Mark M. Murakami, Director
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Phone: (808) 531-8031
Fax: (808) 533-2242
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  • University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D. 1999)
  • U.S. Coast Guard Academy (B.S. 1992)




Mark M. Murakami, Director

Mark Murakami practices in the firm’s Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, and Construction and Business and Commercial Law practice groups.  His focus is on complex commercial disputes, land use negotiation and litigation, environmental, and general civil litigation.  He has appeared in all federal and states courts in Hawaii, most of the administrative boards and commissions, and is licensed in the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Court of Federal Claims.  He is rated “BV” by Martindale-Hubbell, receiving a rating of 4.4/5.0.  He is included on the “Best Lawyer” list for Hawaii in the categories of Land Use and Zoning and Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law.  He was Best Lawyers’ Lawyer of the Year for 2013 for Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law and was named a Super Lawyer for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Mark was the Valedictorian of the Class of 1999 from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii where he served as Articles Editor of the University of Hawaii Law Review.  He has received numerous academic awards, including: Dean’s Scholar, Porter Scholastic Award (2 times); Awards for highest grade in Property I, Torts I, Contracts I, Corporations, and Professional Responsibility; Kono Award for Academic Achievement; Phi Delta Phi Professional Responsibility Award; HSBA Real Property and Financial Services Section Award.

He is also a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.  He served for 13 years on active duty before joining the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in 2005.  During his time on active duty, he served on three different Coast Guard cutters, including command of a patrol boat in California.  He spent four years assigned to the Fourteenth Coast Guard District Legal Office, prosecuting courts-martial, litigating cases in federal court as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and advising Coast Guard officials on maritime, criminal, environmental and international law issues.  He has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Metal, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals and four Coast Guard Achievement Medals. He is currently a Captain in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

To view his blog on federal litigation and maritime law, in and around Hawaii and Oceania, please visit:

Mark was born on Maui and raised in Kailua, Oahu.  He is a graduate of Kailua High School and was active in the Castle Performing Arts Center.

Highlights of his experience:

Eminent Domain, Land Use and Zoning:

  • Represented property owners in condemnation and inverse condemnation lawsuits. 
  • Represented property owners and businesses in litigation involving land use, zoning, and environmental litigation.

Trust and Probate Litigation:

  • Represent trustees, personal representatives and beneficiaries in litigation involving will contests, trust disputes, trustee malfeasance, undue influence and estate administration.
  • Represented a personal representative in a trial defending the estate from claims brought by disinherited heir, obtained verdict for personal representative.

Commercial/Real Estate/Construction Litigation:

  • Represented businesses and landowners in complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage suits, land use and environmental lawsuits, and admiralty actions.
  • Represented general contractor in construction defect arbitration and appeals.
  • Represented owner in complex construction defect litigation for large self-storage facility.

General Litigation:

  • Defend business and individuals being sued in Hawaii courts for various breaches of contract and torts.
  • Represents persons injured in maritime or boating accidents.

Special Matters:

  • Litigated challenge to 2011 Reapportionment Plan for State of Hawaii.
  • Assisted clients with governmental investigations.
  • Assisted clients with Campaign Spending Commission issues.

Renewable Energy Projects:

  • Advised landowners and developers on various issues involved with solar energy projects.

U.S. Coast Guard Experience:

  • Six (6) years as a line officer on Coast Guard Cutters involved with law enforcement, immigration, search and rescue and aides to navigation.
  • As Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, led investigation and preliminary prosecution of Chinese cook suspected of murdering Captain and First Mate on Taiwanese fishing vessel.
  • Directed investigation into several felony cases, including Clean Water Act, assault and narcotics.
  • Attorney-advisor on several post 9/11 security issues, including Trading with the Enemy Act, Magnuson Act and Patriot Act.

