales, and loan restructures and workouts. She also has significant experience providing legal services with respect to commercial real estate acquisition matters. Messingham earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Georgia and her B.A. in Economics and History, minor in Math, summa cum laude, with honors, from the University of Arizona.


About Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.

Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm with more than 400 attorneys practicing in nine locations throughout the western United States and in Mexico, including Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Los Angeles and Orange County, California; Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Los Cabos, Mexico. The firm represents clients ranging from large, publicly traded corporations to small businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

Posted in AZBio News.