SUSAN ICHINOSE, ESQ.
AREA OF EXPERTISECommercial/Business , Employment/Labor , Estates/Probate/Trusts , General Civil , Injury/Torts , Insurance/Personal , Partnership/Corporate Law , Real Property , Securities
All neutrals on the DPR Panel are willing to travel to the neighbor islands and the mainland. If you have any questions, please contact DPR at (808) 523-1234
Susan Ichinose, Esq. has over 40 years of experience as an advocate in complex commercial and employment litigation. Her first 20 years of practice were spent as a commercial litigator in downtown Honolulu commercial law firms beginning with Mukai Ichiki Raffetto & MacMillan (joined in 1977), concentrating in employment-related claims, contract actions, real estate disputes, business torts (including fraud and antitrust), and appeals. She established her solo practice in 1999 to focus on alternative dispute resolution, commercial litigation and employment consultation. In 2013 she decided to curtail her litigation practice in order to concentrate on her work as a neutral mediator, arbitrator, and independent workplace investigator, as well as an employment practices consultant and expert witness.
Susan has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (as reported biennially in Honolulu Magazine) continuously from 1995 (then in Commercial Litigation and Employment Litigation) to the present (she is a 2019 “Best Laywer” in 4 practice areas —Arbitration; Mediation; Employment Law -Individuals; and Employment Law -Management). She has also been named as their 2019 Hawaii “Lawyer of the Year” in Employment Law – Individuals. Rated as “Super Lawyer” in Alternative Dispute Resolution in Super Lawyers (Hawaii 2008 to present). Martindale-Hubbell rates her as “AV Preeminent” (5.0 out of 5.0), the highest rating that law firms can achieve based upon legal expertise and professional reputation.
She has also served as an Adjunct Professor in Appellate Advocacy and in Pretrial Litigation at Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii for several years; has been a speaker and panelist at dozens of law seminars; and has authored numerous articles on the law.
Representative litigation cases: pro bono representation of plaintiff in Parnar v. Americana Hotels, which in 1984 established in Hawaii the right of an at-will employee to sue for a wrongful termination of employment; representation of Plaintiff Kay Austen in Austen v. State of Hawaii, the first sex discrimination case in Hawaii to be successfully tried and upheld on appeal; representation of the Trustee in the bankruptcy adversary action, In re Airwest International, Inc. dba Air Hawaii (actions for securities fraud, professional malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and racketeering); successful defense of USA v. ORS, Inc., et al. (criminal antitrust action); defense of the sublessee in The Queen Emma Foundation v. Poseiden Limited Partnership, et al. (commercial lease dispute); representation of plaintiff in Discovery Airways, Inc. v. Sanwa Bank (business fraud); representation of the intervening charging party in EEOC v. The Queen’s Medical Center; representation of two widows of decedents in the Xerox killings, in Kanehira et al. v. Uyesugi, et al. , and other cases.
Representative arbitration and mediation cases include public record cases (e.g., appointed by First Circuit Court in employment-related cases Sharon Black v. Honolulu Police Department, et al. , and Kornya v. HSI, Inc. , both successfully mediated; an appointment by the U. S. District Court of Saipan to arbitrate issues in Hollman v. Imeong, between heirs to the billion dollar estate of the founder of DHL Larry Hillblom), and private confidential cases, with references submitted on request. She is also a member of the Mediator Panel for Federal Court in Hawaii.
She is currently a member of the Mediation Center of the Pacific, a Bencher Emeritus of the American Inns of Court (Aloha Inn), and a principal drafter of employment instructions on the Supreme Court’s Civil Jury Instructions Committee. She was formerly Chair of the Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission, an elected Board member (2000-2001) of the Hawaii State Bar Association, President (1997-98) and Board member (1996-00) of the Hawaii Women Lawyers, Board member of the YWCA of Oahu (2002-04), and Lawyer Representative to the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference (2001-05) and its Executive Committee (2002-05).