Representative Cases:

  • Kostick v. Nago, 960 F. Supp. 2d 1074 (D. Haw. 2013) (three judge panel) (On Briefs)
  • Kauai Springs, Inc. v. Kauai Planning Commission, 133 Haw. 141 (2014) (On Briefs)
  • Oahu Publications dba Honolulu Star-Advertiser v. Abercrombie, 134 Haw. 16 (2014) (On Briefs)
  • C. Brewer and Co. Ltd. v. Industrial Indemnity, 2013 Haw. App. LEXIS 472 (Ct. App. 2013) (On Briefs)
  • NePage v. Estate of NePage-Fontes, 129 Haw. 450 (Ct. App. 2013)
  • Nordic PCL v. LPHIGC, LLC, 133 Haw. 451 (Ct. App. 2014) (On Briefs)
  • District Council 50 v. Lopez, 129 Haw. 281 (2013) (Amicus Brief)
  • Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, Supreme Court Docket No. 10-1125, Cert Denied (2011) (Amicus Brief)
  • United States v. Tohono O’odham Nation, 131 S. Ct. 1723, (2011) (Amicus Brief)
  • County of Hawaii v. Coupe Family Limited Partnership, Supreme Court Docket No. 11-75 (on Cert Petition)
  • Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, et al. 130 S. Ct. 2592 (2010) (Amicus Brief)
  • County of Hawaii v. Coupe Family Limited Partnership, 124 Haw. 281 (2010) (On Briefs)
  • County of Hawaii v. Coupe Family Limited Partnership, 120 Haw. 400 (2009) (On Briefs)
  • Winter v. NRDC, 129 S. Ct. 365 (2008) (Amicus Brief)
  • County of Hawaii v. C&J Coupe Family Limited Partnership, 129 Haw. 281 (2010)
  • County of Hawaii v. Coupe Family Limited Partnership, 119 Haw. 352 (2008) (Trial Counsel and on Briefs)
  • UFO Chuting v. Thielen, Supreme Court Docket No. 07-1427, (2008) (Amicus Brief on Cert Petition)
  • MVRA v. County of Maui, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Unpublished Decision) (2008) (On Brief)
  • U.S. v. Lei Shi, 525 F. 3d 709 (9th Cir. 2007, Cert Denied (Agency Counsel)

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Inn of Court – Aloha Chapter (1997-2003)
  • American Bar Association
  • The Army Navy Club
  • Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline Board (2000-2003)
  • Good Beginnings Alliance, Board Member (2011 )
  • Hawaii State Bar Association – Admiralty Section (Co-Chair)
  • Hawaii State Bar Association – Professionals for Drug-Free Kids Instructor (2005)
  • Habitat for Humanity (2005)
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Legal Aid Society of Hawaii – Capital Campaign Committee
  • United States Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association
  • United States Naval Institute


  • Of Woodchucks and Prune Yards: A View of Judicial Takings From the Trenches, 35 Vt. L. Rev. 437 (2010) (with Robert H. Thomas and Tred Eyerly)
  • Laws Can Play Critical Role in Fighting Piracy, Pacific Business News, May 1, 2009
  • Co-author, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Gender Discrimination, 20 Hawaii Law Rev. 699 (1998)
  • Co-author, Op-Ed, Ruling Preserves Navy Strength in Defense, Honolulu Advertiser, December 4, 2008.
  • Author, From Details to Concepts: The New Development Plans, published in the HSBA Real Estate Section Newsletter (1998)
  • Blog:


  • Co-Panelist, University of Hawaii Law School, Professional Responsibility, February 8, 2012
  • Lecturer, Policy and Strategy of National Committee for Maritime Security, May 24 – 26, 2011
  • Guest Lecturer, Domestic Ocean Law, U.H. Law School, March 19, 2009
  • Panelist, Professional Responsibility, U.H. Law School, March 16, 2009
  • Rotary Club, Windward Oahu Chapter, Winter and Sonar, March 12, 2009
  • Lorman Seminar, Advanced Land Use, February 29, 2009
  • Lorman Seminar, Costal Equity and Land Use, August 19, 2008
  • Lorman Seminar, Advanced Zoning and Land Use, February 20, 2008