Cheyne Yonemori is an Associate in the firm’s Business & Commercial Law, Trusts & Estates, Condominium & Community Association Law, and Insurance Coverage Litigation practice groups. He earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, while simultaneously earning his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Hawaii, Shidler College of Business.
While in law school, Cheyne received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award, given for the highest score achieved in the class Organizing for Social Change. He was an intern with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Division of Financial Institutions, where he researched and wrote on a range of legal issues and created the first draft of an excel spreadsheet tool for Hawaii’s small dollar lenders.
Cheyne was also a summer law clerk at a top-10 South Korean law firm. He worked in the international transaction and cross-border dispute resolution department, where he conducted research for international litigations, wrote memoranda for complex cross-border legal issues, and assisted in the drafting and reviewing of contracts between multinational corporations. He also served as a volunteer law clerk with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, where he assisted with legal research in support of low-income clients and created educational materials.
After receiving his law degree, Cheyne was an Associate Attorney at a Honolulu law firm. During his time there, he managed all aspects of pre-trial litigation, including discovery, litigation strategy, legal research, drafting of motions and other pleadings, and advising clients of their legal rights. Prior to that, he was a Secrecy Act Analyst at Central Pacific Bank, conducting regular investigations into suspicious customer activity and working to ensure compliance with strict legal standards.
While pursuing his degrees, Cheyne was also a freelance Online Marketing Manager for Tripsola, a Hong Kong based startup. In just over one year, he doubled the company’s online following by facilitating cross-marketing opportunities. He also developed marketing campaigns to enhance customer interaction with the company through its social media platforms.
Cheyne was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, and earned his B.A. in Linguistics, Communication, with a minor in English, from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. While there, he received certificates in Chinese Studies, Global Engagement, and Teaching English as a Second Language. Cheyne has a working proficiency of the Korean language, with the ability to speak, read and write at an intermediate skill level.
While growing up, the idea of becoming an attorney always held a place at the back of Cheyne’s mind. It was the dream of his maternal grandmother, who raised a family in the deep countryside of South Korea, to have a lawyer in the family. As a result, Cheyne recalls a distinct generosity and sense of compassion that was engendered in his mother and the rest of his family.
In Cheyne’s gap year between high school and college, he spent time in Korea and became committed to the idea of attending law school and becoming an attorney. “During that year, I befriended an attorney from Singapore who became a mentor to me,” said Cheyne. “Her curiosity, critical thought, and overall compassion as a lawyer for those less fortunate were qualities that I recognized from my family and wished to emulate in service of others as a future lawyer.”
Cheyne currently resides in Honolulu. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, and trying new places to eat.
Professional and Community Affiliation
- American Bar Association
- Hawaii State Bar Association
- Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
- State of Hawaii
- U.S. District Court (District of Hawaii)