David Hardy Kamakanikaʻilialoha Abitbol (David H. Abitbol), is an Associate in the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Land Use & Eminent Domain, Construction Law, and Appeals practice groups.
David earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law. He received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award (highest grade in the class) for Contracts II, Legal Research, and Supreme Court Seminar. He was a member and manager of the Saul Lefkowitz Intellectual Property Moot Court Team and a Senator of the Student Bar Association. David also served as a Teaching Assistant for Lawyering Fundamentals. In this capacity, he assisted adjunct faculty with advising new students on their first semester writing assignments, as well as facilitated lectures on legal writing and legal citations.
Prior to joining the firm, David was a Summer Associate at Damon Key. While at the firm, he assisted our Attorneys with ongoing litigation and transactional matters throughout the firm’s different practice areas.
David also serves as a faculty lecturer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Political Science Department, where he teaches Constitutional Law.
While in law school, David was an Evening Part-Time student. While managing the demands of law school, David worked full-time at the Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center, where he served as the organization’s Policy & Contracts Manager. In this position, he was responsible for grant administration and contract management. He oversaw more than $5 million in federal grant funds and contracts, including the processing of proposals and awards to agencies providing medical treatment and social services to people living with HIV. Additionally, David executed an impressive array of leadership duties in the organization’s Program Development, Compliance, Training, and Information Technology divisions.
Before entering law school, David was with Waikiki Health, an organization committed to providing affordable, quality medical and social services. He first served as the HIV Program Quality Assistant, providing counseling and testing. He then worked his way up to HIV Medical Case Manager and then HIV Program Manager. In these positions, he served as a patient advocate for approximately 100 clients and supervised the staff and day-to-day activities of the HIV Early Intervention Services program.
Throughout his non-profit career, David was able to serve the most marginalized people in Hawaii’s community. Working with and for the community, he learned the importance of being an advocate and voice for the voiceless, as well as how collaboration and working as a community can serve a higher purpose. From these experiences he became mission-driven, leading with compassion and humility. According to David, he would not be the person or attorney that he is today if it wasn’t for his prior service to Hawaii’s communities.
In 2019, Pacific Business News named David a Business of Pride co-honoree, at Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center. In recognition for being an ally to the LGBTQ community and for going above and beyond in creating an inclusive and diverse business environment.
David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he graduated with High Honors. During his undergraduate, David consistently achieved Dean’s List honors, and received the Political Science Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship. He was also a member of the Honors Program and earned High Honors for his Senior Thesis: Marketing the Other: The Semiotics of Hawaii’s Tourism Industry.
David decided to become an attorney while taking a Political Science course on law & politics. He quickly realized how intellectually challenging and stimulating the law was, and found much gratification in studying, analyzing, and learning about it. Today, his greatest skill is his creativity and out-of-the-box approach to problem solving. “I love that this job gives me an opportunity to tackle complex legal issues, while working directly with clients. By taking a client-centered approach, I will always fight for the person behind the case and will always strive to serve their needs,” said David.
David is a graduate of Damien Memorial School. He grew up in Waianae, on the island of Oahu, and he spent his summers visiting his family in Israel, where he holds dual-citizenship. David’s unique up-bringing exposed him to diverse cultural perspectives that continues to inform his world views today. Even throughout his travels, David never lost sight of who he is. “I am Native Hawaiian, and growing up in a Native Hawaiian family I learned important values such as respect, responsibility, and the duty we share to care for our home in Hawaii. I believe embodying these values grounds me in my work as an attorney at Damon Key,” said David.
David is a lifelong supporter of University of Hawaii sports, as well as a fan of mixed martial arts. He also enjoys taking yearly trips to Lake Tahoe to go snowboarding. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, going to the beach, and spending quality time with family and friends.
- American Bar Association
- Hawaii State Bar Association
- State of Hawaii
- U.S. District Court (District of Hawaii)