Following graduation from law school, Michael served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jon J. Chinen, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Hawaii. Since joining the firm in 1980, he has continued to use his expertise in bankruptcy law, the main emphasis of his practice. Michael also practices in the areas of bankruptcy & creditor’s rights, business & commercial, dispute resolution, and real estate & land use. In 1992, he and DKLKH colleague, Kenneth Kupchak, co-authored the Hawaii chapter in the Wiley Construction Series’ two volume Fifty State Construction Lien and Bond Law book.
Michael is the Vice-President of the firm and is the chairperson of the firm’s Executive Committee.
Michael once again was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2024 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in Banking & Finance Law, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Commercial Transactions / UCC Law, Construction Law, Mortgage Banking Foreclosure Law, and Real Estate Law. Michael has also been selected by Super Lawyers in Creditor Debtor Rights.
- Bankruptcy: Successfully represented creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases in Hawaii involving more than 1 billion dollars in claims. Represented creditors and receivers in state court actions involving numerous creditors, substantial claims and assets.
- Business and Commercial: Represented sellers and purchasers in transactions involving the sale and acquisition of businesses. Advised businesses on various issues relating to its operations, rights, remedies and obligations.
- Real Estate/Land Use: Represented sellers and purchasers in the acquisition of large parcels of real estate and several hotels in the State of Hawaii. Represented land owners in disputes relating to boundaries, eminent domain, quiet title and title issues.
- Dispute Resolution: Represented parties in arbitrations and numerous mediation proceedings involving construction disputes, rent and lease default issues.
Professional and Community Affiliations
- American Bar Association (Bankruptcy Section)
- Hawaii State Bar Association (Corporation and Securities; Bankruptcy; and Real Property sections)
- Hawaii Swimming Board of Review
- Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce
- Koko Head Skeet Club (Director)
- Mid Pacific Country Club (Disciplinary Committee 1995-1999; Legal Committee 2000-2004; By-Laws Committee 1995-2001; Chairperson 1996-2001)
- United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawaii (Local Rules Committee)
- United States District Court Judicial Conference (Delegate 2012-2015)
- Fifty State Construction Lien and Bond Law (Wiley Construction Series, 1992) (with Kenneth R. Kupchak)