Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

M4 attorneys are among the most sought after in the State for their extensive knowledge and unparalleled experience in representing clients in the full spectrum of litigation from pre-trial filings to depositions, in proceedings before administrative agencies and in court and in alternative dispute resolution proceedings (specifically, mediation and arbitration proceedings).

 Alternative Dispute Resolution

When mediation or arbitration is a better alternative than the courtroom, we provide the required advocacy in that out-of-court setting. Some of M4’s greatest successes are ones you’ve never heard of, including cases involving sensitive matters or require quick, non-public and creative resolution. Our attorneys are prepared to advocate strongly and effectively to get you the best out-of-court result possible. We also make certain you are fully informed about your options at all times, and offer analytical advice at all stages in the process. Creative thinking and problem solving, combined with experience both at trial and in negotiations, ensure that with M4 you will have the best chance at settling your dispute out of court.

 Appellate – State and Federal

M4’s appellate practice lawyers are recognized and talented advocates with a strong record of success. Our appellate attorneys thrive on difficult, groundbreaking cases. They excel in mastering the factual and legal details of novel and often complex litigation, and communicating our clients’ positions through clear and persuasive writing and oral argument.

We serve not only clients whom we represented at trial, but also clients who have retained us specifically for our demonstrated appellate experience. We have argued cases through multiple appeals in state and federal courts, up to and including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Commercial Litigation

 Since its inception in 1989, M4 has been involved in many of the largest and most complex commercial litigation cases in the State. We offer the capacity for the largest State and Federal cases and, at the same time, the personal attention of a smaller firm.

Our team of experienced attorneys provides effective representation in complex legal actions. We have earned a reputation for aggressively advocating for our clients, while maintaining excellent working relationships with federal and state judges, arbitrators, agencies, regulators, and mediators throughout the State of Hawaii. We are experienced and capable of handling complex discovery and the burgeoning field of e-discovery.

M4 prides itself on our exemplary communication with our clients, addressing questions and concerns quickly and professionally. When appropriate, we also co-counsel and work cooperatively with mainland firms to bring you the best results in the way only a local firm can.

Our attorneys are always looking for the best resolution for our clients. Before fiercely litigating every step, our attorneys take the opportunity to see whether a settlement is possible that will save you time, money, and stress. We do not litigate for the sake of litigating, instead keeping an open mind to all possible resolutions available to you at every point in the process. It is our experience that an early resolution may be in your best interest in some cases. We strive to give you as many options as possible so you can make an informed decision on how you would like to proceed. 


We represent property owners in condemnation (eminent domain) case, where the federal, state or local government seizes private property for a public use and compensates the owner for the property.  This type of government action arises in cases where the governmental entity determines that private property is needed for an important public purpose, such as the ongoing rail project in Honolulu.  Our attorneys are experienced in handling litigation or negotiated settlements in such cases, and in addressing complex issues regarding the condemnation proceedings, including issues relating to the property to be condemned and the determination of proper compensation for the property.


M4’s litigation attorneys have extensive experience in environmental litigation and regulatory cases, and have represented a diverse mix of clients in such cases. Our attorneys have represented clients in litigation and regulatory proceedings involving a wide range of federal, state and county departments and agencies (including the Hawaii Department of Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawaii Land Use Commission, the Hawaii Office of Planning, and various county departments and agencies), and are highly experienced in negotiations with such departments and agencies and in litigation in contested case hearings and court proceedings.

In addition, M4’s Real Estate and Real Estate Development Practice Group – Environment, also assist clients with non-litigation environmental matters, including regulatory compliance and reporting, environmental impact statements and permitting, and environmental issues in real estate transactions.

Products Liability, Personal Injury and Insurance Defense

M4 attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in handling a broad range of products liability cases, personal injury litigation and disputes involving all types of insurance, including health, insurance bad faith, and property and casualty insurance.

M4 represents several major insurers, regularly handling cases involving personal injury, property damage, contracts, products liability, construction issues, employment discrimination, and professional, directors’ and fiduciary liability. A considerable part of the practice in this area is devoted to insurance coverage issues, primarily on behalf of insurers. M4 has also developed a specialty practice in the defense of actions against insurance companies for bad faith and extra-contractual damages. Additionally, M4 has extensive experience in the highly specialized field of the rehabilitation and/or liquidation of insolvent insurance companies.

Professional Liability

 M4 has represented a wide variety of clients, including attorneys, physicians, dentists, hospitals, architects, engineers and real estate professionals, and their insurance companies, in civil, criminal and administrative (licensing) proceedings. These are often publicity sensitive cases, and we are capable of managing such matters quietly. When the press has taken an interest in the matter, we work closely with outside public relations personnel to supervise and direct any press coverage.

Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Represented appellants, appellees and amici in a wide array of substantive areas, including land use, professional malpractice, consumer law, constitutional law, business torts, native Hawaiian rights, administrative law, insurance defense and tax law, and in federal and state appellate courts, including both the Hawaii and United States supreme courts.
  • Represented clients at all levels of appeals including state and federal, up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Commercial Litigation
  • Complex commercial litigation
  • E-discovery including data retention and management, litigation holds, and discovery management and production
  • Litigation: administrative proceedings, criminal investigations, citizens suits and lawsuits involving underground storage tanks, hazardous waste cleanup and remediation, cost recovery and cost allocation, asbestos remediation, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Solid and Hazardous Waste Act (RCRA), environmental impact statement related issues, toxic tort and environmental product liability litigation cases.
  • Permitting: working with environmental consultants in preparation of required reports and applications for permits under RCRA, FIFRA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act (NPDES and NPS - Storm Water Permits), SARA Title III, and State of Hawaii Land Use and Coastal Zone Management Rules, and environmental impact statements under the Hawaii EIS Law and Federal National Environmental Policy Act.
  • Management: management of businesses and facilities, including legal services and assistance for regulatory compliance and reporting, audits, assessments, risk management analysis, regulatory compliance under various environmental laws, including hazardous waste regulations, underground storage tanks, asbestos and occupational safety and health laws, and remediation of affected properties, including hazardous waste and unexploded ordinance (UXO) removal.
Insurance Defense
  • Counseled the Rehabilitator and Special Deputy Rehabilitator to a troubled insurer of Hawaii residential and commercial property, with respect to the restructuring and eventual sale of this insurer to a major U.S. insurance company.
  • Represented individual in capacity as liquidator of a failed life insurance company, where nearly $100 million had been recovered for the benefit of policyholders through actions handled by M4.