The Best Lawyers in Hawaii 2009

With one eye on the economy and another on the needs of our readers, assistant editor Tiffany Hill spoke to some of this year’s honorees to get legal advice for tough times in "Lawyers Who Can Save You in a Bad Economy."

How do attorneys make it onto the list? Solely by the vote of their peers, explains Best Lawyers. Listings cannot be bought, and no purchase is required to be included. The 2009 edition is based on more than 2.2 million evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers nationwide.

As Best Lawyers explains, “The nomination pool for the 2009 edition consisted of all lawyers whose names appeared in the previous edition of Best Lawyers, lawyers who were nominated since the previous survey and new nominees solicited from listed attorneys. In general, lawyers were asked to vote only on nominees in their own specialty in their own jurisdiction. Lawyers in closely related specialties were asked to vote across specialties, as were lawyers in smaller jurisdictions. Where specialties are national or international in nature, lawyers were asked to vote nationally as well as locally. Voting lawyers were also given an opportunity to offer more detailed comments on nominees.

“Voting lawyers were provided this general guideline for determining if a nominee should be listed among “the best”: If you had a close friend or relative who needed a real estate lawyer (for example), and you could not handle the case yourself, to whom would you refer them? All votes and comments were solicited with a guarantee of confidentiality.

“Ultimately, a lawyer’s inclusion is based on the subjective judgments of his or her fellow attorneys. While it is true that the lists may at times disproportionately reward visibility or popularity, the breadth of the survey, the candor of the respondents and the sophistication of the polling methodology largely correct for any biases.”

For those of you who enjoy detailed explanations of survey mechanics, you can learn more about the process online at

Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers now designates “Lawyers of the Year” in high-profile legal specialties. Only one lawyer in each specialty in each community is being honored as a “Lawyer of the Year” for 2009.

The selected “Lawyers of the Year” were those who, during the past two surveys by Best Lawyers, received particularly high ratings from most of their peers. According to Best Lawyers, “The selected lawyers have earned a high level of respect among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same specialties for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.”

For more information on how the “Lawyers of the Year” were selected, visit

HONOLULU Magazine congratulates these six Honolulu-based attorneys achieving the “Lawyer of the Year” distinction. You can also find them listed with their categories, identified with a symbol. They are:

Paul D. Alston
Bet-the-Company Litigation

Deborah Macer Chun
Banking Law

William C. Darrah
Family Law

Mark S. Davis
Personal Injury Litigation

John Jubinsky
Real Estate Law

David J. Reber
Corporate Law


The Fine Print
These lists are excerpted from The Best Lawyers in America® 2009, which includes listings for more than 36,000 lawyers in 80 specialties, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Best Lawyers in America® is published by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, South Carolina and can be ordered directly from the publisher. For information call 803-648-0300; write to 129 First Avenue, SW, Aiken, SC 29801; e-mail; or visit Online subscriptions to Best Lawyers® databases are available at

Woodward/White Inc., has used its best efforts in assembling material for this list but does not warrant that the information contained herein is complete or accurate, and does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. All listed attorneys have been verified as being members in good standing with their respective state bar associations as of August 1, 2008, where that information is publicly available. Consumers should contact their state bar for verification and additional information prior to securing legal services of any attorney.

Copyright 2008 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC. All rights reserved. This list, or parts thereof, must not be reproduced in any form without permission. No commercial use of this list may be made without permission of Woodward/White, Inc. No fees may be charged, directly or indirectly, for the use of this list without permission.

“The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Lawyers” are registered trademarks of Woodward/White, Inc.